The A.R. Wentz Library

The A. R. Wentz Library serves the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, the oldest of the eight seminaries supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

The seminary's library was begun when the Evangelical Lutheran General Synod in the United States of North America commissioned Benjamin Kurtz to go to Europe to solicit contributions of money and books for its new seminary, established in 1826 at Gettysburg. For many years, the library was housed in the seminary's primary classroom and office building; the Wentz Library building was constructed in 1947, when the need for more spacious quarters became paramount. A substantial addition to the building was opened in 1982. At present, the library collection numbers approximately 225,000 volumes, with nearly 300 active periodical subscriptions. In addition to monographs and journals, the library’s collection includes video cassettes, a small number of music CDs and audio cassettes, a few films, CD-ROMs, all theses written for the degree programs of the seminary, a large collection of microforms, and the manuscripts and files of the Seminary Archives.

Also housed in the library building and administered by a library assistant archivist (as of May 2010) is the Region 8 Archives of the ECLA. The assistant archivist is available during the day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 

The primary clientèle of the Wentz Library is the faculty, students and staff of the Seminary. Alumni, local pastors and congregational leaders, church officials, students from nearby educational institutions, and the interested general public also use the library's collections. Gettysburg Seminary is part of the ELCA's Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries, along with the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC. The seminary is also a member of the Washington Theological Consortium (WTC), an ecumenical group of seminaries in the Washington, D.C. vicinity. In addition, Wentz Library is a member of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Theological Library Association (SEPTLA). Students, faculty and staff from all member institutions in these groups are permitted to use and borrow from Wentz Library's collections. Wentz Library enjoys a cordial relationship with Gettysburg College’s Musselman Library, including reciprocal use and circulation of materials. Students may also use and borrow from the theology library at Mt. St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD.