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Divinity Library  

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(formerly STERLING and ALADIN)



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Divinity Library



As a component of the Howard University Library System, the Divinity Library supports the teaching and research needs of the School of Divinity and the Howard University community.

The Library of the School of Divinity traces its history to the founding of Howard University. Howard was established originally for the purpose of training "colored preachers and teachers."

Originally located in Douglas Hall, the School of Religion was relocated in the 1930's to the Carnegie Building. The building allowed considerable space for growth. In 1940, Dr Benjamin E. Mays, Dean of the School of Religion, purchased a portion of the Auburn Seminary Library collection when that seminary's library merged with the Union Theological Seminary Library. This single acquisition was a significant factor in the school receiving its first accreditation.

In 1977, the School of Religion moved to 1240 Randolph Street, N.W., marking the inception of the East Campus for Howard University. Although the school had upgraded facilities, there was insufficient space at that site. The space obstacles were removed in 1987, with the relocation of the School of Divinity to its current location. The Divinity Library can now fully realize Dr Mays' vision of a library commensurate with the academic and research interests of the school.


Collection and Services


There are more than 119,00 volumes in the Divinity Library collection. The subject emphasis include biblical studies, reformed theology, church history, ethics, world religions, pastoral counseling, and urban ministries. The Library subscribes to more than 200 periodicals. Retrospective holdings are available in bound format or on microfilm.

The collection also includes the African Heritage Collection, audio tapes from the Howard Thurman Educational Trust; locally produced audio and video tapes of Howard University Divinity School events; and commercially produced films, filmstrips, and videos. The African Heritage Collection was established in the 1960's to document the Civil Rights era and the religious heritage and life/history of African Americans and African diaspora (African American, African Caribbean, Latin American/Hispanic etc.) The Collection includes

  • The personal library of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays;

  • Several first editions and books published in 1940 and before by authors of African Descent;

  • Dissertations and thesis of the School of Divinity (1930's to the present);

  • Vertical files (articles, programs, pamphlets and other ephemeral materials).

The collection is unique within the Washington Metropolitan area and highly depended upon for study and research for the School of Divinity, the Howard University community, the Washington Theological Consortium, and for researchers and scholars of the religious experience of the African Diaspora.


Hours of Operation


 M-Th  8:30a-10:00p
F - Sat  8:30a-5:00p


Contact Us

Carrie M. Hackney 
Head Librarian
(202) 806-0768 
Norman R.Bush
Library Technician II
(202) 806-0767
Eugene Waters
Library Technician I

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