The heart of Eden's rare book collection is the James I. Good Collection for Reformation Studies and Reformed Church History. Building this collection was the life work of Dr. James I. Good, Professor of Reformed Church History and Liturgics at Central Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, from 1907 through 1924. The Collection became part of Eden's library upon the merger of Central Theological Seminary with Eden Seminary in 1934.
The Good Collection comprises some 7,000 monographs ranging in date of publication from the early 1500s through 1924, the year of Dr. Good's death. The major part of the collection is Reformed Church history, particularly in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States. The earlier volumes are of particular significance as source materials for the study of Reformation history; volumes from the later 16th century through the 18th century treat Reformed theology, including early covenant thinking and Reformed orthodoxy.
The collection is notable for early editions (16th and 17th century) of the works of major figures of the Reformation such as Ulrich Zwingli, Heinrich Bullinger, Martin Bucer, Zacharias Ursinus, and others. It contains several of the earliest translations into English of these authors, for example, The Rekening and Declaracion of the Faith and Beleif of Huldryk Zwingly, published in 1543. The works of Heinrich Bullinger are particularly well-represented in the collection. Heinrich Bullinger, who succeeded Ulrich Zwingli as head of the church in Zurich, was a major figure in the Reformation of Switzerland; his influence was felt throughout Europe and particularly in England. The collection also contains a significant number of 16th and 17th century editions of the Bible. Many of these volumes are not reported as owned by any other American library or are present only as microform copies in a small number of libraries.
The 19th and early 20th century materials are also of scholarly interest. Dr. Good crossed the Atlantic 52 times in order to collect European imprints not otherwise available in this country. Of particular interest are the many volumes of pamphlets which Dr. Good had bound together by subject. Each one of the volumes contains between three and 20 pamphlets of up to 50 pages; each pamphlet receives individual cataloging. There are 10 volumes of pamphlets on Calvin; six on Zwingli and another six on the city of Zurich; four on Bremen and four on the Palatinate (the region around Heidelberg, Germany); three on each of the following topics: Huguenots, Bern, North Rhine, and Hesse; two each covering the Swiss cantons of Neuchatel and Grisons; two on local U.S. churches (mainly in Pennsylvania); and single volumes on Anhalt, Basel, Bohemia, Vaud (Switzerland), and Wuppertal. The Good Collection also includes several hundred unbound pamphlets, which are also fully cataloged.