Southwestern's library system includes the A. Webb Roberts Library, the Kathryn Sullivan Bowld Music Library, the Counseling Center Collection, the World Mission Center Collection, and the Houston Campus Library. There are also small book collections at the off-campus sites in San Antonio and Little Rock. In August 2003, the materials in these collections numbered an estimated 1,068,877 items; the libraries' Acquisition and Cataloging Departments add approximately eight thousand items each year. The seminary libraries have been online since 1982. The current SIRSI Unicorn system enables the library staff to manage the collection efficiently and allows users around the world to search the libraries' holdings. The library augments its holdings with subscriptions to online books and journals.
The A. Webb Roberts Library, opened in 1982, supports the curricula for the School of Theology and the School of Church and Family Ministries. Almost 60% of the books in the general collection relate to theology, church history, and vocational ministry. Other subjects include philosophy and psychology, world religions, archaeology, general history, and Christian art and literature.
The J. T. and Zehna Luther Archives houses original copies of all theses and dissertations completed for advanced degrees, in addition to the Rare Book Collection, historical artifacts, missionary artifacts, the Geoffrey and Beryl Breed Collection, the William R. Estep Collection, the Lonnie Quillen Collection, and hundreds of original church histories.
The Audio-Visual Learning Center contains more than 35,000 non-print media, including video tapes, spoken audio tapes, CDs, DVDs, and kits, as well as transparencies, filmstrips, slides, and games. 34 individual carrels with traditional cassette player, filmstrip reader, VHS player, latest DVD/CD/MP3 player, and 27" monitor provide equipment and space to use this variety of media. Two preview rooms, seating up to 15 persons each, can be scheduled for small group viewing.
The John and Cynthia Thomas Computer Learning Center provides students with computers for personal use or for classroom instruction. The LCLC lab has 30 PCs, 1 Macintosh computer, an HP Laser scanner, and two high-speed laser printers. Many of the newest software packages are available for use in word processing, graphics, and Bible research.
The LCLC lab, opened in January 1997, provides high-speed Internet access, the latest Microsoft Office Suite, and assorted Bible study assisted programs. There is also a ceiling mounted video projector accessible through the instructor terminal or lap top connections for group instruction. When not used for class instruction, students may use the computers for individual work.
The John and Vida Cooper Faculty-Doctoral Study Area includes 140 study carrels assigned to doctoral students and 22 study cubicles for faculty use. The restricted nature of the area provides privacy and security for those involved in in-depth research.
The Reference Department staff in Roberts Library offer instruction and other assistance in the use of the library and its resources, including the library catalog and electronic databases. Each year they loan almost 6,000 items to other libraries and receive an equal number for Southwestern students and faculty. The reference librarian offers both credit and non-credit courses in library research.
The Serials Department currently subscribes to 2,200 periodical titles supporting the seminary's curriculum along with a few general interest magazines and newspapers. This includes the Baptist State Convention Annuals, Baptist state newspapers, and the National SBC annuals. Total periodical title holdings exceed 8,000, including many Baptist publications, both past and present. Kept here also are the library's extensive microform collections of primary source materials, including early British Baptist publications, older materials from Yale Divinity School's Day Mission collection, and microprint copies of extant books published in the United States through 1800. Copy cards for use in the four copy machines in the libraries (three in Roberts and one in Bowld) may be purchased from the VendaCoder machine in this department. Fees for overdue books are also paid in this department.
The third level of A. Webb Roberts Library contains 11 miles of shelving with future expansion space for more than a quarter of a million new volumes. The staff of 12 librarians, 7 full-time support persons, and 68 part-time workers provides personalized service while developing an expanding collection.
The Kathryn Sullivan Bowld Music Library is located in a three-level structure on the southeast side of Cowden Hall. It contains a carefully chosen, well-rounded collection of books, scores and octavos, as well as record albums, audio and video recordings, CDs, and DVDs. Emphasis is placed upon church music, all serious music, from the great masters of the past to modern avant-garde compositions, can also be found in the library. Among its resources are the complete works of major composers, the standard scholarly anthologies, collections of church music, particularly on music and worship, as well as many other holdings. Almost 400 music periodical titles that can be searched using the Music Index Online provide resources for general, inspirational, and technical reading, and provide current tools for research.
The library owns one of the finest hymnology collections in the United States, including copies of early psalters, hundreds of tune books such as The Sacred Harp and The Southern Harmony, and the George W. Stebbins Collection of hymnals from the nineteenth century revival movements. A grant from the American Theological Library Association (ATLA), has allowed the library to digitize seven shape-note tune books which will be posted at the web site of ATLA.
There is a significant representation of indigenous Christian music materials from foreign countries that includes both instruments and recordings. The library also has a growing collection of worship materials designed for use in the church and for scholarly study.
State-of-the-art listening equipment and an electronic piano enable students to listen to some of the more than 18,000 recordings or browse almost 320,000 music scores and octavos. There are also several stations with televisions, VCRs, and DVD players for watching some of the 1,200 videos and DVDs the library has in its collection. A small computer lab located in the Music Library provides multiple PCs and Macintosh computers with MIDI keyboards for instruction in composition.
The Curriculum Laboratory displays most of the current curriculum materials produced by LifeWay Christian Resources, other SBC agencies, and the WMU. The staff maintains files of other material about practical ministry issues. A computer in the lab gives students access to the electronic information source SBCNet. Located in Price Hall and funded by the School of Church and Family Ministries, any seminary student may browse or review this material.
Southwestern's Libraries have established some smaller specialized collections elsewhere on the Fort Worth campus and at some off-campus centers. The Counseling Center collection has materials that support the Baptist Marriage and Family Counseling Center's programs. Books and video recordings in The World Mission Center collection support people group-research and planning for short-term mission projects. The collections at Houston, San Antonio, and Little Rock have major reference works and commentaries. Students enrolled in the Dallas, Marshall, and Shawnee programs use the libraries at the host institutions.