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, Horner House's McDonald Library in Fort Worth. Southwestern's libraries also include the libraries of the Havard School of Theological Studies in Houston and Rosharon (Darrington Prison) and the Marshall Center of Theological Studies in San Antonio. There is also a small book collection at the off-campus site in Little Rock. The staff of 8 librarians, 3 full-time support persons, and 30 part-time workers provide personalized service while developing an expanding collection. The library collection has over one million items of all types. The libraries' Acquisition and Cataloging Departments add approximately 5,200 books a year. The library's SirsiDynix Symphony library management system and Knowledge Portal enables the library staff to manage the collection efficiently and allows users around the world to search more than 85% of the libraries' total holdings. Students may search for other materials using any of the several online databases provided by the seminary.
The A. Webb Roberts Library, opened in 1982, supports the curricula of Scarborough College, the School of Theology, the School of Church and Family Ministries, and the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions. Almost 60 percent of the books in the general collection relate to theology, church history, and vocational ministry. Other subjects include philosophy, psychology, world religions, archaeology, general history, and Christian art and literature.
The Public Services staff offer instruction and other assistance in the use of the library and its resources, including the library catalog and electronic databases. Each year through arrangements with other libraries, the department requests and receives about 4,200 items for Southwestern students and faculty; they also loan almost 3,000 items to users at other libraries.
The Serials Department currently receives approximately 2,150 periodical titles supporting the seminary's curriculum along with a few general interest magazines and newspapers. Here, too, are kept Baptist state convention annuals, Baptist state newspapers, and the SBC annuals. Total periodical title holdings approach 8,500. The library's extensive microform collection provides 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.
The Charles D. Tandy Archaeological Museum, located on the first floor of Roberts Library, displays artifacts from Tel Batash in Israel (the biblical Timnah mentioned in Judges 14:1-5) and other biblical places and periods. It also serves as the archaeology lab for the seminary's Tandy Institute for Archaeology program.
The library's second floor has book shelving for Bibles, commentaries, and other sources for biblical study. The variety of seating arrangements permits several students to use the area at one time.
The J. T. and Zelma Luther Archives houses the seminary archives, original copies of all theses and dissertations completed for advanced degrees, and Special Collections. Among these collections are the Rare Book Collection, the Geoffrey and Beryl Breed Collection (British Baptist history), the William R. Estep Collection (Reformation and Anabaptist studies), the Lonnie Quillen Collection (Christianity in Africa), and historical and missionary artifacts. The Robert A. Baker Church History Room brings many of these collections together in place with study tables and carrels for advanced researchers.
The Audio-Visual Learning Center contains almost 49,000 non-print media, including video tapes, spoken audio tapes, CDs, DVDs, kits, transparencies, filmstrips, slides, and games. Equipment and space is provided to use these items.
The John and Cynthia Thomas Library Computer Learning Center, opened in 1997, provides students computers with high-speed Internet access, the latest Microsoft Office software, and assorted Bible study programs. Most students use the center to complete course related assignments. Students also have access throughout the library to the campus' student wireless network.
The John and Vida Cooper Faculty-Doctoral Study Area provides privacy and security for those engaged in sustained research. One hundred forty study carrels are available to doctoral students and others; faculty use one of the twenty-two study rooms.
The Library Writing Center provides individuals with personalized writing instruction and peer review.
The third level of A. Webb Roberts Library contains almost nine miles of shelving with space for more than one hundred thousand added volumes.
The Kathryn Sullivan Bowld Music Library is located in a three-level building annexed to the southeast side of Cowden Hall. It contains a carefully chosen, well-rounded collection of books, scores and octavos, as well as audio and video recordings. The collection emphasizes church music but contains a large selection of works from the great masters of the past to modern avant-garde and contemporary compositions. Among its resources are the complete works of major composers, scholarly anthologies, church music collections, and worship books. Approximately 400 music periodical titles provide current tools for research. Electronic resources are also available to both students and professors through commercial online databases and multimedia computer software. Because of the school's international connections, there is a significant representation of indigenous Christian music materials that include instruments, recordings, and scores.
The library owns an extensive hymnology collection, housed in the Robert S. Douglass Treasure Room. This room contains over 9,000 rare books, hymnals, and scores, including editions of early 17th- and 18th-century psalters such as the 1598 Sternhold and Hopkins The Whole Booke of Psalmes, shape-note tune books such as The Sacred Harp and The Southern Harmony, and gospel songbooks such as Bliss and Sankey's Gospel Hymns and Sacred Songs.
The Treasure Room of the music library also holds several important collections, most notably the George C. Stebbins Collection which contains over 1,100 items and includes hymnals, sacred songbooks, histories, biographies, and scrapbooks related to American and British hymnody dating from the mid-18th century to mid-20th century. The essence of this collection is gospel hymnody of the 19th century revival movements. The William J. Reynolds Collection has more than 1,500 titles, mostly hymnals from various denominations and nationalities and church music books. Bowld Library also holds the Eugene Maston Collection, an eclectic collection of more than 2,300 hymnals and sacred song books from the late Eugene Maston.
Two grants from the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) have allowed the library to digitize shape-note tune books and make digital recordings of different Southern Baptist worship services. Anyone may view these collections at the ATLA website.
Bowld Music Library contains over 23,000 recordings of works from the repertoire encountered in churches today. Patrons may listen to historic reel-to-reel recordings or more contemporary CDs of LifeWay publications. In addition, the collection includes numerous VHS and DVD recordings of operas, oratorios, composer interviews, and jazz documentaries that may be viewed in the media room. In addition to these resources, the library is able to offer Naxos Music Online to students within the music programs, providing a convenient method of study at home. Two computers with the latest version of Finale are available for student use on the relaxing and peaceful third floor of the library.
The Curriculum Center displays most of the current curriculum materials produced by LifeWay Christian Resources, other SBC agencies, and the WMU. The staff maintain files of other material about practical ministry issues. A computer in the lab gives students access to several Southern Baptist Convention websites. 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. These collections at Houston, San Antonio, and Little Rock have major reference works and commentaries. Students enrolled in the Plano, and Shawnee programs use the libraries at the host institutions. 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 Horner House Library supports studies in the Women's Program.