Archives and Special Collections
About the PTS Archives
The Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is the result of several mergers following the founding of its earliest antecedent, Service Seminary, in 1794 by the Associate Presbyterian Church. The documents recording those mergers as well as the records of seminaries past and present, are housed in the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Archives.
The primary purpose of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Archives is to provide for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use, and disposition of records. Records administration covers the management of records, regardless of age, to meet the administrative, financial, legal and historical needs within the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s offices and departments.
The PTS Archives contains seminary and antecedent seminary institutional records, manuscript collections, personal papers, photographs, and artifacts. Other materials housed in the Archives Department document the histories of the Associate, Associate Reformed, United Presbyterian, and Presbyterian (U.S.A.) congregations, synods, and general assemblies.
Collection Guides and Finding Aids
Check out the newly processed collection on the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, an international organization credited as the start of youth ministry. The collection at PTS contains materials primarily from the Allegheny County Chapter of Christian Endeavor from the 1890s and 1920s. It is also comprised of Pennsylvania State Chapter documents and a few national and international materials.
The Library also houses a variety of special collection materials, the most significant being:
- The John M. Mason Memorial Collection, consisting of rare theological works dating from the Reformation.
- The Warrington Collection, which is comprised of several thousand valuable hymnals and song books from the estate of James Warrington of Philadelphia, and provides rich research materials for scholars of American and British hymnody.
- The Louis N. Grier Collection was received in 1975 and contains approximately 1,120 titles including two incunabula, early 16th century imprints, 17th and 18th century British publications, first editions of British literary volumes, books on bookbinding and examples of fine bookbinding.