Category Archives: Features

Luther, Barth, and Movements of Theological Renewal

Submitted by Ginny Landgraf, ATLA Indexer-Analyst 

In June I attended the 2017 Karl Barth conference organized by the Center for Barth Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary Library.  Karl Barth (1886-1968), Swiss Reformed theologian, continues to spur lively thought nearly fifty years after his death.

2017 ATLA Annual Conference Wrap Up

Submitted by Denise McFarlin, ATLA Meeting Specialist

The 2017 ATLA Annual Conference, Southern Harmony: The Human Touch in the Digital Age, was held in Atlanta, Georgia, June 14-17. The conference was a tremenous success and attracted a crowd of 300 members, exhibitors, and international guests. With the help of the Local Host Committee, comprised of representatives from Columbia Theological Seminary, Pitts Theology Library-Candler School of Theology-Emory University, Erskine Theological Seminary, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center – The Interdenominational Theological Center, and Mercer University-McAfee School of Theology, we experienced “Southern Harmony “ in every aspect of the conference.

Held at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, the location provided everything imaginable within walking distance. It was a mix of premium shopping, a range of dining options from upscale to fast food, and for the young at heart, a carnival. In addition, we had great programming, speakers, and excursions that only complimented our stay. Our Local Hosts did a wonderful job on all of the ideas and events that were prepared for our conference attendees.

“Religious Change, 1450-1700” Explores Impact of Religion and Print on Society

Submitted by Joel Schorn, ATLA Metadata Analyst 

To coincide with the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, the Newberry Library in Chicago is hosting a multimedia project, “Religious Change, 1450-1700,” which traces “how religion and print challenged authority, upended society, and made the medieval world modern,” the project’s website says.

The brick-and-mortar anchor of the project is a gallery exhibition at the library, “Religious Change and Print, 1450-1700” (opening September 14, 2017). This exhibit draws on over 150 objects from the Newberry’s collection to show how people of the time—like preachers, teachers, travelers, writers, and printers—experienced the Reformation and the rapid changes that the interrelationship of religion and print media brought about.

The Future of Early Christian Studies

Submitted by Barnaby Hughes, ATLA CPLI Metadata Analyst

This was my second year attending the annual meeting of the North American Patristics Society (NAPS) in Chicago, held May 25-27, 2017. It’s a rather traditional academic association: most members are male, suited and bearded; papers are typically read; handouts are more common than PowerPoint presentations. Most presenters appear to be graduate students or nontenured faculty, so much of the research is fresh, though somewhat tentative.

Testimony: Using MarcEdit and OCLC Connexion to Enhance Bibliographic Records in a Batch

This article was previously featured in Vol. 25, No. 3 of Theology Cataloging Bulletin (TCB), an ATLA member publication. Testimony is a feature in TCB that gives a place for members of the technical services community to share their stories. We felt this testimony was applicable to the wider community and have since published it below for you.

Submitted by Christa Strickler, Assistant Professor of Library Science, Buswell Memorial Library, Wheaton College

With the tight budgets common to libraries these days, cataloging departments search for ways to add value while streamlining processes. At Buswell Memorial Library (Wheaton College, IL), we’ve developed a method for enhancing our records with contents notes to make them more searchable for our users, then adapted that method to add Library of Congress Classification (LCC) numbers in preparation for a reclassification project.

Digital Spotlight: Digitization Cost Calculator

Submitted by Andy Carter, ATLA Digital Projects Manager

Planning for a possible digitization project requires cost and time estimates for which there are few good models. Digitization is ubiquitous in libraries, museums, and archives in the 21st century, but due to the variance of institution type, available resources, and experience with digitization workflows, it is difficult to extrapolate metrics that can be reused. The Digital Library Federation Assessment Interest Group, recognizing the need, has been working to build and refine a digitization cost calculator.

A Relational Database of Syriac and Arabic Historical Registers and Archives

Submitted by Dr. Iskandar Bcheiry, ATLA Metadata Analyst 


At the 2017 ATLA Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, I will present a plan to create a database of historical registers and archives belonging to the Syriac community. These historical resources are found in various libraries in the world, and I will focus especially on the Library of the Forty Martyrs in Mardin/Turkey. The database would offer direct access to scholars and students of Syriac studies, Near East Christian studies, and Ottoman history to the registers and archives and the possibility to examine the copies of original documents as well as the possibility to search a word in the documents.

Digital Spotlight: DPLA Fest 2017

Submitted by Andy Carter, ATLA Digital Projects Manager

On April 20-21, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) brought its annual conference to the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago’s South Loop. Several hundred librarians, archivists, and technologists enjoyed two days of presentations and lightning talks on the present and future of the DPLA.

Change was the unofficial theme of the proceedings as Dan Cohen, Executive Director of the DPLA, had announced his departure prior to the conference. The hydra-in-a-box platform adopted an official name for its product under development: Hyku. And the DPLA updated on a major technological change as it moved its aggregating workflow from OAI-PMH to ResourceSync; a move that reduced ingest times from hours to minutes. Given the centrality of the DPLA and the alignment of many institutions around DPLA standards, their technological shifts are followed closely.

Notes from the Road: University of Toronto

University of Toronto
Submitted by Roger Morales, ATLA Member Programs Librarian

While attending the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference in Toronto, Canada, I had the pleasure of visiting various great libraries within the University of Toronto library system. For those who are not familiar with the University of Toronto, the university operates under a similar model to the European organization system where colleges exist under the larger umbrella of The University of Toronto.

I made it just in time for one of the last snowfalls of the season typical of this time of year. Despite some snow and winds, I toured the Gerstein Science and Medicine Library and six libraries at member schools of the Toronto School of Theology (TST) including: Emmanuel College Library, Caven Library at Knox College, Regis College Library, Kelly Library at University of St. Michael’s College, and John W. Graham Library at Trinity and Wycliffe Colleges.

Notes from the Road: The Franciscan School of Theology, Oceanside, CA

Submitted by Andy Carter, ATLA Digital Projects Manager

While in Los Angeles for the Code4Lib 2017 conference, I had the pleasure of riding an Amtrak train down the coast to visit the Franciscan School of Theology (FST), and ATLA Member Institution located in Oceanside, California. I was there to meet with their Library Director, Carl Adkins. FST is the only remaining Franciscan seminary/theology school in the United States.

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