Gamble Library, Union Theological College




Union Theological College, 108 Botanic Avenue, Belfast BT7 1JT


028 9020 5093

Alternative Names

Union Theological College Library

Contact & Job Title

Joy Conkey, Librarian

Purpose & main user community of the library

The Gamble Library primarily exists to support the work of the Union Theological College, namely: equipping students with theological literacy that will enable them to flourish as individuals and make positive contributions to society and culture; training effective ministers to lead Christ’s church in its calling in the world and resourcing all in the church by providing a hub for learning and research. This is achieved by supplying Union College staff, students, alumni, Presbyterian ministers, church workers, and if appropriate, the wider community, with the relevant academic, practical and historical resources, containing the timely, accurate and quality-assured information, they require. The Library facilitates the teaching, learning, research, personal and professional development of its members through the organisation, management and development of suitable collections, in any appropriate media, access to worldwide information sources and information literacy instruction. The Gamble Library’s main user community are the staff and students of Union Theological College. The Library also serves its paying members which include: Ministers, Deaconesses, Accredited Preachers and Auxiliary Ministers of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and other members of the public.

Terms of access

Any member of the public can visit the Library during our public opening hours. However, contacting the Library prior to visiting is advisable.

Opening hours

Public opening hours: 09:00–16:30, Monday to Friday. Extended hours are available to staff and students of Union Theological College

Disabled access

There is a lift from the ground floor to the Library on the first floor. A short flight of stairs is the only way to enter the periodicals room.

Lending to other libraries & visitors

Interlibrary loans are available to other institutions by request. Visitors are permitted to read in the Library but have no borrowing rights. Membership is open to members of the public on the payment of a membership fee.

Number of volumes


Periodicals – Back Issues


Current Periodicals


Other materials

eBooks, databases, and other electronic journals are available to staff and student members. Pamphlet collections. Hardcopy theses. Some DVDs, CDs and CDROMS.

Volumes added per year



All main branches of theology with a particular emphasis on Presbyterianism. The Library also holds a significant Irish history collection.

Special Collections

Rare books over 1,000 of which are listed on the English Short Title Catalogue. Magee and Assembly’s College Pamphlet Collections. Presbyterian Mission Archive. F.J. Paul Collection.


Various presbytery, synod and committee minutes from 18th– 20th centuries. The Presbyterian Mission Archive includes manuscripts.

Research resource

Presbyterianism, especially Irish. Irish Church history. C. S. Lewis. Karl Barth. Jonathan Edwards.

Catalogue Type

Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC, Heritage Cirqa). Some older uncatalogued materials are listed on card catalogues or printed lists. Some special collections are listed on an electronic inventory.

URL of catalogue
Other facilities

Printing and photocopying. Students and alumni have access to the computer suite in the periodicals room. Free wifi throughout the Library and College.

Full Time Staff


Changes in next five years affecting the above

New validation arrangement with St Mary’s University, Twickenham for undergraduate Theology degrees commencing in September 2022. A growing number of postgraduate courses and research degrees, including those completely online, awarded by the Presbyterian Theological Faculty, Ireland (PTFI).

Anything else about the library

The Gamble Library is the largest theological Library in Northern Ireland. It housed the Parliament of Northern Ireland between 1921 and 1932, prior to the construction of Stormont.