Wednesday Workshops: Opportunities to Learn About Research

The Pitts Theology Library is an instructional library, and the librarians consider ourselves educators. One way we exhibit this mission is through the Wednesday Workshops, instructional sessions offered most weeks of the academic term on Wednesday from 12 to 12:50, starting September 2. These lunch sessions feature librarians teaching on research topics, ranging from issues of citation, presentation design, digital humanities, and many more. The first 12 registrations will receive a free Panera lunch, but everyone will receive valuable research instruction. A full list of topics offered this Fall, along with links to register, can be found at We look forward to learning with you on Wednesdays!

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Scavenger Extravaganza!


On Tuesday, many  intrepid new Candler students participated in a Pitts Theology Library tour and scavenger hunt. While exploring the many spaces and faces of the library, students also practiced a number of useful library skills. There is still time to join one of four tours on Friday afternoon: simply sign up using this link for tour registration, or just show up!

Many exciting opportunities await, including:

finding a reserve book

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navigating the reference section:

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learning how to use the scanners:

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exploring special collections:

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and stretching your creative muscles with book spine poetry!

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Welcome New Students!

Pitts Theology Library would like to extend a very warm welcome to all new Candler students! We look forward to seeing you at the library sessions during orientation and encourage you to sign up for one of the optional tours.

We hope you will also take a moment to come and explore the library beyond these scheduled meetings. During the bustle of the school year, the library offers quiet spaces for study and a welcoming community in support of your academic journey. Pitts staff members are here to assist you with checking out books, doing research, and navigating the library. Come visit the circulation desk or find a reference librarian if you have any questions, both now and throughout the year!

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Thursday Honors

Thursday afternoon has become a highly anticipated time of the week at Candler. From 2:00 to 3:00 pm each Thursday, the library holds the Thursday Honors event: a coffee and refreshment break for all library patrons. Funding for the event is provided each week by donors, who choose to honor individuals or groups from the community. Past honorees have included Candler staff members, student groups, and alumni. Honorees’ photos are featured on the welcome screen at the library entrance throughout the week.

The response to the event has been overwhelmingly positive, and the Pitts staff is excited about continuing to provide and develop this weekly opportunity for recognition, conversation, and refreshment. To sponsor a Thursday Honors event, please contact Rebekah Bedard at rebekah [dot] bedard [at] emory [dot] edu.


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Summer Exhibition: Windows on the World

Have you ever wanted to see autographed first editions of To Kill a Mockingbird or Gone with the Wind? Would you like to see Sherman’s map of Atlanta or Aaron Burr’s pocket watch? This summer, we invite you to view these items, and many other rare books, maps, photographs, and manuscripts, in the third floor exhibit gallery at Pitts Theology Library.

The exhibition is curated by members of the Atlanta Grolier Club, a club for collectors and bibliophiles. Through the exhibition, Atlanta Groliers honor the memory of David Parsons (1939 – 2014), an esteemed member of the Grolier Club and faithful volunteer at Pitts Theology Library.

“Windows on the World” runs until August 21 and is open during regular library hours. Come and see the exhibit at any time or sign up for a tour at the following link:

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Welcome Course of Study Students!

The Candler School of Theology and the Pitts Theology Library welcome students for Course of Study for the next three weeks. We look forward to having them use the library’s space and the library’s collections, and we encourage them to get to know their librarians! Course of Study students, you have 28-day borrowing privileges, which we hope you’ll take advantage of. If you have questions about lending, or about the library in general, please stop by the circulation desk or find a reference librarian. We’ll be offering tours of the library and its collections on Monday, July 13, at 4:15pm, and Wednesday, July 22, at noon. Welcome and enjoy Candler and Emory!

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Research Guides

Did you know that Pitts Theology Library creates guides to save you time and help you with your research? The most popular research guides include Biblical Greek and Theological Research for Beginners. You can search for guides on topics of interest by clicking on the Research Guides link on the left hand side of the Pitts homepage.

This year, there are five new guides to explore:

Check out these guides and let us know if there are other research guides that would be helpful as well!


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Independence Day Hours

Emory University, including Pitts Theology Library, will be closed on Friday, July 3 in observance of Independence Day. We will re-open with our regular summer hours (Monday-Friday, 7:30 AM to 5 PM) on Monday, July 6. We wish you a wonderful weekend!

