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Religion

An overview of scholarly resources in religious studies

Manuscripts

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) houses many manuscripts that may be of interest to researchers in religious studies.

Perhaps the most famous of these manuscript collections is the Edgar J. Goodspeed Manuscript Collection, which comprises 68 early Greek, Syriac, Ethiopic, Armenian, Arabic, and Latin manuscripts ranging in date from the 5th to the 19th centuries. With support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grants for Libraries - Building Digital Resources program, the University of Chicago Library has digitized many of these manuscripts, creating a unique "digital collection."

SCRC also has numerous late medieval and Renaissance secular and religious texts. Search the codex manuscript catalog for examples.

Rare Books

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) houses many rare books that may be of interest to researchers in religious studies:

  • American Bible Union Collection (not shelved as a separate collection): For more information on this collection, see Paul M. Cairns, The American Bible Union Library, A.M. Thesis, University of Chicago, Graduate Library School, 1976.
  • Maurice T. Grant Collection of English Bibles (not shelved as a separate collection): Acquired in the 1940s, this collection includes 191 folio editions and 106 smaller editions of English Bibles ranging in date from 1537 to 1835.
  • Berlin Collection (not shelved as a separate collection).
  • Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg Collection (not shelved as a separate collection): for more information see, Catalogue of the Hengstenberg Collection, Special Collections, Codex Manuscripts, Ms987.
  • Ludwig Rosenberger Collection of Judaica (shelved as a separate collection).
  • Emma B. Hodge Collection of Reformation Imprints (not shelved as a separate collection): “Knowing of the strong tradition of biblical study at the University, Chicago collector Emma B. Hodge made a series of gifts between 1912 and 1920 of early printed books and manuscripts of the Renaissance and Reformation period, so that they would be available to students and scholars. Her gifts included works written or containing commentary by Erasmus, Luther, and Philip Melanchthon” (http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/excat/donors3.html accessed January 4, 2007)
  • Richard McKeon Collection of Aristotle and Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy (not shelved as a separate collection):
  • Sunday School Union pamphlets and tracts (not shelved as a separate collection; some are in SCRC, some are in bookstacks, others are available on microfilm). To locate, search library catalog keyword (anywhere) “American Sunday School Union,” or just “Sunday School Union.”
  • Jernegan-Littlefield Collection of Early Textbooks (not shelved as a separate collection).
  • Encyclopedia Britannica Collection of Literature for Children (shelved as separate collection).

Archives & Faculty Papers

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) houses many archival collections that may be of interest to researchers in religious studies.

The University Archives was established as part of the University of Chicago Library in 1946. Included in the Archives are official records and publications; minutes of the Board of Trustees and other boards and statutory bodies; records of administrative units including academic divisions, professional schools, departments, offices, programs, and interdisciplinary committees; papers of faculty members, trustees, administrators, students, and alumni; serial publications; photographs; video and film; sound recordings; and memorabilia.

Among the collections of faculty papers are Gerald C. Brauer, Ernest D. Burton, Clifford Geertz, Edgar J. Goodspeed, William Rainey Harper, Martin E. Marty,  Shailer Mathews, and Joachim Wach. Search the finding aid database or the Library Catalog for additional collections.

The Archives also holds the records of a number of related institutions and organizations. Among these are the original or Old University of Chicago of 1857-1886, the Baptist Theological Union, the Baptist Union Theological Seminary, and the American Institute of Sacred Literature.

Video: How to Search for Rare Books within Specific Collections

View the 45-second video below to learn how to limit your search to a specific named rare book collection using the Library Catalog.

Video: How to Request Archival Materials from Special Collections

View the video below to learn how to request items directly from the finding aids on the Special Collections Research Center website.