BETH Conference 2019 Day 4: Regent’s Park College & Angus Library

Regent’s Park College

Today delegates to the BETH Conference were able to visit the library at Regent’s Park College, a permanent private hall of the University of Oxford. The pictures below are of the theology and church history sections in the library.

Angus Library and Archive

Within Regent’s Park College is housed the Angus Library and Archive, which holds over 100,000 books and other items in its collection. These consist of the papers of leading Baptist figures from the 18h Century to today, the archive of the Baptist Missionary Society (BMS), as well as historic Baptist church records and minute books. The librarian was kind enough to put out on display some of the more unusual items from the collection, including a copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493), the diaries of the pioneering female medical missionary Dr Ellen Farrer, one of William Carey’s Journals, a Tyndale New Testament, a first edition of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and a necklace made from leopard’s teeth!

BETH Conference 2019 Day 3: Pusey House Library

Pusey House Oxford
Pusey House Oxford

Pusey House was opened in 1884 and is named in memory of Professor Edward Bouverie Pusey, one of the leading members of the Oxford Movement. Pusey bought books that were not in the Bodleian Library. This collection was considered to be very important and so formed the initial library at Pusey House. By all accounts the modern library is a very pleasant place to study.

A Visit to London’s Evangelical Library

A Visit to London's Evangelical Library 19
Last Saturday I was able to spend the best part of the day at the Evangelical Library near Baker Street Station in London. Founded in the 1930’s by Geoffrey Williams the library holds over 80,000 books, plus numerous journals and periodicals. It was this collection of journals that prompted me to renew my membership after an interval of around 15 years and make the trip into the city centre.
A Visit to London's Evangelical Library 20I have to say that I was both impressed and slightly saddened by the experience. It was wonderful to be able to search through the journal room, buried deep within the library, which contains thousands of bound journal volumes, many dating from the 1800’s. A Visit to London's Evangelical Library 21The picture to the right and below left show the journal room. What saddened me was that such a great resource seems to be greatly under-used. Many of the recent journals I looked at seemed never to have been opened before. Like many Christian institutions the library appears to run on a shoe-string and does not have the resources to replace its ailing photocopier. Indeed the copies it produced were so poor that I bought a small scanner to work on my laptop computer and took that along. A Visit to London's Evangelical Library 22I am looking forward to spending another Saturday exploring the journal room later in the year. During the day I was able to scan quite a number of articles which will be appearing on-line in due course.
A Visit to London's Evangelical Library 23If you live within travelling distance of London I would highly recommend a visit. The library also offers a useful postal service for those who live further afield. Such resources deserve our support and should not be allowed to fall into disuse.