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American Theological Library Association Records - Addendum A

Call Number: RG 163A

Scope and Contents

The Yale Divinity School Library was designated as the official repository for the ATLA's archives in 2000. This record group consists of a subset (1991- ) of the records that had been deposited over several years at the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, the former repository for ATLA archives, combined with records that have since been collected by the on-site archivist at ATLA (ATLA's Archives Liaison). The basic series structure and organization of the records reflects the organization structure that has existed at ATLA since 1991, when the three boards of Index, Membership, and Preservation were merged into one Board of Directors.

The ATLA archives in this addendum are a continuation from the records contained in Record Group No. 163. The ATLA archives are complemented by two other collections at the Yale Divinity Library: the Raymond P. Morris Papers, (RG 80) and records of the ATLA Library Development Program (RG 81). Morris, Librarian of the Yale Divinity School Library from 1932-1972, was a founder of the ATLA and long-time president of the Board of Microtext. The ATLA Library Development Program provided funds to strengthen the book collections of ninety North American theological libraries between 1961 and 1966. The program was directed by Raymond Morris, and funded by the Sealantic Fund.

Series I, Board of Directors, includes Board meeting agendas and minutes, as well as materials of the Board's Executive Committee. Since the dockets for Board meetings include reports documenting ATLA activities, this series provides a concise overview of the organization's work.

Series II, Departments, includes a sub-series for each department, arranged in alphabetical order by department name: Administrative, Business Development, Electronic Products and Services, Financial Services, Index, Information Services, Member Services, and Preservation. The series also begins with a sub-series for the Executive Director, as it is the Executive Director who chairs the weekly meetings of the departmental directors, and it is to him that the departmental directors report. Records of the Executive Director include his correspondence, annual reports to the board, information about the ATLA Endowment Fund, records of his travel to maintain national and international contacts, and records of his weekly meetings with the directors.

The Administrative Department records contain general information regarding ATLA personnel matters, such as the personnel handbook, all-staff meetings, and staff get-togethers and outings (annual Holiday party, annual summer outing, staff picnics, etc.). The administrative records also contains information about facilities management, including: the move of ATLA offices from Evanston to downtown Chicago, the 15th floor build-out at 250 S. Wacker, the ICF (Interactive Conference Facility) at 250 S. Wacker, architectural plans for the 250 South Wacker build-out, and the move of ATLA offices from 250 S. Wacker to 300 S. Wacker. Records pertaining to strategic planning and association goals are also organized under the sub-series for the Administrative Department.

Business Development Department records document that department's work with vendor aggregators, and with vendors contracted to market ATLA products; product analysis reports; and efforts to better advertise ATLA products and services.

Materials documenting the creation and administration of ATLAS (Phase I and Phase II) are located under the sub-series for the EPS (Electronic Products and Services) Department. Documents related to product support for electronic products can also be found there.

Records such as annual budgets, contracts with and reports on income generated from online vendors (EBSCO, OCLC FirstSearch, SilverPlatter, Cambridge Scientific Abstracts), annual subscriptions numbers and revenue, microfilm and microfiche sales statistics, and employee orientations and benefits are all filed under the Financial Services Department sub-series, though some information about online vendors, annual subscriptions, and microfilm and microfiche sales may also be found in reports housed in the Business Development sub-series.

Within the Index Department sub-series are located records pertaining to the ATLA Religion Database (RDB), the RDB Subsets [Ten Year Subset (TEN) and Biblical Studies Subset (BIBL)], Religion Index One (RIO), and Religion Index Two (RIT). Information Services Department records document server/computer equipment general maintenance and specs, computer/server upgrades, and staff training in the use of computer programs.

Housed in the sub-series for Member Services can be found a wealth of information regarding ATLA departments, ATLA committees, ATLA interest groups, ATLA chapters, and ATLA affiliations with other organizations. The Member Services Department is responsible for member publications, which include newsletters, the ATLA website, catalogs, and membership directories. Member Services also takes photographs for ATLA whenever a photographer is needed to document ATLA conferences, meetings of the committees, staff changes, etc. In addition to the member publications, the Member Services sub-series also includes membership information for individual, student, institutional, and affiliate memberships, and records for each annual conference (conference planning materials, conference mailings, session materials, and the published Proceedings).

