Charles Porterfield Krauth Memorial Library

The Branch: Access and Use

The Charles Porterfield Krauth Branch Library houses over 200,000 volumes, including an extensive collection of rare books, focusing on the reformation, Lutheran scholasticism, and rare liturgical resources. The library is open to the general public during regular operating hours, which are posted on the library home page and calendar page. Free lending of materials is available to current students, staff, faculty, alumni in good standing, SEPTLA and WTC researchers. Lending to the general public is available for a $50 annual fee. Free electronic resources for those not currently enrolled are included within the library catalog (ECCO) and a subject guide.

The Building

The Krauth Memorial Branch of the United Lutheran Seminary Library was constructed in 1908 and added on to in the 1970s and 2016. The original structure contains a magnificent book vault. Originally constructed without electricity or gas lighting, this vault was designed to take in as much light as possible: giant skylights in the arched ceiling can provide enough light to browse the lowest level of bookshelves, as the first and second floor are giant catwalks with solid glass floors, supported solely by the bookshelf structure. Today, the skylights are supplemented by recently-upgraded LED lighting for consistent brightness, day and night. A large stained-glass window in honor of Dr. John Doberstein, a former faculty member, adds color and a life to the study spaces. Harvard University Libraries has digitized the Dedication booklet from 1908 for those interested in the planning and design of the structure.

In addition to the beautiful vault, the Krauth Branch houses meditation and study spaces, including a walking labyrinth in its upper rotunda, a meditation room full of religious icons and art, and the Lillian Scoggins Music Room.