Notice of Meetings

ABTAPL Autumn meeting (virtual) – Thursday, 5th November 2020, from 1pm

The ABTAPL autumn meeting and AGM (deferred from March) will take place via Zoom on the afternoon of Thursday 5th November.  The afternoon will include a CPD element concerning the variety and use of online resources. It will be presented by Robert Bradshaw, Librarian at Spurgeon’s College, and Keith Lang, Librarian at London School of Theology. Rob is an expert in capturing and hosting free online theological resources (, while Keith has integrated diverse eresources into a single search platform.

Theory & Practice of using collaborative tools online – Thursday 26th November, 12 -3 pm

Dion Lindsay and ABTAPL are coteaching a 3 hour online session covering the theory and practice of using collaborative tools. These facilitate group work by supporting communication, working processes and information sharing.

By the end of the session you should be able to:

  1. Understand the principles of collaboration/collab tech.
  2. Choose tools appropriate to your needs
  3. Articulate what you hope to gain from using a tool and create a strategy for its use
  4. Understand the pros and cons of using free vs paid for technology.

There will be an opportunity to hear  real case studies from colleagues and, although the course will not be recorded,  PPTs and PDF resources will be made available. The PDFs will outline “how to” elements of the tools discussed in the case studies.

The session is free to ABTAPL members. Please email  to book a place and include details of anything else you would like to cover or a particular tool.

ABTAPL Spring Conference 2020: Cardiff – postponed until 2021

Hello Everyone,
People who had signed up for the ABTAPL Spring Conference in Cardiff April 2-4 should have received an email informing that sadly we have had to cancel the conference due to the virus situation. If you have not confirmed that you have received that email, please could you do so. We need to know that everybody has heard.

Thankfully, we have been able to transfer our hotel booking to next year, so we will be going to Cardiff’s Clayton Hotel for the ABTAPL Spring Conference on March 25-27, 2021. We are asking the speakers and presenters if they will be available for those dates too.

Please get back to me if you have any queries. Thanks, Sally Gibbs, ABTAPL Chair

Call for proposals for the BETH-Festschrift on “The recent history of theological libraries and library associations in Europe” to be published on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of BETH (Bibliothèques Européennes de Théologie, the Association of European Theological Libraries) in September 2022

Many of the European associations of theological libraries started in the 20th century, in a time when nearly all countries had many theological faculties, seminaries, monasteries and abbeys and other church institutions with fine libraries. Within a century this has changed dramatically. Many theological faculties and seminaries were closed or merged with others, abbeys and monasteries were dissolved. There are various reasons for this:

  • religious: the secularization in Europe
  • political: World War II and its aftermath, the Soviet rule in Eastern Europe and “die Wende” in the nineties
  • technical: the rise of computerization and Internet
  • financial constraints

The planned book should describe the history of theological and religious libraries in the context of these developments. This could be done by case studies on special libraries, or on religious orders/denominations, by a description of the developments in individual countries or by describing differences between countries etc. Preferably, articles are not limited to an account of the history of a library or institution, but include, in such survey, focuses on specific problems, challenges and opportunities in the recent developments (and present situation) of theological libraries. Also, such special issues can be the primary subject discussed in an article.

You are all invited to submit a proposal for an article in this book. Contributions by librarians, church historians, religious scholars are all welcome. Ideally 8,000-10,000 words, but shorter contributions are also welcome. Max 500 words. Submit before June 1, 2020. Full text of the articles before 1 June 2021. Articles & proposals in English. If that is impossible but want to contribute, please contact the BETH board.

All proposals and articles will be assessed by an expert editorial team consisting of :

  • Dr Michelle Behr, former president of ABCF (l’Association des Bibliothèques Chrétiennes de France)
  • Dr. Penelope Hall, board member of ABTAPL (Association of British Theological and Philosophical Libraries) and former board member of BETH
  • Prof.dr. Leo Kenis, former academic librarian of the Maurits Sabbe library of the KU Leuven
  • Dr. Marek Rostkowski, former Director of the Biblioteca della Pontificia Università Urbaniana and former board member of URBE (Unione Romana Biblioteche Ecclesiastiche) and of BETH

Send proposals to Secretary of the BETH board Matina Ćurić, Any questions, please contact us.