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Our collection includes over 40,000 books and periodicals. Besides Unitarian Universalist history and theology, our collection focuses on comparative religion and social ethics, as well as new areas of interest including ecology and science. Search our catalog to discover books and journals in the library collection. Rare books and theses are not included in the catalog. For information about rare books, contact the Archivist. For information about theses or the library collection, contact the Library Assistant.
The Wiggin Library subscribes to a number of electronic databases, which include access to WorldCat, a catalog of thousands of holding libraries across the globe, and various electronic journals available through FirstSearch or EBSCO. Many of our electronic resources require a username and password. Contact the Library Assistant to request logon information. For a list of electronic resources, visit our links and resources page, which includes links to many free academic online resources.
To learn more about our resources and services, explore the tabs below or visit our frequently asked questions page.
Most Wiggin Library books are checked out through the mail. Our collection is available to members of the Meadville Lombard community as well as UU religious professionals, lay UUs, and researchers. Different types of users have different item limits and circulation periods, as explained in this chart:
*Students are those library users who are currently enrolled in a course at MLTS or another seminary for MLTS credit, including students who are working on a thesis or other endcap project. Students who are not currently enrolled or are on official leave of absences from MLTS are considered to be members of the UU community.After searching the catalog to confirm that we have the book, email the Library Assistant to request a copy. Make sure to include the book title and author, as well as your mailing address. Patrons in the Chicago area may visit the library in person by making an appointment with the Library Assistant. Items can be renewed by email, phone, or in person. Patrons visiting the library in person should bring their MLTS ID card (visitors can bring a photo ID if they don't have an MLTS ID).
All books must be returned on or before the last day of spring semester unless prior arrangements have been made with the library staff. Students with checked out items or outstanding fines will be unable to graduate until they have returned all library items and settled any fines with the library.
All users are responsible for returning their library items by the item due date. Late, lost, and/or damaged items will be fined at the following rates:
Library notices are a courtesy. Failure to receive a notice is not a basis for altering or waiving a fine. Failure to return or renew items, or to pay overdue fines, will result in a suspension of your library account. It may also result in a hold placed on a student's account.
For more information about library fines and fees, read the Library and Archives Policies.
Reserve materials circulate to MLTS students and faculty currently registered for the class using the item. Reserve books can be checked out in person or through the mail. Students can check out up to three reserve books at one time. During Intensives, reserve books circulate for use overnight or during class. Reserve books that are checked out for us in class must be shared with other students. Outside of Intensives, reserve books circulate for two weeks (including shipping). Reserve books cannot be recalled or renewed. All reserve books are due back in the library two weeks before classes begin.
Course reserve books that are returned late may be subject to late fees of $1.00/circulation period. A circulation period is defined as either a business day (8:30-5:30) or overnight (5:30-8:30) during Intensives, or one full day during the rest of the year.
Periodicals, pamphlets, rare books, reference materials, archival materials, and MTS theses are non-circulating. Except for copying, non-circulating materials must be used in the Archive Study Room. Any other use requires written permission from a library staff member.
Although the Wiggin Library has an excellent collection of books and periodicals, there may be items that you need and we don't own. You can request articles from other libraries by filling out the form on the right side of the page, or by sending an email to the Library Assistant with a full bibliographic citation. Although you can format your citation anyway you'd like, a full citation in the Chicago style includes:
Author name, "Article Title," Journal Title Volume number, Issue number: Article pages.
For more information about formatting citations, visit the Purdue University OWL site, or your preferred website for citation styles.
After your ILL request has been received, the Library Assistant will contact you to let you know that the request has been placed. Copies of articles are usually received within three business days (although this can vary) and will be sent to you as a PDF unless otherwise requested.
Due to the logistics of mailing items back and forth, the Wiggin Library is unable to request books through interlibrary loan for students outside of the Chicago area. There may be a library near you with which we have reciprocal borrowing privileges; look at the "Using Other Libraries" tab on this page for more information. If you are not near a partner library, contact the Library Assistant for assistance in finding a copy of the book near you.
