Never Enough Singing: Essays in Honor of Seth Kasten Now Open Access

Submitted by Melody Layton McMahon, Paul Bechtold Library, Catholic Theological Union

“This small volume is a labor of love on the part of current and past members of the ATLA choir, the rather ragtag group of sometime singers.” So began the preface to the 2011 edition of Never Enough Singing: Essays in Honor of Seth Kasten, published by ATLA to honor Seth on his retirement. Seth had been the Reference and Collection Development Librarian at Burke Library at the Union Theological Seminary (now a part of the Columbia University Libraries) from 1973 until the time of his retirement. He served on the ATLA Board of Directors and compiled a yearly list of reference books published in religion and theology, a collection development must-have for those who were assigned this particular task.

I had the great pleasure of inviting this “ragtag group” to write for this book, a collection of essays about hymns and other sacred music. It was a wonderful outpouring of love and respect for Seth who pulled together this group to sing each year at the Annual Conference at various worship experiences and at the memorials for those ATLA members who had died the previous year.

Now ATLA has organized the digitization of the book and is making it freely available in the open access book project. These twenty-four essays, including ones about the ATLA hymn, “O God, Our Help of Ages Past” and “The Kontakian,” which was a part of the ritual of many years of memorials, not only provide a wealth of information about and reflection on these particular hymns, but also provide a slice of the history of ATLA when singing was still a part of the entire experience of being together with other theological librarians.

The book is available at

Please be sure to catalog and add it to your collection!

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