The Rev. Dr. Joseph C. McLelland Library consists of a spacious reading room overlooking the College’s garden and the basement stacks where most of its 25,000 volumes are shelved. The library specializes in Reformed and Presbyterian theology and history and is managed by a professional, theological librarian. Access to the library’s collection is through the online catalogue of McGill University Library. Those permitted to borrow from the library include students and staff of the three denominational colleges, McGill students and staff, and members of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. The general public is welcomed during opening hours and encouraged to scan needed material.

The College library’s reading room is a community-builder. Talking is permitted, as is coffee, as well as (non-greasy!) snacks. A coffee maker, small fridge, microwave, and snacks encourage much need relief in what is, by all, accounts, a challenging program. Impromptu study sessions, exchange of ideas, cellphone calls, and the latest ‘news’ are the order of the day.

The reading room contains current magazines, the reference collection, and a reserve section that consists of such frequently used resources as biblical commentaries, hymn books, prayer books, and current textbooks for B.Th. courses. During opening hours, the College’s librarian, whose service island is in the middle of the reading room, is always available for reference questions and queries in the biblical languages. The library, however, is never closed to students and staff of the College, who have access to it via a keypad lock.

The Rev. Dr. Joseph C. McLelland

In 2007, the Presbyterian College library was renamed in honour of the late Rev. Dr. Joseph C. McLelland, in recognition and celebration of Dr. McLelland’s 50-year association with the College as a scholar, teacher, administrator, leader, and mentor in theological education that has shaped generations of students and ministers. Dr. McLelland was the author of numerous books and articles ranging from such popular works as The Other Six Days to weighty academic tomes such as Prometheus Rebound: The Irony of Atheism.

Dr. McLelland’s first research interest was the Italian Reformer Peter Martyr Vermigli, and He was also a founder and editor of the Peter Martyr Library. From 1975 to 1985 he served as Dean of the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill, and he has also served as Acting Principal of The Presbyterian College. He was the moderator of the General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church in Canada in 1985. A special dedication event marking the renaming of the library took place in fall 2007.

Share this page :