Historical Library

The Brethren in Christ Historical Library contains books, periodicals, and other unpublished reference materials pertaining to church and family history.



The Library contains over 2,000 published volumes, arranged in the following collections.

Brethren in Christ Church

Titles by Brethren in Christ authors or titles pertaining to church life or church members.

Anabaptism/Pietism/Wesleyan Holiness

Titles from the three theological streams that have shaped Brethren in Christ doctrine and practice. Also includes titles from related denominations that share some aspect of this theological heritage. (For more information about these three movements, visit The Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan Studies.)


Titles of family genealogies.

Hymnal Collection
Hymnals produced by the Brethren in Christ Church from 1862 to the present. Early titles carry hymns in both English and German.

Local and Reference

Titles containing local history or reference information (i.e., a published 1926 government census of religious bodies).

You can search the collections through the Murray Library online catalog. Note: To limit your search to the Historical Library collection, select "Advanced Search." For "Location," select "BIC Library." Then enter your search criteria and click "Search."


Periodical subscriptions include, among others, various official denominational periodicals, including The Visitor (formerly Evangelical Visitor, 1887-2004), Seek (2005-2007), and In Part (2008-present); Brethren in Christ History and Life, a semi-scholarly journal published three times a year (1978-present); and Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage, the quarterly periodical of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society (1978-present).

Early issues of the Evangelical Visitor have been digitized and are now available for researcher access through our online catalog.

For in-person researchers, a complete catalog card index of birth, marriage, and obituary announcements in The Visitor is available. Visitor articles are also indexed by title and author. A partial subject index is also open to researcher use.


Various unpublished materials, such as newspaper or magazine clippings, genealogy charts, and other reference items, are also available for use.