Princeton Theological Seminary Library

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25 Library Place, Princeton NJ, USA 08540
Greek, Latin, French, Asian, American Indian
Lutheran, Mennonite, Moravian, Presbyterian, Reformed, Schwenkfelder
New Jersey

The Louis F. Benson Hymnology Collection This collection was originally received by the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1931 from the estate of Louis Fitzgerald Benson. Benson was the author of a number of works on Christian hymnody, including Studies of Familiar Hymns (1903,1923); The English Hymn—Its Development and Use in Worship (1915); and The Hymnody of the Christian Church (1927). He also edited several hymnals, wrote original hymn texts and translated hymns from the Latin. While the collection especially reflects Benson’s interest in the hymnody of the Presbyterian and Reformed tradition, virtually every aspect of hymnology, apart from musical scores and anthems, finds good representation in the collection. There are many editions of the metrical psalms, hymnbooks of all the major Protestant denominations and sects, hymnbooks edited without ecclesiastical sanction, Sunday School hymnals, gospel and children’s hymnbooks, religious poetry and books about hymns and hymn writers. There are many rare editions, particularly of English, Scottish and early American hymnbooks. There are excellent materials for researching German traditions of hymnody (Lutheran, Reformed, Moravian, Mennonite and Schwenkfelder) and significant representation of materials from other European traditions as well (e.g. Greek, Latin, and French.) There are representative pieces from Asian and Native American hymn traditions. Louis Benson’s personal papers on hymnology are also available. Benson left an endowment to maintain and upgrade the collection and new hymnals and hymnological works are added regularly in English and other languages. There are currently over 12,000 titles in the Benson Collection. The seminary’s holdings, including those in the Special Collections, may be accessed via the seminary library’s web page. 15th century-present.