The Stone-Campbell and associated movements from their beginning harnessed the power of the printing press to advocate for religious freedom and theological reform. James O’Kelly in Virginia and North Carolina, Abner Jones and Elias Smith in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, Barton W. Stone in Kentucky and Tennessee, and Thomas and Alexander Campbell with Walter Scott across the Ohio Valley and the Western Reserve employed a steady stream of published tracts, periodicals and books to advance their causes. Center for Restoration Studies holds thousands of such items.
A few weeks ago we passed a small milestone for our growing online digital collection of Stone-Campbell Movement books, tracts and pamphlets. Housed at digitalcommons.acu.edu, the collection now holds 329 published items by, from or about these movements, their leaders, shapers, adherents, principles, and values. Each item is available in full-text PDF download and the site is searchable in a number of ways.
The quantity, though, is relatively a minor milestone. When celebrating a milestone, we gravitate towards numbers like 100, 500 or 1000…not 300. But reaching this point gives me an opportunity to stress the qualities of this collection rather than celebrate a quantity (be it 300 or 30,000) for its own sake.
We launched this series realizing many Stone-Campbell books are already available on the web, particularly through archive.org, hathitrust.org and Google books. So we knew right off the bat it was unwise to steward our resources by scanning items that already exist digitally elsewhere. Instead, I set these goals to guide selection of items for digitization: we want to curate items that 1) are relevant for historical inquiry into the thought and activity of the movement worldwide; 2) unavailable elsewhere online; 3) are held in hard copy by only a few institutions (at least so far as can be known through Worldcat.org); and 4) reflect a wide representation of the movement.
Our goal is to serve scholarship (whether conducted in the academy or for the sake of the church) by preserving and providing excellent sources. Hosting these materials online, for free, for any and all users, is one way to fulfill this mission.
Here are the most recent additions:
C. A. Norred, “The Bible Teacher: A Training Course For Bible Teachers”
W.T. Kidwill, “Total Depravity by W.T. Kidwill: A Review of S.A. Paine’s Book”
Charles H. Roberson, “Spiritual Depression”
J. Harvey Dykes, “The Kingdoms of the World”
Guy N. Woods, “The Menace of the Movies”
Elbridge B. Linn, “The Gods of “Christianity“
Elbridge B. Linn, “The Obedience of Faith”
Elbridge B. Linn, “The One Faith and The Creeds of Christendom”
H. Leo Boles, “The Second Coming of Christ and “The Millennium“
Norman Davidson, “A Christian Business Man Writes His Brethren”