Not much is known about how or why this large collection of college catalogs came to Union Theological Seminary except we did find postcards stuck into a few of them that tells us these were intentionally being sent and collected. One such postcard included in this small exhibit dated from July 29, 1913, states:
We publish our Catalogue only once in two years. We are using 1912 with a supplemental slip, a copy of which I am sending you.
Alfred Theol[ogical] Sem[inary]
- E. [last name illegible]
Ranging in years from approximately 1826 to 1983, this assembled collection is collectively referred to as the Burke Religious Education Collection and consists of school catalogs, registers, announcements, and bulletins mostly from seminaries and each have been cataloged and are findable through the library’s online catalog – CLIO (http://clio.columbia.edu).
From plain beginnings to robust examples of graphic design, these catalogs offer a lot of information. From names of students enrolled, to the names of professors teaching, to the courses being taught — numerous lines of inquiry can be drawn from these information-packed booklets.
This small exhibit will be on display on the 1st floor of the Burke Library through till the end of the fall 2017 semester.
All of these catalogs are cataloged and findable through the library’s online catalog (CLIO), to see all of the records just do a series search for “Religious Education Collection.”