The most extensive theological library from Philadelphia to Chicago, Barbour Library gives users access to several hundred thousand books and microforms and many online databases, as well as a rare books room housing a priceless collection of classical theological works from the Reformation period, including books by John Calvin published during his lifetime, and a several-thousand-piece hymnology collection.
Barbour Library extends reciprocal privileges to borrowers from a number of partner institutions and lends its volumes generously through interlibrary loan. The Library houses several public access computers and offers free public wireless access throughout the building. Printers, copiers, and microfilm/microfiche readers are also available for public use, and staff offer help with thesis-binding requests.
Dedicated in 1964, The Clifford E. Barbour Library is named after the former Seminary president who oversaw the consolidation of Western and Pittsburgh-Xenia seminaries to form Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Among the Library’s extensive holdings are The Warrington Collection of hymnology volumes, The Newburgh Collection of mostly 17th- and 18th-century theological works, and The Grier Collection of incunabula, early 16th-century imprints, first editions of many literary giants, and more. Artifactual treasures in Barbour Library include the desk, chair, and memorabilia of 20th-century Reformed theologian Karl Barth.
Barbour Library offers online topical research guides to streamline navigating the Library’s collection and to facilitate paper- and thesis-writing. Online resources also include tutorials for exam/ordination-exam preparation, as well as writing and citation helps. Webpage answers to many frequently-asked questions add to the many resources available to on-site and online Barbour Library users.