world council of churches

welcome to the ecumenical centre library

Dear Visitor,

The Ecumenical Centre Library is at your disposal. With more than 100,000 books, periodicals and pamphlets on the ecumenical movement, the Library houses the largest such collection in the world.

How to familiarize yourself with the Library
We advise you to contact us. We will be happy to explain how the Library functions. A few brief points of information are given in the following paragraphs.

Referencing the collections
There are two ways to reference the collections:

Please do not hesitate to call upon one of the Library staff for advice.

Our best collections focus on the themes of ecumenism, the Bible, systematic theology, ecclesiology, social ethics, mission, denominational history, non-Christian religions, the role of women in church and society, laity and pacifism.

Less comprehensive, yet sizeable, collections include specific studies in church history, Patristics, Christian ethics, practical theology and philosophy.

The Library houses 1,350 periodicals.

The Library possesses practically every document ever issued by an ecumenical organization or movement during the 20th century (e.g. Faith and Order, Life and Work, International Missionary Council, World Student Christian Federation, to name a few). Researchers have access to most archives and can rely on the archivist's help. Archival documents do not circulate outside the Library, but photocopies can be made of most documents, with the librarian's permission.
Access to WCC archives: conditions / Access request

Reading room
The reading room houses an excellent theological and general reference section as well as current issues of periodicals.

You may borrow books (up to four at a time), pamphlets and periodicals (except issues of the current year) from the Library for a period of one month.

The collections of the Ecumenical Centre and the Bossey Ecumenical Institute Libraries are catalogued together and accessible on-line. We encourage you to use this resource for bibliographic research as well as to request long distance loans.

Loan requests from around the world may be submitted by e-mail. When consulting the on-line catalogue, please note the desired resource's call number (Cote). To request a resource housed in the Ecumenical Centre Library (identified as Cote WCC), send an e-mail to: WCC libraries.

Thank you for visiting the Ecumenical Centre Library.

World Council of Churches
Ecumenical Centre Library
150 route de Ferney
P.O. Box 2100
1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland

Tel.: (+41 22) 791 6279
Fax: (+41 22) 710 2425
E-mail: WCC libraries
The on-line catalogue of the library's collection is maintained by SWS Software Systems AG. We encourage you to visit their site or send an e-mail to their webmaster at

For a good quality reproduction of the above photo via the internet just click on it. Photo Oikoumene will send it electronically as an attached file at 300 dpi resolution, JPEG format. For a slide, or colour or b/w print by ordinary mail, send an e-mail request to: photo.

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