Curator of Christian Literature

Jeschke shepherded growth of Pitts Theological Library collections

Professor Emeritus Channing Renwich Jeschke, who served as director of the Pitts Theology Library at Candler School of Theology for more than twenty years, died January 13, 2016, at the age of eighty-eight.

Jeschke, who was the Margaret A. Pitts Professor of Theological Bibliography and director of the library from 1971 until his retirement in 1994, was recognized for his distinguished career and contributions to Candler with the Centennial Medal in 2014 during the school’s one hundredth anniversary celebration.

While at Emory, Jeschke was credited with helping facilitate acquisitions that would lay the groundwork for establishing Candler as one of the nation’s top theological libraries. He is especially recognized for helping shepherd the acquisition of some 220,000 volumes from the library of the Hartford Seminary Foundation.

“Channing’s vision of the library as one of the country’s leading Christian research institutions has left an unchanging imprint on the library, the theology school, and the University,” notes colleague E. Brooks Holifield, Charles Howard Candler Professor Emeritus of American Church History.

Through Jeschke’s stewardship, the Pitts Theology Library collections would grow to surpass 450,000 volumes before his retirement.

Jeschke is also credited for his work with New York architect Paul Rudolph on the renovation of the Pitts Theology Library to accommodate the Hartford Collection and later his work with Rudolph on the design and construction of Cannon Chapel.

He was hired by Candler School of Theology as a theological librarian and associate professor in 1971 and was promoted to professor in 1979, named the Margaret A. Pitts Professor of Theological Bibliography in 1984, and awarded emeritus status by Emory University upon his retirement.—M. Pat Graham

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