Graduate Theological Union

Special Collections Department

Information at a Glance



Rare books:  over 10,000 books and pamphlets
Archival and manuscript material: over 1300 linear feet


Materials must be requested at least 30 minutes before closing time.
Rare Books: 9 am to 5 pm (submit request at circulation desk)
Archives:  8:30 am to 4 pm (submit request to archivist/special collections)


Archives and Manuscripts



David Stiver,  Special Collections Librarian
510-649-2523 |

Reference assistance is available by email and U.S. mail, as well by phone and in person during office hours. We encourage those planning a visit to contact us in advance.


Information about collections is available online and in hard copy.


To View a Collection at the Library


Basic Rules

  • Materials can only be viewed in the Reading Room.
  • A laptop, paper, and a pencil  may be used in the reading room.
  • Photocopying may be done for individual research purposes only. A Photocopying Agreement must be filled out. Copying of fragile, overly brittle, or faded material is not allowed.
  • Digital Cameras and Scanners Use of a digital camera or scanner to capture images or documents is allowed for certain collections. Please check with the archivist for approval and guidelines.
  • Restrictions If a donor has placed restrictions on donated materials, those restrictions will be observed.


Offsite Service Fees

See Archives or review Offsite Service Fees.


Rare Books


To View a Rare Book

  • Complete a Rare Materials Request Form
  • Adhere to Rare Materials Use Policy
  • Provide a current photo-ID, preferably a driver's license at the Circulation Desk while using the materials
  • Any bags will be stored while the collection is reviewed.


Basic Rules

  • A laptop, paper, and a pencil  may be used in the reading room.
  • Books may only be used in the room arranged for you by library staff
  • Rare materials cannot be checked out or taken out of the library.
  • Rare materials may not be copied by the patron. Any duplication requests should go to the reference librarian or collection development.


Reference Help

Special research needs may be accommodated; please contact the Reference Desk at (510) 649-2501 /


Further Information

Special Collection Policy

Overview of Special Collections

Rare Books

Further information on Use of the Archives

Gifts and Donations

Frankl Collection and Logotherapy

New Religious Movements

Featured Collections

Blog: Notes from the Archives