The Flora Lamson Hewlett Library

About the Library

The Graduate Theological Union’s main library, the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library in Berkeley, is at the heart of the GTU campus both physically and intellectually. The library building was designed by Louis Kahn, the “architect of light,” and features the distinctive skylight that inspired our GTU logo. We also have a branch library located in the North Bay, on the campus of the San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) in San Anselmo. Both libraries have places for collaboration and group work, silent study, and a helpful staff.

The GTU library is the largest theological library in the West, with more than 700,000 items in its collection. GTU students also have access to the University of California Berkeley Libraries (just a five-minute walk from the GTU Library), as well as the Stanford University Libraries in Palo Alto. These libraries are excellent resources for interdisciplinary topics. The GTU Library subscribes to ninety databases that support the study of religion, as well as approximately 34,000 digital journal titles. Faculty, students, and alumni can access all these resources remotely through the Library’s website. In addition, we have relationships with seminary and theological libraries all over the country through the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) reciprocal borrowing program, so if you are writing your dissertation from your hometown or just traveling, you are never far from a library you can use.

One of the greatest strengths of the GTU library is the religious diversity of the collection. We purchase books and journals from many viewpoints, as what might be taboo to some is sacred text to others. The librarians love to receive suggestions for purchases, so if there is a topic in theology that is underrepresented in the collection, let us know and we’ll be happy to look into buying it; however, you might be pleasantly surprised at the breadth and diversity of what you can find here. We have a large and unique selection of archival materials and special collections, including Sanctuary Movement Collections, the Edith Stein Collection, Viktor Frankl Logotherapy Collection, and New Religious Movements Research Collections.

Our knowledgeable staff is available to help you navigate your research at either location, and are available for one-on-one research consultations. We offer research workshops to help students save time and work smarter, and many of the required PhD and MA courses are held right in the library to have easy access to the librarians and the collection. If you are thinking about coming to the GTU and have questions, just chat us, call, email or visit; we are happy to help!

For a brief history of the library, see this page.

The GTU Libraries by the numbers
700000

Items in our collection

3rd largest theological library in the United States

10000000

Items to Access

Via UC Berkeley, 4th largest university library in the country

30

Academic Databases

Available to search in our libraries

120

Individual Study Carels

Available for use in our libraries

1651

Linear Feet

of Archival and Special Collections to browse

67

Comfy Spots to Sit and Study

Armchairs, couches, and benches

20

20 Student Computers

including access to specialized theological software

168

Study Spots at a Table

Within our libraries for student use

Contact Us

Ask a librarian by email at library@gtu.edu, by phone at 510-649-2501, or via live chat from our library homepage.