Using Other Libraries
Because the library is a member of several library associations, MLTS students, faculty, and staff have borrowing privileges at other libraries in the Chicago area and across the country.
In order to check books out from member libraries of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools, you will need an ACTS borrower ID card. An ACTS ID card can be obtained from the Library Assistant, and must be renewed every 6 months. A full list of the ACTS libraries and their locations can be found on the ACTS Library Council website. Users should check the policies at individual libraries for more information about borrowing policies.
Although no formal agreement exists, reciprocal borrowing is one of the Chicago Area Theological Library Association (CATLA)'s founding principles. The Wiggin Library lends books to users with valid ID cards from CATLA member libraries. A full list of CATLA libraries can be found on the CATLA website. Users should check the policies at individual libraries for information about their borrowing policies, and should contact individual libraries to ensure that they will honor this informal agreement.
The Wiggin Library is a member of the American Theological Library Association and participates in the ATLA Reciprocal Borrowing Program, which connects MLTS students, faculty, and staff with theological libraries across the country. MLTS students will need proof of current enrollment to use this program. More information about the program and a full list of participating libraries can be found on the Reciprocal Borrowing Program webpage. Users should check the policies at individual libraries for information about their borrowing policies.
MLTS students, faculty, and staff have borrowing privileges at the University of Chicago libraries as part of the Hyde Park Seminaries. They must have a valid MLTS ID card and a current ACTS card, and will need to visit the University of Chicago ID & Privileges Office. More information about using the University of Chicago libraries can be found on their website.
Journal of Liberal Religion
Click here to view archived copies of the Journal of Liberal Religion. Other issues are availabe by request to the Library Assistant.
About the Wiggin Library
The Wiggin Library has been a cornerstone of Meadville Lombard since its beginning in 1844. The library was founded by Frederic Huidekoper, son of our founder and Meadville Lombard's first professor and librarian, who put his personal library at the disposal of the institution. The Wiggin Library is now a technology focused center that is one of the foremost resources for the study of liberal religion. Our emphasis on technology has allowed us to work collaboratively with the greater world and share our collection, developing an innovative way to use and access our resources.
In addition to the many materials in Unitarian and Universalist history and theology, the library offers excellent resources in philosophy and nineteenth-century American culture and thought, as well as in comparative religion and social ethics. Meadville Lombard is focused on the future: our library collection now includes a number of resources for new areas of concern such as ecology, religion, and science.
The Wiggin Library contains over 40,000 volumes and 120 currently received periodicals, as well as dozens of runs of historical serials. Of particular value are our digitized Universalist perodicals, pamphlets, and archival materials that can be accessed through our Universalist Holdings website. We also boast papers and collections from some of our most prominent ministers, including: William Ellery Channing, Jenkin Lloyd Jones, A. Powell Davies, Charles Lyttle, Jack Mendelsohn, Kenneth Patton, Vincent B. Silliman, Arthur Foote, John Hayward, and Wallace Robbins.
The Meadville Lombard collection is open to all and can be accessed using our online catalog. We also encourage you to access the archival, manuscript, and religious education collections, which can be arranged by contacting a librarian. Information about accessing the Wiggin Library resources can be found in our Library Guide.
In addition to Meadville Lombard's own outstanding collection of resources, we collaborate with the University of Chicago and the libraries at other ACTS schools, to provide our students with extensive resources to enhance their studies.
Finding Your Material
Access Video Collections
Please email the Library Assistant for login credentials.
Request an Article
If you can't find a journal article that you need for your research, fill out this form to request the article through interlibrary loan. You will receive an email from a member of the library staff when your request is received and filled.
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday - 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, or by appointment with the Library Assistant*
*Hours expand during Intensives and Convocations when students are on campus. Please check the calendar for specific Open Hours during these times.
We welcome your gifts of financial support. Buy a book for the library!
If you wish to donate papers or a personal collection, please contact Director of the Library, Rana Hutchinson Salzmann.
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