Library Collections

Books & Other Materials

The library provides a number of resources in a variety of formats. The library has a growing collection of over 450,000 items, including books, e-books, audio books and journals, music CDs, sheet music, audio and video.

The library uses the Dewey Decimal Classification system (DDC), which assigns a number to each field of knowledge. Knowledge is divided into 10 fields and further subdivided into 10 more fields and so on. It can really be helpful to know the Dewey number in your particular subject area, especially if you want to browse the shelves. The ten main divisions include:

  • 000 Generalities
  • 100 Philosophy & psychology
  • 200 Religion
  • 300 Social Sciences
  • 400 Language
  • 500 Natural sciences & mathematics
  • 600 Technology (applied sciences)
  • 700 Arts
  • 800 Literature & rhetoric
  • 900 Geography & history

The library catalog accesses the library’s holdings by author, title, subject, and keyword, etc., and limit by format, date, and topic.

Suggest a Purchase


Atlases contain map and other geographic or demographic information. These are in the compact shelving near the south end of the building.

Audio Book & Audio Journal Collection (@ SCS)

The Seminary Library has a collection of over 235 Christian audio books and 2 audio journal titles on CD for students and faculty who enjoy listening to books and journals or who commute to campus.

Audio Visual (AV) Collection

The AV Collection contains over 1,000 items and includes art prints, charts, posters, CDs & DVDs. The DVD and VHS (@ SCS only) collections are intended primarily for instructional use but are available for limited circulation to students. The library provides streaming video through several databases.

Bible Software

A computer in the Seminary Library has Logos Scholar’s Library and BibleWorks 7 loaded on it for student use. Every computer in the library has a copy of e-sword.

Curriculum Materials & Children’s/YA Literature Collection

Curriculum materials and juvenile books are collections of fiction and nonfiction books for children. They are located in the compact shelving near the south end of the building. Curriculum materials include textbooks (including teachers’ manuals, workbooks, and activity books, etc.) covering subject areas in which teacher education degrees are offered. The Children’s Literature collection provides an adequate representation of current publishing for children, ranging from pre-Kindergarten (“Easy readers”) through young adult-level. The collection includes fiction and nonfiction works, picture books, and the annual Newbery and Caldecott Award winners with a growing collection of the Honor books. Basic reference materials such as encyclopedias and dictionaries, and materials about children’s literature are shelved in the main collection. Preschool and elementary level textbooks/curriculum have "X" above the call number. Secondary level textbooks/curriculum have "XX" above the call number. Preschool and elementary fiction and nonfiction have “J” above the call number while, middle school and secondary fiction and nonfiction have “YA”.

Korean and Spanish Language Collections

The Seminary has a collection of over 1,000 theological works (and related disciplines) in the Korean and Spanish languages.

Oversized Books

Books that are too large to fit in the regular stacks are considered oversize. These are in the compact shelving near the south end of the building. Folio (large) sized books have “f” over the call number. Elephant Folio (extra large) sized books have “fe”.

Periodical Collection

Periodicals provide a wealth of valuable, scholarly material not otherwise available in book form. Periodical research begins by using a periodical index to find the citation and then locating the full text. The library provides full text access to over 23,000 titles, as well as abstract & indexing to over 40,000 periodical titles in over 100 research databases covering all the disciplines. The periodical collection is located at the end of the compact shelving. Over 243 print titles, current (140 current subscriptions) and back issues, covering all the disciplines, are arranged alphabetically by title, then chronologically. Periodical back issues accessed less frequently are shelved on the top shelves. A selection of current periodicals are shelved on the current periodical display.

Periodical Indexes (@ SCS)

A select collection of religion print periodical indexes (which access citations of journals and magazines by subject, author and date) can be found with the Seminary Library’s periodical collection. Print is no longer a purchased format. Print indexes historically provided access to a wealth of valuable, scholarly material not otherwise available. Periodical indexing and abstracting is now found through the research databases.

Reference Collection

Reference works are an excellent place to begin any research project. They include general and specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, yearbooks, atlases, biographical sources, concordances and biblical commentaries. All reference books have “R” above the call number and do not circulate. The library provides hundreds of e-reference books through several reference and e-book databases.

Research Databases

The library subscribes to over 100 Research Databases. These selected databases are available from any Internet accessible computer and include indexing and full-text to magazines, journals, newspapers, e-reference, music, etc. E-books, e-audio and e-reference are also available. Help using the Databases is available under Research Help| Data base Search Help. Access these databases using your SDCC or SCS network account.

Special Collections

The College Library collects certain titles in print authored by SDCC college founders Dr. Art Peters, Dr. Henry Morris, and Dr. Timothy LaHaye, and SDCC presidents and their spouses. SDCC and SCS libraries also have a small collection of rare or older books in subject areas of particular interest to the institutions. Materials in this collection may be used only in the library. Check with Library Staff for access.

Theses and Dissertations

The Seminary Library has a collection of master’s theses and dissertations produced by graduates of Southern California Seminary (and under earlier names: Linda Vista Baptist Bible College and Seminary and Southern California Bible College & Seminary). The oldest theses are from 1951.