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The Theological Commons was initiated and developed by Princeton Theological Seminary, where the Digital Collections unit of the library continues to maintain, enhance, and expand it.

Henry Luce Foundation

In 2013, the Henry Luce Foundation awarded Princeton Theological Seminary a very generous grant of $1.5 million. The grant makes possible the expansion of the Theological Commons in two important directions:

  • Digitizing and providing access to audio and visual materials (photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, and possibly three-dimensional material objects) will allow resources in advanced digital media to become a key part of the study of theology and related fields.
  • Digitizing and providing access to theological material published in or focused on Africa, Asia, and Latin America will provide resources of relevance to diverse communities of faith around the globe.

Digitization made possible by this grant is ongoing. Currently, over 5,800 recordings from the Princeton Theological Seminary Media Archive (1940–1999) are now publicly available, representing the first audio-visual content in the Theological Commons. Also under way is the digitization of materials from Princeton Theological Seminary’s deep collection of Latin American books and periodicals. Browse the Latin America Collection.

Internet Archive and participating libraries

The extensive collection of digital texts (books, periodicals, and theses) in the Theological Commons is the result of a long-standing partnership between Princeton Theological Seminary and the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building and maintaining a free and openly accessible online digital library. Princeton Theological Seminary Library houses one of the Internet Archive’s regional scanning centers and routinely submits materials from the Seminary’s deep collection of out-of-copyright books to the Internet Archive for digitization, through funding from Princeton Theological Seminary. From 2008 to the present, this partnership has produced over 30,000 digital texts.

In addition, the Theological Commons incorporates digital texts from numerous other libraries that have contributed materials to the Internet Archive for digitization, including University of Toronto, Library of Congress, University of California Libraries, and New York Public Library. Browse by contributor.

Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church

In 2014, the Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church Foundation (Dallas, Texas) bestowed a gift of $25,000 to honor their senior pastor, Dr. Blair Monie, on the occasion of his retirement. The Chair of the Foundation wrote: “Dr. Monie and our congregation share a passion for helping seminary students prepare for ministry, and our hope is that this gift will help advance theological scholarship worldwide.”

Thanks to this gift, Princeton Theological Seminary was able to digitize 543 books, totaling over 230,000 pages. Browse the Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church collection.

San Marino Community Church

In 2014, the Foundation of San Marino Community Church (San Marino, California) bestowed a gift of $20,000 to Princeton Theological Seminary to digitize content for the Theological Commons. This gift was made as part of the church’s celebration of its 70th anniversary. A letter announcing the gift stated: “The congregation is blessed to be able to assist other ministries in building for the future through the mission component of its anniversary celebration.”

Thanks to this gift, Princeton Theological Seminary was able to digitize 355 books, totaling over 187,000 pages. Browse the San Marino Community Church collection.

Waldensian Church (Chiesa Valdese)

In October 2013, the Waldensian Church in Italy (Chiesa Valdese), through its participation in Italy’s Otto per Mille program, awarded Princeton Theological Seminary €25,000 (approximately $33,000) to expand the collection of books and periodicals in the Theological Commons.

Although the grant placed no restrictions on the subject matter of texts to be digitized, as a gesture of appreciation Princeton Seminary Library staff selected materials that included, among other subjects, works that are either directly related to the Waldensian movement or relevant to the study of its history.

Through this grant, Princeton Theological Seminary was able to digitize 736 volumes of books and periodicals, totaling over 250,000 pages, including the full run of Bollettino della Società di studi valdesi (1884–present). Browse the Chiesa Valdese collection.

Icons for formats (book, periodical, thesis, etc.) were designed by Freepik from Flaticon licensed under CC BY 3.0.