About the Library

Mission and Purpose


The Library at Southeastern exists to engage the Southeastern community with services and resources to equip them to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission.


The Library at Southeastern – a collection, a place, and a people – serves the Southeastern community. The Library collects, organizes, and makes available academic and historical resources that support the work of the Southeastern community. The Library provides spaces and settings that foster academic community and conversations. The Library offers instruction in how to access and use library and information resources, partners with faculty in student learning and formation, and serves as guides to the Library’s physical and virtual spaces.


The current seminary library is housed in the Emery B. Denny Building, which was first constructed in 1958, replacing the Heck-Williams Building (1878), which was razed in 1957. In February 1969, the Board of Trustees voted to name the building in honor of Dr. Emery B. Denny, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, former trustee, longtime friend, and supporter. 

In 1975-1977, the Library underwent a major enlargement and renovation, completing the exterior as we know it today. It was officially dedicated in March of 1977. In 2008, the interior front area was renovated. Most recently in 2017, new energy efficient windows were installed. Keeping the Library's exterior, interior, resources, and services up-to-date and welcoming is an ever ongoing process.

In 1973, the Library became a charter member of an innovative online group cataloging network called OCLC. It is from this network that Interlibrary Loan Services developed. During the summer of 1995, the Library went from using catalog cards to an automated library system called Marquis. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s the library launched access to many electronic services available on CD and on the internet. Now the Library provides easy access to over 20 online scholarly resources and catalogs thru GOsearch and provides wi-fi access to patrons throughout the building. In 2014, the Library began scanning and sending our items to faculty offices and distance students. Scanning is also available to those who visit the Library.

The Seminary is funded primarily through the Southern Baptist Convention. In addition to these funds, the Library benefits from the generosity of many individuals, organizations, grants and endowments. Donations for book purchases of one thousand dollars or more provide endowment income for the Memorial Book Shelves. Please contact the Financial Development Office, if you would like to financially support the Library.

The Library's collections consist of more than 500,000 items including books, e-books, periodicals, music scores, music recordings and audiovisual materials, newspapers, microforms, computer software, and Baptist documents. Gifts of private book and archival collections have also added to the Library's collections. Please see the section on Donations, if you would like to donate materials to the Library.

As of 2019, there were 200,803 books, 461,781 e-books, 38,032 bound journal volumes, and 963 linear feet of archival materials and manuscripts. The Library continues to add thousands of new items every year.  Visits to the Library have annually exceeded 99,000. The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) department handled 3,874 requests. More than 575 items have been sent to distance students around the U.S. and the world.