Reformation Day at Emory 2017

The 30th Reformation Day at Emory will be held on Thursday, October 26, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Kessler Reformation Collection and marking the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. This year’s program explores the question, “Did the Reformation fail?” by inviting bishops from the Lutheran and Methodist Churches and an archbishop from the Catholic Church to share their perspectives and thinking with us. Find out more here. Register for lunch today online or by calling 404.727.6352.

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Zotero Workshops this Week

Are you interested in making your research world a little more organized? Do you want to keep track of your research more systematically? Do you wish to avoid the rush of having to generate bibliographies at the end of a research project? Zotero is a citation management tool that can, in the words of one researcher, “change your life.” For this week’s Weekly Workshop, on Tuesday and Wednesday at noon, our reference librarians will introduce you to this tool and show you how to keep track of everything you are reading. Visit to sign up for the workshop, bring your laptop with you, and be prepared to become a much more efficient researcher and writer! For a preview, visit our research guide on Zotero (

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Schedule a Research Consultation

Do you have a research paper due this term? Do you want to find the best sources for your topic? Schedule a research consultation! Our reference librarians will work with you to help you find the best strategies and sources for your research project.

To book an appointment, stop by the reference desk, call us at 404-727-0645, or contact us online at We look forward to meeting with you!

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Pitts Closed the Weekend Before Fall Break

The Pitts Theology Library will be closed Saturday, October 7, and Sunday, October 8, in advance of Fall Break (10/9-10/10). For all library hours, visit Enjoy your Fall Break!

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Luther Handwriting Discovery!

A three line inscription on the title page of a 1520 pamphlet from the Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection (pictured above) was recently identified by the German Church Historian Ulrich Bubenheimer as being in the hand of Martin Luther himself!

The author of the pamphlet–a fictitious dialogue critical of Pope Leo X’s bull that threatened Martin Luther with excommunication–was previously unknown. However, Luther’s gift inscription to Wolfgang Wolprecht, Prior of the Augustinian monastery in Nuremberg, allows us to conclude that it was composed by Johannes Petzensteiner (1487-1554), a fellow Augustinian who had come to Wittenberg from Nuremberg to serve as lector.

The inscription reads idest p.[atris] lectoris / Betzensteynn / priori Volfgango Volprechto N[urenbergensi] (= This is Pater Lector Betzensteynn, for Prior Wolfgang Wolprecht of Nuremberg) and follows the printed line Excusum, impensis & opera Iohannis Coticulae. The Latin coticula means whetstone (German Wetzstein), which becomes Betzstein or Petztstein in some German dialects and thus came to serve as a pseudonym for Johannes Petzenstein, who was later one of Luther’s two travel companions (with Nikolaus Amsdorff) on his return to Wittenberg from the Diet of Worms.

We are delighted with this new discovery and with Prof. Bubenheimer’s verification. As Kessler Scholars Advisory Committee member Tim Wengert noted, “Over the course of his career, Prof. Bubenheimer has proved himself to be the premier expert in identifying Luther’s handwriting, having spent his entire career uncovering hitherto unknown inscriptions by Luther. In this particular case, his reconstruction is spot on and helps to show the way other fellow Augustinians supported Luther in the early stages of the Reformation.”

You can compare this new Luther inscription with another item from the Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection: Luther’s handwritten discussion of some problems of chronology in the Old Testament!

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Keep Up With Pitts!

Did you know you could get weekly updates about workshops, events, exhibits, and new resources at Pitts? We send out a concise email every Monday called the Pitts Prospectus, which will keep you in the loop for all things Pitts. You can sign up to receive the Prospectus emails at— you can opt out at any time, but we promise not to get boring!


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Save Time, Use Research Guides!

Did you know that Pitts Theology Library creates guides to save you time and help you with your research? These “guides” are web pages that contain suggested resources for researching a particular topic. Each guide includes general resources and a more focused bibliography, so they are useful for beginners as well as more advanced researchers.

There are guides for almost any topic, particularly the introductory Candler courses this semester: History of Christianity, Old Testament and New Testament, and our overview guide, 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.

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Pitts Theology Library and Emory University Closed Monday September 11th, and Tuesday, September 12th

Due to inclement weather, Emory University and the Pitts Theology Library will be closed on Monday, September 11th, and Tuesday, September 12th. Please know where to seek shelter, know what to do during a weather emergency, stay weather aware, and follow the guidance here. Stay safe!

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Join Us for an Exhibition Tour

The Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection holds over 3,800 works, including over 1,000 publications by Martin Luther himself. In celebration of the collection’s 30th year, this exhibition presents some of the collection’s most significant pieces, including prints by Albrecht Dürer and a note in Luther’s own hand.

We invite you to register for one of the free docent-led tours below:

Pending docent availability, we can arrange tours at other times during library hours as well. To arrange a tour, please contact Rebekah Bedard, Reference Librarian and Outreach Coordinator, at 404-727-5094 or rebekah [dot] bedard [at] emory [dot] edu.

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Pitts Closed for Labor Day

The Pitts Theology Library will be closed Saturday, September 2, through Monday, September 4, in observance of Labor Day. For all library hours, visit Happy Labor Day!

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