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Library Services

The Reverdy C. Ransom Memorial Library is a vital component in the education and research program of Payne Theological Seminary.  It provides bibliographic and physical access to recorded knowledge and information in support of learning, teaching, and research needs of seminary students, staff, faculty and administrators.  The library houses more than 35,000 circulating volumes, audio, and video tapes; and subscribes to several current periodicals and newspapers.  It comprises a unique collection emphasizing African American theological, historical, cultural, and biblical studies.  One full-time professional librarian and a dedicated support staff provide a wide range of services and guidance for maximum use of the library's resources.

The library participates in a variety of cooperative agreements with surrounding libraries.  Reciprocal direct-borrowing privileges network Payne Theological Seminary locally with nearby Wilberforce University, and United Theological Seminary in Dayton, with Methodist Theological School of Ohio and Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, and with Cincinnati Bible Seminary.  An additional six colleges and universities are located within an hour drive.  Their collections provide substantial additional resources for both faculty and students.  Other information can be obtained through the library's interlibrary loan program.

The library’s electronic reference services include "Religion Indexes" on CD-ROM and network access to on-line reference search services.  Online search services and networks include the Internet, OHIONET, OPAL (Ohio Private Academic Libraries), OCLC and the statewide OPLIN (Ohio Public Libraries Information Network).

The rare book collection consists of theological, ecclesiastical, historical, and biblical material primarily pre-dating 1900; some date as early as the 16th century.  The library participates in the American Theological Library Association and the Ohio Theological Library Association.

  • Link to OPAL