Emory University: Pitts Theology Library

Collection Size: 
505 S. Kilgo Circle NE, Atlanta GA, USA 30322
Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian
Email/Contact Person: 
Director, Pitts Theology Library

Warrington-Pratt-Soule Collection: The core of the hymnody collection at the Pitts Theology Library came to Emory University in 1975 from the Hartford Seminary Foundation’s library as the Warrington-Pratt-Soule Collection of Hymnody and Psalmody (about 8,700 pieces). Together with what Emory held before this acquisition and what has been added since, the hymnody collection now numbers about 18,000 items. Also in the collection are 2,700 hymnals and volumes on hymnology that make up the Wesleyana Collection. The collection is broadly representative of American and English religious traditions (more than 1,300 items from Methodist churches, over 450 from Baptist, and over 550 from Presbyterian) and hymnal compilers (nearly 400 items by the Wesleys, almost 300 by Isaac Watts, over 135 by Lowell Mason), and it includes a rich variety of church music types, from psalm paraphrases (over 600 items) to oblong tunebooks and shape-note hymnals. There are over 9,000 items from the nineteenth century and 8,000 from the twentieth century and over 900 from the eighteenth century. Several sixteenth-century Lutheran hymnals represent the earliest items in the collection. All bibliographic records are searchable electronically through EUCLID, Emory’s online public catalog, or OCLC. In the early 1990s, 4,093 embrittled hymnals, printed between 1800 and 1950, were microfilmed as part of the Research Libraries Group’s Great Collections program. In 1997–1998, the NEH funded a second preservation microfilming project that encompassed over 600 additional embrittled hymnals, which had been more recently acquired. The hymnody collection is stored with the rest of Special Collections in an area with carefully controlled temperature and humidity and with a dry-agent fire-protection system. As opportunity permits, additional manuscript hymnals and hymnals in non-English languages or from other geographical areas may be collected to complement the core collection. Date range: 16th–21st c.