Kellar Library History
1957 When the North American Theological Seminary opened its doors in the Fall of 1957, there was not one book in its library. The first book was accessioned in November. Jacksonville College librarian, Orland Jack Wages, assisted Dr. and Mrs. John Gregson in setting up the seminary library. The Student Center served as the first library quarters.
1958 William Charles Pruitt, Jr. was elected as the first librarian and began serving that fall. He served in this position until 1972.
1961 The seminary board accepted President Gerald Kellar’s proposal to construct a separate library building that would hold an estimated 25,000 volumes. Formal opening of the Kellar Library, named in honor of Dr. Gerald Kellar by the seminary board, was February 18, 1964. Some 4,300 volumes of books were moved from the Student Center to the new library building.
1971 Seminary president John W. Gregson was successful in obtaining funds from Jacksonville business men to raise $30,000 to purchase books, periodicals, indexes and an additional $10,000 for the purchase of shelves and card catalog cabinets. The name of the seminary was changed from North American Theological Seminary to Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary.
1972 James C. Blaylock, who had worked as a library assistant since 1966, was elected as acting librarian when Dr. Pruitt left his position as librarian in 1972. After Blaylock received his Master of Library Science degree, at Texas A & M-Commerce in 1980, he was elected as library director and continues to serve in this position. Library holdings had increased to 11,000 volumes and a trustee committee was selected to study and devise a plan for library facility enlargement.
1978 The library became a member of the American Theological Library Association and the director began attending annual sessions of the A.T.L.A. The library reached 20,000 volumes that year. Because of space problems some books had to be stored in former library shelves in Fellowship Hall.
1979 This year was designated by seminary president John W. Duggar and the seminary board as a year of special offerings for the seminary library expansion.
1980 When $80,000 had been raised, construction began on the library addition and was completed later in that same year. The seminary board named the addition the John W. Duggar Library Annex.
1981 The library began charging out materials on the their new Gaylord Book Charger system.
1987 A cataloging software computer program, Bib-Base, was installed. Later the Public Access Catalog of Bib-Base was put into use in the library.
1991 Seminary president Philip R. Bryan, initiated the annual friends of the library campaign, called Scroll and Parchment Society, to raise funds to purchase library books. The goal of 50,000 books in the library was reached in April.
1993 With all media cataloged since 1987 on the public access on-line catalog, and because of lack of card catalog space, the card catalog was closed. Retro-conversion of materials prior to 1987 to the on-line catalog then began.
1995 The library subscribed to the ATLA Religion Indexes on CD-ROM. This database indexes religion periodical literature. The ATLA Religion Indexes later became available online and continue to be used in that form.
1998 The library subscribed to OCLC FirstSearch Databases, which gives the school access to a variety of databases, which can be used to find books, articles, films, computer software, internet resources, and other materials.
2002 The library received access to ATLAS, a full text periodical database, from the American Theological Library Association. Students and faculty are able to locate and use full-text periodical articles via the Internet.
2003 The DOS-based cataloging software in use since 1987 was replaced by Athena, a Windows-based software program. The new software program included the library’s first automated circulation software, making it possible to check out materials by way of the computer. The library catalog was placed on the school’s website, giving access to the catalog by way of the Internet.
2004 The library has 66,800 books (which includes 8,342 volumes of bound periodicals), 5,444 audio tapes, 762 video tapes, 543 microfiche, 349 microfilm, 8,426 yearbooks and minutes, and other items. There are 84,135 items in 26 collections in the library.