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Transcription of Howard Thurman Audio

Are you interested in listening to Howard Thurman preach, speak, or otherwise provide insight on deep theological topics? The Pitts Theology Library has developed an online repository of Howard Thurman audio, and we would love for you to help us develop it! The digital repository includes the ability for you to transcribe Dr. Thurman’s voice into searchable text, allowing researchers to mine the great insights of this amazing collection. To access the collection, visit You will also find there a large collection of Fred Craddock audio. If you are interested in transcribing the audio, contact a reference librarian at theologyref [at] emory [dot] edu.

Happy listening!

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Summer Reading

Summer is a great time to explore a new topic, move deeper into a topic of interest, kick back with a good novel, or prepare for the coming year.  Here are a few books that Pitts Theology Library staff members have recently read and enjoyed.  We’d love to hear about your recommendations in the comments!

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (London: David Campbell, 1997)– Recommended by Rebekah Bedard, Reference Librarian and Outreach Coordinator

This masterfully written novel poses significant questions for the philosophy of religion. The Brothers Karamazov is a powerful human drama; it is over 800 pages long, but you will have trouble putting it down.

Robert D. Putnam, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015) — Recommended by Dr. M. Patrick Graham, Margaret A. Pitts Professor of Theological Bibliography and Director, Pitts Theology Library

Putnam is concerned about the increasing gap between children who grow up in the lower socio-economic ranges of America and those in the upper ranges and the difficulties that the former have improving their lot in life. His analysis proceeds by means of case studies, as he takes up four categories: family, parenting, schooling, and community. He is sympathetic to Charles Murray’s (Coming Apart) thesis that class rather than ethnicity or race is the key factor in American social divisions today. The book may be especially useful for ministers and those training for the parish to help them understand their congregations and work with them more effectively.

Bishop Kallistos WareThe Orthodox Way (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2002)  — Recommended by Jef Murray, Interlibrary Loan Specialist

This book provides a good overview of what the Eastern Orthodox churches teach; it is very eye-opening for western Christians.

Pearl S. Buck, Pavilion of Women (New York: The John Day Company, 1946) — Recommended by Tracy Iwaskow, Head of Public Services and Periodicals Librarian

As an American who spent spent most of her early life in China, Buck felt keenly a cultural divide between the household of her parents and the world around her, and many of her novels explore this tension.  In Pavilion of Women, she presents the character of Madame Wu, who decides to retreat from the world at the age of 40 and permit her husband to take a second wife.  By exploring the upset that this decision causes Madame Wu’s extended household, as well as the internal changes that Madame Wu experiences as she eventually opens more truly to loving others, Pavilion of Women presents perceptive observations about multiple ways in which love manifests while also portraying family life of a noble household in early 20th-century China.

Pierre Bayard, How to Talk about Books You Haven’t Read (New York: Bloomsbury, 2007) — Recommended by Bo Adams, Reference and Systems Librarian

At Candler you’re going to be asked to read a lot of books, and you may need some strategies for talking about the contents even when you haven’t looked at every single page.  Bayard not only has some helpful suggestions, but he makes a strong argument that we shouldn’t be embarrassed about this practice!

Gillian Rose, Love’s Work (London: Chatto & Windus, 1995) — Recommended by Eric Clark, Digital Image Archive Student Assistant and Candler MDiv student, class of 2016

The late philosopher Gillian Rose wrote this short memoir knowing she would soon lose her battle with cancer.  With stern humor and searing poesis, she dissects what she calls her “life affair” in a way that frees her to speak universally to the tragicomic endurance of love, and the need to go on loving, in spite of love’s limits.

Writings of Barbara Brown Taylor and Parker Palmer — Recommended by Caroline Saxton, Circulation Student Assistant and Candler MDiv student, class of 2016

Whatever degree program you’re in, Candler School of Theology is a rigorous, demanding institution.  I recommend taking time this summer to read things that feed your soul–fiction, poetry, Barbara Brown Taylor or Parker Palmer. Find a good devotional book that helps to affirm your calling….And if you have time, look at the “Faculty” page on the [Candler] website and explore some of the books that our faculty have written.  See you in the fall!

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