Being the first seminary established for the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States, the Library has an extensive collection of Methodist materials, covering General Conferences, Annual Conferences, Disciplines, hymnals, journals, histories and biographies.
A collection of nearly 400 eighteenth-century Wesley publications is built upon the gift of William Henry Meredith. In addition, there is a large selection of nineteenth-century editions and biographies, a gift of the New England United Methodist Historical Society.
This library collection contains many nineteenth and twentieth century editions of Wesley works, plus biographies and commentaries.
The on-site availability of the New England Conference Commission on Archives and History collection adds greater depth to the study of Methodist in the New England Region. The collection includes manuscript histories and memoirs, as well as extensive records of the New England Conference and its predecessors.
The Boston University School of Theology was founded in 1839 as a project of the Boston Wesleyan Association. Beginning with the appointment of Rev. John Dempster in 1842, books were collected for the project, at first housed at the Newbury (VT) Biblical Institute under the directorship of Rev. Osman Baker, and later moved to Concord, N.H., with the incorporation of the Methodist General Biblical Institute in 1848. The Institute moved to Boston in 1868 to become the founding school of Boston University. Still preserved are several hundred books from the pre-Boston days.
The New England Methodist Historical Society, after tentative beginnings in 1859, was incorporated in 1881 and established a library for the study of Methodism. The Society became the repository for the New England Conference and later the Southern New England Conference. In the early 1950’s, the collection was moved to the Boston University School of Theology. It includes works by and about John and Charles Wesley, biographies, early church and town histories, family histories, Methodist hymnals, sermons, and other books relating to general Methodism.