Atla (American Theological Library Association)

The American Theological Library Association (Atla)[1] is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), professional association, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Atla's member libraries and librarians provide resources for scholarly research to tens of thousands of students, faculty, staff, and administrators. The association supports the membership with services and products, including an annual conference, members-only publications and discounts, and professional development opportunities.


The mission of Atla is to foster the study of theology and religion by enhancing the development of theological and religious studies libraries and librarianship. Established in 1946, Atla is governed by an elected board of directors and has over 800 individual, institutional, and affiliate members.


The first step toward the creation of Atla came at the 1946 biennial meeting of the American Association of Theological Schools when presidents and deans in attendance asked the AATS executive committee to call a conference of theological librarians. In June 1947, fifty theological librarians, one president, and one dean met in Louisville, Kentucky, to organize a permanent association and plan the future agenda of the American Theological Library Association. The group identified six major areas to address and assigned responsibilities for them: 1. AATS Booklist, 2. Cataloging and Classification, 3. Periodical Exchange, 4. Periodical Indexing, 5. Publications, and 6. Training of Personnel.

Programs developed rapidly in the new Association, including the following milestones:

More recent activities of Atla include:


The Atla Publishing Program serves professionals engaged in librarianship and scholarly communication, students, scholars, and religious professionals in the disciplines of religion and theology by publishing original content (books, journals, newsletters, yearbooks, reports, white papers). Many of these publications include Open Access.[12]


Atla offers electronic resources to support the scholarly study of religion and theology, including the Atla Religion Database (Atla RDB), AtlaSerials (Atlas), and AtlaSerials PLUS (Atlas PLUS).

Atla also oversees historical archives initiatives and works with several publishing partners to offer electronic versions of specialized bibliographic and reference products.

Atla provides products for students, scholars, researchers, faculty, and religious leaders conducting research.


  1. ^ "Turning the Page to the Next Chapter". 28 March 2019.
  2. ^ "American Theological Library Association (Atla) Collections on Microform". FOCUS on Global Resources Newsletter. 26 (4). Center for Research Libraries. Summer 2007. ISSN 1943-9741. Archived from the original on May 30, 2020. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  3. ^ "Atla Historical Monographs Collection (11 Series)". EBSCO. Archived from the original on May 30, 2020. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  4. ^ "EBSCO and Atla Announce 11 Separate Thematic Series of Atla Historical Monographs Collection". Ipswich, MA. March 5, 2015. Archived from the original on May 30, 2020. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  5. ^ Atla Historical Monograph Collection – Series 1, 1300–1893, Tyndale University.
  6. ^ Origins of the CPLI outlined in Sister Consolata Maria Dunleavy, S.S.J. (1964)."The History of the Catholic Library Association, 1921–1961: Dissertation, Catholic University of America. (1922).
  7. ^ "American Theological Library Association completes purchase of Catholic Periodical and Literature Index (CPLI) from Catholic Library Association (CLA)". Archived from the original on 2018-04-04. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  8. ^ "ATLA Strategic Plan". Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  9. ^ "ATLA Launches Beta Release of the ATLA Digital Library". ATLA Newsletter. 2017-04-14. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  10. ^ "About Atla".
  11. ^ "Turning the Page to the Next Chapter". 28 March 2019.
  12. ^ "ATLA Member Publications Moving to Open Access". 9 February 2018. Retrieved 2018-04-03.