Borrowing and Research Support

Picture of Book Stacks

BU has over 2.4 million physical items (like books, microform, etc.) and access to countless academic journals. Remember: Bookmark the Theology Library’s website,, and visit us for all your research needs! Search books and articles with the BU Libraries search, access the ATLA Religion Database and other databases, our Archival Database, interlibrary loan and more!

Faculty Borrowing Policies

Your BU ID (Terrier Card) is your library card!  As a BU faculty member, you have access to all libraries at Boston University, including Mugar Memorial Library. Most faculty are able to borrowing items in circulating collections at all libraries at Boston University, including the Theology Library, for a period of one year. All borrowed materials are subject to recall from other users; if recalled, the due date is changed to one week from date of recall. Please note, during the COVID-19 pandemic, this timeframe has been extended to two weeks.

Theology Library items will automatically renew as long as you are affiliated with Boston University (this occurs four days before the listed due date). Items from other libraries at Boston University may need to be renewed manually. You will receive a courtesy notice as these items are coming due. Visit here to monitor your account, renew items, and place view recalls and requests. You can return items from any BU library (including Mugar Memorial Library) to the Theology Library.

We have a large archives/research collection that specializes in bible collections, Methodism (including the New England Conference Archives), missiology, hymnology, and STH history. Learn more about access to our archival and research collections. Other libraries at Boston University have non-circulating collections, or collections that may be limited. Please reach out to that institution to see what their policies are.

The School of Theology Library does not charge fines or fees for overdue material. If an item is lost, we instead ask for you to purchase a replacement copy for the library. Contact the library staff at once you discover a library item has been lost.

If a borrowed item is recalled by another patron, you will receive courtesy notices to your BU email address with the new due date. Please abide by the new due date and return the requested items as soon as possible; you will be blocked from further borrowing at the library if items are marked lost on your account.

Upon leaving the university, please make sure your library account is clear and all items have been returned to the library.

Interlibrary Loan

You are not limited to just BU libraries! Borrow from libraries throughout Boston through our agreements with the Boston Library Consortium (BLC) and the Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium (BTI). Furthermore, we are able to request books that we don’t own from libraries throughout the world! Learn more about interlibrary loan here. Please note that you must abide by the due dates and policies of other institutions.


View key databases available to faculty on our databases page, curated specifically for School of Theology affiliates.

Accessing Collections during COVID-19

The 2020-2021 Academic Year is unlike any other. The School of Theology Library is committed to providing new services, and increasing exisiting services, to better meet the needs of faculty and staff alike during this school year. For example, the library is offering new access options, including contactless pickup, scanning-on-demand, and mailing of Theology Library materials.

Digital Theology Lab

Digital Humanities is an emerging field that fuses traditional humanities disciplines with new digital technologies to provide new insights about a topic. The Digital Theology Lab at the Boston University School of Theology seeks to connect creative innovators in our community with the tools to make their digital humanities projects in theological education a reality, by providing a curated toolkit of valuable resources available to creators (hardware, software, and other) to get projects off the ground.

Suggest a Book Purchase

We love to hear from our patrons and are always interested in knowing what books are important in your research. Please fill out this Suggest a Book Purchase form if you would like to suggest a book for the library to purchase. *Please note that we cannot guarantee that we will acquire the book, but your suggestion will be objectively reviewed by a librarian in light of our collection development policy and current budget.