Sermon Index for Pastors and Scholars

I recently hired a friend to catalog my theological library. I did this for several reasons. The first is the fact that I needed proof of what I have in case I ever lost the books in a fire or some other catastrophe and needed it for insurance purposes. It would have cost me three times as much to have someone appraise the entire library (close to 3000 books), and would have taken much longer to do. The second reason, which is almost as important, is my need for a searchable database that lets me know what books I own and what sermons (particularly the Scripture texts) I have in my collection. When I prepare a sermon to preach, I frequently reference sermons that ministers in the history of the church have preached on that particular passage. In fact, I find studying historic Reformed sermons (i.e. sermons by the Reformers, Puritans, Scottish Presbyterians, Southern Presbyterians, etc.) to be the most profitable way to prepare to preach a passage. You get much more insight than commentaries usually give, precisely because these men condensed the materials found in the commentaries of their days into a 12-15 page message. This is time well spent. You also generally get more application than you find in commentaries.

So, all this is to say that I now have a thoroughly searchable library database, and I have it to share with others. Almost every volume of sermons has the individual sermons listed by text (Thanks to the meticulous work of my friend Ray). You have to figure out the best way to search for sermons, but if you simply use ctrl+f on Windows or Apple+f on Mac you should be able to breeze through the document. You also need to know that the sermons are numbered so that if you have a book of the Bible like 1 John you may need to make sure that you are not simply getting the number of the sermon (e.g. #11 John 10:5) in front of the sermon instead of the numeral 1 for the book. If that is confusing you can email me and I will try to explain it more carefully. I hope that this document will be a help to you as it is to me. If you ever need any sermon photocopied let me know and we can work something out.

You can find the Batzig Library Catalog here.

You can find the PCA Historical Center Reformed Sermon Index here.

5 Responses

  1. Camden Bucey

    You should put your library into LibraryThing.com. It’s extremely helpful for organizing my books and provides me all sorts of great tools.

  2. Nicholas T. Batzig

    Thanks guys. I’ll try to do that when I have a year and a half to list all the books on there. I am just happy to have them cataloged somewhere.

  3. Kevin

    I don’t have the number of volumes that you do, but I have faitfully maintained an accession list since I began building mine (including the amount paid for each volume). If you spreadsheet them, it easy to use it as a card catalog.

    Then if you are really anal, like me, you can assign all your books Dewey decimal numbers, slap stickers on the spines, and orgainze the shelves!

    Believe it or not, I really do not have too much time on my hands. 🙂

  4. Nicholas T. Batzig

    Thanks Kevin. I would like to make it even more user friendly. I especially want my sons to benefit, someday, from the work that goes into cataloging it. I might start putting it into Library Thing (in all my free time!) Thanks brother.

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