John Smyth Library
The John Smyth Library is the research library of IBTS Centre Amsterdam. The library was started as a general seminary library when the Centre was still known as the Baptist Theological Seminary in Rüschlikon-Zürich, Switzerland, and provided much needed resources for undergraduate theology students at bachelor’s level. From the mid-90s the library served as a general seminary library for the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, Czech Republic, where the student population mostly studied at master’s level. From 2014 the library serves the research community of the International Baptist Theological Study Centre in Amsterdam, consisting of a group of dedicated PhD researchers.
John Smyth is the founder of the first church that identified itself as Baptist. This church met for the first time as a Baptist church in 1609 in Amsterdam. The library is located on the first floor of the Baptist House. The Baptist House was constructed in the early 1960s as the church building for the Baptist church of Amsterdam-West. When the building was dedicated it was named the Herdenkingskerk (= Memorial Church). In English, the church used to be known as the John Smyth Memorial Church and was used as one of the meeting places of the EBF congress in 1964, even though that name was soon forgotten. To commemorate John Smyth and to reminisce the original name of the church, the library was named the John Smyth Library in 2019.