Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From the Library: Introduction

As I pondered starting this blog, I needed to make sure that I actually had enough to post about. I'm not really a talkative guy. One idea I had was highlighting items from the CORE library. Our original library was accumulated over a lifetime of collecting by Kurt Wise. Tragically, nearly all of that library was lost in a fire that destroyed the Bryan College administration building in February of 2000. Since then, we've been rebuilding the collection a little at a time, with occasional help from foundations and donors. Since becoming CORE director, I've tried to make library development a priority, and we've added significant items to our collection. This seems like a perfect forum to share some of them.

The library currently consists of over 3000 items, mostly books and a substantial collection of periodicals. The books cover 400 years of publication (our earliest book is a Jesuit commentary on Genesis published in 1608). We have a large selection of Bible and Genesis commentaries, books about young-age creationism, lots of anti-evolution and theistic evolution material, ID and natural theology literature, books on the history of science and on conventional science, and two large catch-all categories: "Science and Religion" and "Theology and Philosophy."

This year, Wayne Frair donated 38 boxes of material to us, including files of correspondence and early drafts of his research papers. We'll be cataloging this material in 2009 (and probably the next year as well), and I'm sure I'll be posting some of the items here. If you have any creationist materials that you're looking to get rid of, including conference handouts, newsletters, audio recordings, or other ephemera, we would love to talk with you about procuring them for the CORE library. If you're concerned that what you have is not of any value to us, you might be surprised. As we say around here, "the weirder, the better." Send an email to info@bryancore.org or call us at (423) 775-7277.

The CORE library is available for public use during regular business hours five days a week. Books can be checked out by members of the Bryan College community and can be used on site by others. Our online catalogue is searchable at the CORE website.

In "From the Library" entries, I will spotlight an interesting item from our collection with a brief explanation of its significance. These will be different from my "Reading" entries, which instead focus on mostly modern books that I've read for some research purpose. In the next installment, I'll be looking at John Wilkins's 1675 Principles and Duties of Natural Religion.