Library Survey 2017: Book availability (Set/reading list texts)


Covers of 3 set texts/reading list titles

In this year’s library survey the answers to the question ‘If you could change one thing…’ repeatedly mentioned the desire for more copies of set texts and reading list books. Some of the responses on this subject were as follows:

  • ‘More than one copy of reading list books, especially for papers with primary/set texts (whether literary, philosophical etc.)’
  • ‘Ensure multiple copies of every reading list items’
  • ‘Availability of reading list books’
  • ‘More copies of core text books’
  • ‘Increase number of copies of primary texts in the reading lists’

The provision of a sufficient number of set texts and reading list titles for each course is a very important part of the support for teaching and learning provided by the faculty libraries. The availability of such texts in this and other university libraries is monitored throughout the year and new acquisitions made as necessary. In order to continue to improve the Divinity library’s collection in this regard we will place even more emphasis on the development of our holdings of works in high demand over the coming years.

Here are some examples of the recent acquisitions of set texts or reading list titles in multiple numbers which have been made at the Divinity library recently and which will hopefully help students studying on the relevant courses:

For A2 (David: Israel’s greatest hero?)

  • 3 copies of Robert Alter, The David story: a translation with commentary of 1 & 2 Samuel (Norton, 2000)

For A3 (Jesus and the origins of the Gospel)

  • 2 extra copies (bringing library total to 4) of Gerd Theissen & Annette Merz, The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide, (SCM, 1998)

For B8 (The Great Theologians):

  • 5 copies of Julian of Norwich, Revelations of divine love, trans. B. Windeatt (OUP, 2015)
  • 4 copies of Elizabeth Johnson, Ask the beasts: Darwin and the God of love (Bloomsbury, 2015)
  • 3 copies of Augustine, Confessions, trans. M. Boulding, (Ignatius, 2012)

For MPhil: Christian Theology:

  • 5 copies of Athanasius, On the Incarnation, trans. J. Behr, [English & Greek] (St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2011)

We regularly monitor borrowing statistics and holds placed to inform the acquisition of extra copies. Throughout the summer we will review the library’s holdings of set texts in particular and make further acquisitions as required.

It is not always possible to anticipate the exact level of demand for a particular text however; so please do always let us know if you are having difficulty getting hold of a set/reading list title and would like us to acquire more copies by emailing with the details.




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