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History & Mission

The Styberg Library advances the educational mission of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary by expanding access, enhancing the teaching and learning process, empowering research, and facilitating collaboration. The Library serves Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Bexley Seabury Seminary, Northwestern University, and the wider communities of students, pastors, and scholars.

On Thursday, May 11, 2017, The United Library of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary was officially renamed The Ernest and Bernice Styberg Library (“The Styberg Library”) in recognition of the outstanding leadership and financial commitments of Ernest and Bernice Styberg to the seminary.

The formerly-called United Library was established in 1981 when the collections of both Garrett-Evangelical and Seabury-Western (now renamed as Bexley Seabury) Theological Seminaries merged. Today The Styberg Library contains nearly 400,000 volumes, 300 periodical subscriptions, and audio-visual media that are supplemented by a wide array of electronic and digital resources. It is considered one of the top theological research libraries in the United States. Collection distinctives include rare book collections from Methodist and Anglican traditions, ancient Near Eastern studies and biblical archeology; the Keen Bible collection with several outstanding first editions; and manuscript and archival collections including Garrett- Evangelical institutional records, personal papers and church archives of the United Methodist Church Northern Illinois Conference.