The library of the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary is the central resource for the education and theological scholarship of the students at CRTS. The collection currently consists of over 31,488 books, including approximately 780 e-books. The library subscribes to a wide variety of scholarly journals. Journal use is facilitated by the use of the electronic ATLASerials database as well as by the EBSCO Religion and Philosophy Collection database. These databases not only provide an index to the journals received in the library, but they also provide many additional journal articles in electronic format.
The facilities in which the library is housed, are modern and well-lit, with numerous windows overlooking the quiet residential setting of the Seminary. Ample study space of a variety of styles is available to the students. Wireless Internet is readily available.
The library’s purpose is to assist students and faculty in exploring the riches of the Bible and the Reformed heritage. The collection supports all areas of the curriculum. The library contains many commentaries and commentary sets, in addition to a large collection of biblical studies monographs. The collection provides a strong emphasis on Reformed theology and Reformed church history, to assist the students in coming to a deeper understanding of the confessional basis of the Seminary. A strong collection on the Heidelberg Catechism and the creeds and confessions assists the students in delving deeper into the heritage of CRTS. There is also a very large pamphlet collection documenting the theological debates within the Reformed churches in the Netherlands in the 1940s.
Students also have access to:
- print and digital versions of John Calvin’s works in the Corpus Reformatorum series;
- print and digital versions of Martin Luther’s works;
- several hundred volumes of the Sources Chrétiennes edition of the church fathers;
- an extensive collection on preaching.
A small collection of rare books, including editions of Calvin’s works, the Acts of the Synod of Dort, and other works providing background to the Reformed confessions, help provide insight into the textual heritage of the Reformed church.
The resources available in the library have been almost entirely funded by the women of the churches which support the Seminary. The agency which spearheads the fundraising, the Women's Savings Action, was founded in 1969 and it has tirelessly supported the library since its inception.
Margaret Alkema, B.A., M.L.I.S., Librarian
Dr. J. Van Vliet, Associate Librarian
Catharine Mechelse, Dip.Lib.Tech., Library Technician
General Circulation Books
- Only a library patron holding a valid library card is allowed to check out books.
- Books are due on the date printed on the receipt at the time of check out.
- Books may be renewed in person, online or over the phone.
- Library patrons are responsible for the condition, proper use, and the safe return of all library materials and equipment they check out and any fines incurred for late, damaged, unreturned, or lost library materials.
- At the request of professors, library materials are placed on “reserve” for the use of students in a particular class.
- All reserve materials must stay in the library, unless permission has been received from the librarian to sign the material out.
- General reference books such as encyclopedias, bibliographies, dictionaries, indexes, handbooks, concordances, almanacs, atlases, and some commentaries are kept in the Reference and Commentary sections and do not circulate.
- Reference books can be recognized by the red sticker on the spine and a call number that starts with “REF.” Commentaries which do not circulate can be recognized by the orange sticker on the spine and a call number that starts with “COM.”
Pamphlet and Rare Book Collection
- The library of the Theological Seminary also has an extensive collection of pamphlets relating to significant events in the history of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, during the 19th and 20th centuries. All the pamphlets are listed in the library catalogue and are available for consultation in the library.
- The library also has a collection of rare books. These books may be made accessible for scholarly research at the discretion at the library staff and are available for use in the library only.
- The library subscribes to over approximately 100 periodicals. The current issues may be found on the display shelves located in the library near the door. They are arranged in alphabetical order by the title of the periodical. Back issues from the current year are located behind the current issue under the periodical shelves. Issues from the previous volume are arranged alphabetically in the stacks on the upper floor of the library, in the section marked "Periodicals."
- The library subscribes to the Religion Database Index, produced by the American Theological Library Association, which provides indexing of journal articles, book reviews, and collections of essays in all fields of religion.
- The librarian also maintains an index to a number of Reformed periodicals, such as Clarion, Reformed Perspective, Diakonia, Koinoinia, and the international Lux Mundi. This project is a work in progress with some of the data requiring additional editing, and coverage varies. This index can be accessed via the Reformed Periodical Index.