The Library began with the Seminary in the early nineteenth century and followed the institution in its wanderings until it was permanently located in Pittsburgh in 1856. The Library was not systematically developed until the 1950s. The Library Wing of Rutherford Hall was opened in 1970, several years after the first professional librarian was appointed. Rachel George became Librarian in 1978 and soon began work to computerize the catalog, which was essentially finished by 1985. The Rare Books Room was opened in 1986.
In 1996, Rev. Thomas G. Reid, Jr. became the next Seminary Librarian. Besides his pastoral experience, Rev. Reid has brought a wealth of expertise to the professional development of the Seminary Library. One of his first projects included a new computerized catalog, shortly followed by an integrated library system. Library.Solution, was inaugurated in the fall of 2000. The library currently contains over 84,000 volumes, including over 8,000 bound periodicals. Thousands of other items, including microfiche, microfilm, cassettes, tapes, video recordings, learning packages, computer disks, maps, archives, photographs, and missionary artifacts, are also collected.
The Library is primarily a workshop for professors and students. The quiet, well-lit reading and reference rooms and open stacks provide an atmosphere in which you may acquire the habits, techniques, and information that you will need in ministry. Carefully selected materials in Old and New Testaments, in systematic and historical theology, and in the practical fields of the Church’s service are included among the cataloged volumes and periodicals currently received. Printed and online indexes, bibliographies, and e-books provide information about the wider field of theological literature.