Bringing to Light Dewey Rareties


To provide better access to our rare publications, we propose converting 1600 linear feet of our rare book library from Dewey classification (with access only through a unique and actual card catalogue) to Library of Congress electronic format. This will involve 25,000 to 30,000 books, some of which will be bound manuscripts, broadsides, or pamphlets in need of reclassification as a record group. When identified, those manuscripts will be placed, along with new finding aids, into our manuscript, pamphlet, or broadside collection. The finding aids will be available electronically, through our website listings, as is the current case for original manuscript records ( The American Baptist-Samuel Colgate Historical Library has 16,000 linear feet of manuscripts, broadsides, images, books, pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, with 10 percent (1613 linear feet) needing conversion from Dewey to LC or archival classification. Founded in 1853, the American Baptist Historical Society has collected the range of church historical materials, with missionaries and pastors serving as collectors. All types of Baptists are included, with the collection enhanced in 1955 by a merger with the library of Samuel B. Colgate. Rare holdings include 16th century Anabaptist writings in German, Dutch, and English and the largest collection anywhere of reports by regional Baptist associations of Germans, Danish, Swedish, American Indians and African Americans.


Cataloging Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded

Year Added



American Baptist Historical Society


  • judith brook

Collection Size

1600 linear feet, 28000 objects

Date Range

1522 - 1980

Geographic Scope

The collection is strongest in North American materials, with extensive mission records for Burma, India, China, Belgian Congo, and the Philippines.