Preservation Department records include information relating to the On-Demand program, the monograph preservation program, and the National Endowment for the Humanities-funded microfilming grants. Also housed with the Preservation records is information regarding the Preservation Department's relationships with microfilming vendors (Preservation Resources, later called OCLC Preservation Service Centers), microfilm storage companies (Iron Mountain), and vendors marketing ATLA microform products (Scholarly Resources, Thomson-Gale). Information may also be found in the Preservation sub-series for APCAT (ATLA Preservation Program Catalog Online), though samples of APCAT as it appears on the ATLA website are filed with other ATLA website "snapshots" housed under the member publications section of the Member Services sub-series.

Series III, Committees of the Association, includes sub-series for each type of committee in ATLA: committees appointed by the Executive Director, joint committees established by the Board, advisory committees, and special committees and standing committees of the Board. Within each sub-series, the committees are arranged alphabetically by committee name. Committees appointed by the Executive Director include: Annual Conference Committee, Education Committee, Local Host Committee, Professional Development Committee, and Publications Committee. Joint committees established by the Board include: ATS/ATLA Digital Standards and Projects Committee, and the ATS/ATLA Joint Committee. Advisory committees include: Index Advisory Committee, Membership Advisory Committee, Preservation Advisory Committee, and the Technology Advisory Committee. Special committees and standing committees of the Board include: Nominating Committee and Special Committee of the Association for International Collaboration.

Series IV, Interest Groups, contains records of ATLA's Interest Groups, arranged in alphabetical order by group name, including: Collection Evaluation and Development, College and University, Judaica, Lesbian and Gay, OCLC Theological User Group, Special Collections, Technical Services, and World Christianity.

Series V, Affiliated Institutions and Organizations, includes information about each affiliated body, as well as records pertaining to their relationship with ATLA. This series also includes correspondence regarding organizations that are not affiliated with ATLA, but with whom ATLA has communicated regarding possible collaboration and affiliation.

Series VI, Regional Groups, contains records regarding the activities of ATLA regional groups, also arranged alphabetically by the group name, including: the Chicago Area Theological Library Association (CATLA), Southeastern Pennsylvania Theological Library Association (SEPTLA), and Southwest Area Theological Library Association (SWATLA). Series VII. contains documents related to a research project on "Theological Librarianship in the Context of Ministry"


  • 1985 - 2007
  • Majority of material found within 1991 - 2005


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been transferred to Yale University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited by the American Theological Library Association.


  1. I. Board of Directors, 1991-2007
  2. II. Departments, 1985-2006
  3. III. Committees of the Association, 1990-2005
  4. IV. Interest Groups, 1991-2004
  5. V. Affiliated Institutions and Organizations, 1990-2004
  6. VI. Regional Groups, 1987-1993
  7. VII. Collected Material


16.5 Linear Feet (20 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


This record group represents the official archives of the American Theological Library Association. The archives include organizational and administrative records, board and committee records, materials from annual conferences, and ATLA publications from the period 1991 to the present. This is an addendum to the material found in Record Group 163.

Biographical / Historical

See Record Group 163 for the earlier history of the American Theological Library Association. In 1990 ATLA was reorganized so that the Index Board and Preservation Board were placed directly under the Board of Directors. In 1991 Albert Hurd was appointed chief executive officer of ATLA. This restructuring made Executive Director responsible for all staff appointments, with the Board of Directors now construed as a policy making body that vested management of the Association in the Executive Director and his/her staff. In 1993 a three-year Association of Theological Schools Quality and Accreditation Project was launched. In 1996 Dennis Norlin was appointed Executive Director of ATLA. In 1996 ATLA acquired an underground vault at Iron Mountain/NUS in Western Pennsylvania for the long-term storage of microfilm masters. Scholarly Resources, Inc. was hired to market and distribute microfilm to libraries for scholarly use. In 1999 the final annual volume of the Index to Book Reviews in Religion (IBRR) was published in print form as the index transitioned to an online only format. In 2000 ATLA moved from Evanston, IL to new headquarters at 250 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago. In 2006 ATLA headquarters moved across the street to 300 S. Wacker Drive.

Guide to the American Theological Library Association Records - Addendum A
Diane Pugh and Martha Lund Smalley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

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