Philip Schaff Library - Resources
The Library is named for Philip Schaff, Professor of Church History and Biblical Literature (1844-1865) at the Seminary during the Mercersburg Period.
The Philip Schaff Library houses over 150,000 items, including books, periodicals, audio-visuals, microforms, representing over 100,000 titles. The primary strengths of the Library are in New Testament, Reformation History, Reformed Church History, Mercersburg Theology and Liturgics.
The Reference Collection and Stacks constitute the majority of the collection, and are classified using the Library of Congress system. The library is privileged to own an extensive archives and rare book collection whose in-library use is managed by the Library Director.
The library subscribes to about 300 current periodicals which are are kept on display on the main floor near the circulation desk. The most recent issues are found by lifting the shelf displaying the current issue. Back files, shelved alphabetically by title, are kept on the lower level of the library. Increasingly, titles may be accessed in a variety of ways: through various databases found within EBSCO and FirstSearch, online through a publisher or their representative, and on paper. A listing of titles in these various formats can be found in our A to Z list.
Back issues of periodicals found on the lower level of the library.
The Library belongs to consortia which strengthen the resources available to Lancaster Theological Seminary faculty and students, and in turn make the Philip Schaff Library's collections available to students from other colleges and seminaries. These consortia include:
- Southeastern Pennsylvania Theological Library Association (SEPTLA) - twenty-one theological libraries representing Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and other traditions. Borrowing privileges between member schools is provided.
- OCLC - Palinet This affiliation provides a variety of benefits including a streamlined system for obtaining interlibrary-loan materials (ILL).
- Reciprocal borrowing privileges with Franklin and Marshall College.
- American Theological Library Association "is a professional association of more than 800 individual, institutional, and affiliate members providing programs, products, and services in support of theological and religious studies libraries and librarians. ATLA's ecumenical membership represents many religious traditions and denominations."