Studying in the Library

Bishop Payne Library

“Seek the Truth, Come Whence it May, Cost What it Will.”

The Bishop Payne Library building is open to:

Currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff of VTS                            VTS Contextual Ministry supervisors                                                     VTS faculty emeriti                                                                                   VTS alumni                                                                                               Washington Theological Consortium

 

The library building is closed to the public.

 

Questions? Contact us at paynelib@vts.edu or 703-461-1733.

 

Local Clergy: contact us to renew or obtain library privileges.

Private Researchers: contact us for an appointment.

 

The book drop is located outside, in front of the library building.           Please return all books there.

 

Current Library Hours

Starting May 31, 2022 Summer Hours
     Monday      9:00 am – 5:00 pm
     Tuesday      9:00 am – 9:00 pm
     Wednesday – Friday      9:00 am – 5:00 pm
     Saturday – Sunday      CLOSED

 

Virginia Theological Seminary COVID Guidelines:

Masks are optional inside all buildings.

 

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Catalog and Electronic Resources

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Library Services and Information

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Collection Development and Access Policy

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Seminary Archives and the AAEHC

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“Our passion is to help you go deeper in your faith and
vocation through reading, research, and resources.”

The Bishop Payne Library is located on the campus of the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. The library serves seminary students and their families, faculty and staff, as well as local clergy and Christian educators, students and faculty of the Washington Theological Consortium and VTS alumni.

The Bishop Payne Library holds over 250,000 volumes and provides access to 300,000 ebook titles and 2,000 periodicals. The Library is also home to the Seminary Archives and the African-American Episcopal Historical Collection.

Catalog & Electronic Resources

 

Catalog

Search the catalog here: Bishop Payne Library Catalog

 

Electronic Resources

VTS faculty, staff and currently registered students can access these resources with a valid library card.

Start your search here: BPL Electronic Resources Guide

girl studying

Anyone:

Click here for freely available electronic resources accessible to anyone on the Internet.

View Resources

“Seek the Truth, Come Whence It May, Cost What It Will.”

This motto, inscribed on the entryway of the Bishop Payne Library, sums up the library’s purpose on campus: to facilitate the search for God’s truth through the educational experience at VTS. As the research center on campus, the library’s mission is to provide patrons with research assistance in utilizing the library’s rich collections.

The Bishop Payne Library staff includes four professional librarians, two archivists, and support staff to assist patrons in their research. It is the policy of the Library to provide all patrons with professional, equitable, and courteous reference assistance.

Reference assistance is available to faculty, staff, students, and the general public upon request.

Please Note: the library building is closed to the public.

Members of the VTS Community automatically have borrowing privileges and may obtain a library card at the library circulation desk. Students, student & faculty spouses/partners, staff, Board of Trustees members, and Evening School students may borrow books from the circulating collection for a four-week period. Faculty members may borrow circulating materials until the end of the academic year, subject to recall if needed by another member of the VTS Community. Adjunct instructors may borrow circulating materials until the end of the semester, subject to recall if needed by another member of the VTS Community.

Students enrolled in a degree program at VTS have access to all of the resources of the Bishop Payne Library, whether on campus or at a distance.

The library building is open to all VTS alumni.

One of the privileges of your degree from VTS is life-time borrowing privileges at the Bishop Payne Library.

Alumni may request to have print books shipped to their home or work address in the United States. The Bishop Payne Library will pay for outgoing shipping costs via UPS, and alumni are responsible for return shipping costs. Please note that items may be recalled for use by another member of the VTS community, and may require prompt return.

The library is not able to place holds or borrow items from other libraries via interlibrary loan (ILL) for alumni.

The library building is open to Washington Theological Consortium patrons.

WTC students who are enrolled in VTS courses will have in-person access to the library building as well as electronic/online access to all course resources for the duration of the course. Please contact us at contact us at 703-461-1733 or paynelib@vts.edu for further assistance.

The library is not able to place holds or borrow items from other libraries via interlibrary loan (ILL) for WTC patrons.

The library catalog is available at any time at http://librarycatalog.vts.edu.
Patrons may access their library accounts from the catalog page.
On the right side of the page, under “My Library”, click on “My Account.”
Enter your last name (ex. Smith) and the full library barcode from your library card (ex. BVTS0000000000). The barcode must include all digits, but no spaces, and is case sensitive.
Once access to your record has been attained, you are able to see what items you currently have checked out and renew items that are eligible for renewal. Items eligible for renewing are those that have not been renewed yet, on or before the due date, with no outstanding fines.

While enrolled as a student, you have access to the library’s electronic resources, including ATLA Religion, EBSCO’s Philosophy and Religion collection, and Psych Abstracts, among others. These databases can be found at http://vts.libguides.com/eresourcesBysubject.
If you are trying to access resources away from campus, the system will need to validate you as a currently enrolled student. To do this, you will be asked to enter your full name and your library barcode.
Many of the articles in these databases are full-text so that you will be able to get access from anywhere.
To gain access to articles that are not found full-text but are available at the Bishop Payne Library, notify the library through paynelib@vts.edu and the staff will copy and send the article to you at a charge of five cents per page.

InterLibrary Loan

While on campus, a student may request items that are not owned by the Bishop Payne Library through InterLibrary Loan – ILL. These items must be used within the library while the student is in residence.

Due to the nature of the ILL system, books are loaned from one library to another. Therefore, the borrowed items cannot be mailed to a third party.

If you need assistance in obtaining materials via ILL, please contact Kathy Graham at kgraham@vts.edu.

While on campus, a student may request items that are not owned by the Bishop Payne Library through InterLibrary Loan – ILL. These items must be used within the library while the student is in residence.

Due to the nature of the interlibrary loan system, books are loaned from one library to another. Therefore, the borrowed items cannot be mailed to a third party.

If you need assistance in obtaining materials via ILL, please contact Kathy Graham at kgraham@vts.edu.

Remember:

Please feel free to contact us with your research questions by phone at 703-461-1733 or by e-mail at paynelib@vts.edu.

Archives

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Virginia Theological Seminary Archives is to solicit, collect, arrange, describe, preserve, and make available the historical records of the origin, development, programs, ministry, influence, liturgical practices, and people of Virginia Theological Seminary and the Bishop Payne Divinity School. Please see our Collections page and collection development policy for more information about our holdings.

The VTS Archives is also the proud home of the African American Episcopal Historical Collection (AAEHC), a joint project with the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church to document the experience of African Americans in the life and ministry of the Episcopal Church.

View Seminary Archives

Seminary Archives

For general reference: AskArchives@vts.edu

Seminary Archives

AAEHC

For general reference: AskAAEHC@vts.edu

AAEHC