East or West Maintaining an Orthodox Collection inside a Lutheran-oriented Theological Library

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Jussi Petteri Hyvärinen


The School of Theology in the University of Eastern Finland consists of two study programs: Western Theology and Orthodox Theology. Its predecessor was the Faculty of Theology in the University of Joensuu (2002-2009). Before the establishment of the faculty, the university provided education in theology from the year 1988.
The development of the theological collection of the university library is intertwined with the history of the School of Theology. When the education of Orthodox priests in Finland was transferred from Kuopio Orthodox Seminary to the University of Joensuu in 1988, also the Seminary Library collection was merged into the University Library. Therefore, the theological collection contained predominantly Orthodox material until the year 1997, when the university started to provide education also in Western theology. Since that time, the development of the theological collection has implied maintaining the balance between Western and Orthodox material.
I will describe the challenges of maintaining and evaluating the collection of Orthodox theology in our library. Since the classification system we have used does not make a difference between Western and Orthodox theology, we have invented a special UEF code used in cataloging. This enables distinction between Western and Orthodox material when I evaluate our collection.

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