The collection supports broad undergraduate instructional needs and the research needs of the faculty in all major areas of religion, with the emphasis on Western Christianity. Holdings are also strong in mythology, South Asian religions, and Judaism. There is overlap with the interests of the Philosophy Department in philosophy of religion and Eastern philosophy. Scripture studies, mysticism, and religion in America will continue to be areas of strong interest. Professional ethics is developing as a topic of concern shared with the Philosophy Department, the professional schools, and the College.
Although no graduate degrees are granted, students participate in numerous advanced seminars and thesis programs. Members of the faculty publish regularly at a high level. The scope of the undergraduate program and the strong research interests of the faculty require that the collection be maintained at a research level. Moreover, publications classified as religion cover such a wide range of subject areas that the collection is heavily used by the College community at large.
Almost everything acquired for religion is maintained in Baker Library, and almost all of it falls into the Library of Congress BL to BX classification. The majority of holdings from pre-1964 is in the Dartmouth Classification R-RZ. There is overlap with the Dana Biomedical Library for some aspects of ethics. Within Baker there is overlap with the social sciences, especially anthropology and sociology. Much of the literature on Pre-Columbian and Asian religions is produced by anthropologists, and as such, is collected by the selector for that area. Overlaps also exist with policy studies, philosophy, psychology, language and literature, and classical studies.
Historically we have collected in all major Western languages. There is a small number of volumes in Hebrew and scattered volumes in Sanscrit and other Asian languages. The Bible collection contains some translations into Native American languages. Important works of scholarship and primary sources are still collected in all Western languages, but there is a de-emphasis on modern works in languages other than English.
There are no particular geographic limitations.
Publication in religion is almost entirely in books and serials. In addition to primary sources, bibliographies, biographies, and histories relating to the study of religion are extensively collected. Apart from the language limitations cited above, there is little material related to religion that is excluded. Pastoral and devotional works, although excluded from the research collection, are being acquired by the Dana Biomedical Library for the hospital's pastoral counseling program.
Publication in religion includes machine-readable text files in addition to the traditional formats of books and serials. This includes the King James Bible now residing on the Dartmouth College Information System as well as MacBible which allows full-text searching in Greek, Hebrew, and English versions of the Bible on a Macintosh computer in the Baker Reference Room.
A number of online services deal with religion and are available through Dialog, BRS and Wilsonline.
Among manuscripts pertaining to religion, are the collected papers of many ministers, several of whom served as presidents and officers of the College. Missionaries to the Native Americans and the Middle East also are represented in manuscripts.
Special Collections houses the records of the Church of Christ at Dartmouth, and other local congregations. Shaker materials are found in both manuscript and print collections, such as the Enfield Papers of Nellie Pierce and the New Hampshire Imprints collection.
A microfilm collection of the Oneida Community is held in the Jones Microtext Center, supplementing the strong collection of Oneida materials housed in Special Collections.
The Bible is represented in an extensive collection of both manuscript and printed volumes in several languages.
February 1991 (William Fontaine)
BL, BM, BP, BQ, BR, BS, BT, BV, BX
Last Updated: 8/8/16