Last week Library Dean John Weaver unloaded a car load of papers, files, sermon outlines, notes, manuscripts and charts. It took me three trips to bring it all downstairs. in addition to the large boxes of files, there are about 40 paper and cloth sermon charts.
Our most recent addition, these papers are from evangelist Albert C. Bass. From what I can gather in my first survey of the materials, I see that Bass ministered among churches of Christ in the northwest: Montana, Oregon and Washington. I look forward to accessioning these items into our holdings and learning more about his ministry. I trust it won’t be too long before we will have a finding aid for this collection prepared….stay tuned.
Here are three of his hand-painted sermon charts:
‘Produced for the moment, consumed, then cast aside.’ So said Claude Spencer, bibliophile and archivist-extraordinaire of the Restoration Movement. Spencer had in mind the ephemeral…advertising cards like the one below, leaflets, bulletins, Sunday School lessons. I think of Spencer each time I run across something so fragile. I wonder which researcher will find in it a small piece of their puzzle. What a wonderful experience it is to connect a researcher with the materials necessary for their project. What a wonderful experience indeed to connect users with their past…where seemingly insignificant ephemeral, momentary items like these can open doors of understanding, reflection, even inspiration.
Below: Postcard sized advertisement for John T. Lewis’ preaching at McMinnville, Tennessee, October 1926. From this card we learn that Lewis preached twice daily. Gospel Meetings in this era could last two or three weeks or longer and often resulted in dozens of baptisms and additions to the local congregation.
Digital Preservation Coordinator Donald Simpson alerted us to this interview with National Geographic photograph archivist Bill Bonner:
We agree with Mr. Bonner…the longer we work with photographs the more we love our work. To search for images from the Sewell Photograph Collection, click here for the finding aid, and here to browse through the collection on Flickr.