The University of Newcastle Library's collection of theological and religious books has been significantly enhanced, following a transfer of volumes from the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle.
Around 15,000 titles from the former St John's Theological College Library at Morpeth have been added to the university's collection, bringing the total number of theological and religious volumes to more than 54,000.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Kevin McConkey, said the arrival of the collection coincided with the start of a new Bachelor degree program in Theology at the University in semester two this year.
"The placement of this collection in the University Library builds on a tradition of donations from the Anglican Diocese that first commenced in 1973," Professor McConkey said.
"The new volumes join editions of major theological and philosophical works printed in the 16th-18th centuries, including a vast collection belonging to the first Anglican Bishop of Newcastle, William Tyrrell.
"The oldest book held in the University Library, Eusebius' Ecclesiasticae Historiae, printed in Paris in 1544, belongs in this collection.
"The collection will provide students studying the Bachelor of Theology degree program a substantial research collection to assist their studies. It also offers a collection of great interest to the broader community."
The transfer of the volumes to the University Library also brings the St John's Theological College Library back together in the one place.
Anglican Bishop of Newcastle, Dr Brian Farran, said the partnership between the University and the Anglican Diocese continued to strengthen.
"Reflection on theology and religious perspectives continue to inform debate in Australian culture and exploration of world religions in a university setting is important," Dr Farran said.
"This significant partnership now enables the substantial theological resources, which were originally held at St John's College Morpeth, to be made available to everyone in the region."
The Bachelor of Theology degree program has been introduced following extensive discussions between the University and the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle.
The program commences in semester two. Applications are currently open for admission to the program via the UAC website at www.uac.edu.au. Applications close 1 June 2007.