Our use of cookies

Some cookies are necessary for us to manage how our website behaves while other optional, or non-necessary, cookies help us to analyse website usage. You can Accept All or Reject All optional cookies or control individual cookie types below.

You can read more in our Cookie Notice


These cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

Analytical cookies help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on its usage.

Third-Party Cookies

These cookies are set by a website other than the website you are visiting usually as a result of some embedded content such as a video, a social media share or a like button or a contact map


The largest Theological Library in Northern Ireland

Union College offers superb library facilities and is by far the largest theological library in Northern Ireland, it contains nearly 64,000 books, more than 20,000 pamphlets, and over 50 theological periodicals. It is an outstanding resource for theological study and research.

Staff and student Library members also have access to a range of electronic resources such as ATLA databases and hundreds of EBSCO eBooks.

The Gamble Library mission statement

The Gamble Library exists to support the work of the Union Theological College to: equip all our students with a theological literacy that will enable them to flourish as individuals, and contribute positively to society and culture; train effective ministers to lead Christ’s church in fulfilling its calling in the world; and resource 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 Vision Statement

Every member equipped with the resources and information literacy they need to support teaching, learning, research or personal and professional development, within the context of the Union Theological College’s vision, mission and ethos.

Public opening hours

The public opening hours of the Library are 8.30 am to 4.30 pm Monday to Friday.

The Library will normally close completely for 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year, for one week at Easter, and for a (1-week period) in July. 


Gamble Guides

The Gamble Guides are designed to help you understand how you can make the best use of the Library and its resources.

Find out more

Student Membership

All students registered with Union College may borrow books in accordance with the arrangements and regulations summarised below.

8 standard loan books for 4 weeks

Two ‘short loan’ books for 2 days, or two ‘7 day book’ loans for 7 days. (A total of 10 books).

Photocopiers are available for Library users and computer facilities are provided for registered students.

Public Membership

Members of the public may apply to become readers on payment of a membership fee. Standard membership allows you to borrow 8 books at a time for 4 weeks. At present the annual subscription rates are as follows:

£40 for former students of Union Theological College, Ministers, Deaconesses, Accredited Preachers and Auxiliary Ministers and Apprentices of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

£105 for those studying for research degrees at other colleges enabling them to borrow up to 16 books for 12 weeks.

£55 for all others.

Life membership is available to former students of Union and for ministers of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland for £100 within one year of leaving College and for £200 thereafter.

There will also be an initial fee of £10 for a Library Card.

Download membership form


Library Catalogue Search

To start browsing our library catalogue please click the link below.

Browse catalogue

Special collections

The Gamble Library was established in 1873 by Caroline Gamble in memory of her husband Rev Henry Gamble. It then stocked about 4,000 books. Today, most books are housed within the main library area, but many less–used items are stored in other parts of the College and can be obtained on request. In addition to the books found in most theological libraries (those used both for training for ordination and for the academic study of theology), the Gamble Library has acquired over the years a number of special collections, making it a particularly good resource for research into Presbyterianism in Ireland and related historical matters.

As well as including various resources related to the history of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and its missionary endeavours, the Gamble Library’s special collections hold rare books dating back to the sixteenth century and the Magee and Assembly’s pamphlet collections.

In order to consult older materials from the special collections please email the Librarian or phone the Library to make an appointment and provide details of your research or area of interest so that relevant resources can be collected together for your pre–arranged visit. Special collections can be consulted in the Library on a reference only basis. Further details are available on request.

For general enquiries, to suggest a new book, to make item renewal or interlibrary loan requests email librarian@union.ac.uk with details.