ACU Library annual Year in Review report 2016-17 is now available

The 2016-2017 ACU Library Annual Report is now available.  It reviews accomplishments by the library departments and partners, from Library Information Services, Maker Lab, Learning Studio, Innovation Foundry, Special Collections, ACU Press, and the Adams Center.  Also spotlighted are staff accomplishments and publications, and a survey of plans to install the Nancy and Ray Hansen Reading Commons in summer 2018.

Highlights for Special Collections include a new exhibit case on the main floor of the Library, in the heart of the Learning commons, featuring materials from the Max Lucado Papers.  Click the image below for the full-text of the report.

ACU Library Year in Review Annual Report 2016-2017, front cover

New additions to Stone-Campbell Digital Archive

The latest additions to Stone-Campbell digital archive reflect the diversity of this movement.  A new online home for a 1960s-1980s periodical, rare ephemeral tracts and booklets, along with book-length collections of sermons, a debate, and a historical narrative round out this update.

Mission Journal was a unique voice among Churches of Christ periodicals during its 20-year lifespan.  Established in 1967, Mission provoked discussion about a range of social issues such as the Vietnam war, race, gender and sexuality, poverty, consumerism and how Christian faith intersects the life of the mind and life in both city and suburb.  In partnership with Missio Dei Journal and friends of Mission, we have launched a drive to fund a digitization project that will place the complete run of Mission online in a fully searchable and downloadable form.  For more information about how you can assist with this project, visit Missio Dei Journal.  

Mission, July 1967, Volume 1, Number 1, front cover

R. N. Moody’s 23-page tract is “The Language of Two Ordinances: Reply to a Tract by R. S. Gavin” concerns points of difference between Churches of Christ and Baptists about baptism.  Undated, we estimate this tract appeared in the 1920s.

Front cover, “The Language of the Two Ordinances” by R. N. Moody

At the time Norvel Young delivered his address “The Urgent Need for Christian Education” at the 1952 Abilene Christian College Bible lectures, he was preaching minister at the Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas.  ACC President Don Morris prefaced the tract saying “Brother Young’s discussion is presented in a clear, frank, and objective way. Such a far-reaching, timely, and vital subject deserves the prayerful consideration of every Christian.”

Front cover “The Urgent Need for Christian Education” by M. Norvel Young (1952)

Richard Nathaniel Hogan was in 1940 one of the most well-known young evangelists among African-American Churches of Christ.  At the time (1940) his book, Sermons by Hogan, was one of only a handful authored by black preachers in Churches of Christ.  It is a seminal text for the study of African-American preaching in Churches of Christ and we are pleased to make it available now for the first time online.

Cover, “Sermons by Hogan” by R. N. Hogan


In 1910 Sherman Sexton of Joelton, Tennessee (just north of Nashville), published a pamphlet of about 36 pages by T. J. Jackson entitled My Mother and I or How “Tommy” Was Converted: Showing How The Holy Spirit Leads in Regeneration.  A scarce item, with only our copy showing on Worldcat, this item will prove useful to anyone studying the Holy Spirit in Restoration thought and history.

Front cover of My Mother and I, or How “Tommy” Was Converted. Showing How the Holy Spirit Leads in Regeneration (1910)

C. P. Roland’s Vanderbilt University MA thesis concentrates on the history of the Disciples in Tennessee to 1850.  Completed in 1931, it is an important early narrative thesis pulling together the early story of the Campbell movement in that state.

Cover, “A History of the Disciples of Christ in Tennessee to 1850” by C. P. Roland

J. N. Cowan of Robstown, Texas and Daniel Sommer, of Indianapolis, Indiana, debated for nearly a week in Sullivan Indiana in November 1926.  Through the lens of this debate, we may explore the disputants’ doctrinal commitments in several areas, especially how they read the Bible and apply its teaching to the life of the church.  An interesting item of ephemera is pasted into the back of this book: a 1941 newspaper clipping describing a terrible accident that claimed Cowan’s life.

Title page, “Debate Between J. N. Cowan and Daniel Sommer”

In about 1914 Ida Withers Harrison compiled and published Forty Years of Service, A History of the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions 1874-1914. This 162-page text describes the work of this missionary society before its incorporation into the United Christian Missionary Society in 1919.

Cover, “Forty Years of Service, A History of the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions 1874-1914” by Ida Withers Harrison

The Stone-Campbell Books section of our online digital archive contains fully searchable and downloadable texts from across the Stone-Campbell movement from the 1790s to the 1970s.  We scanned several dozen new additions over the summer; check back often for further updates.

Resource Spotlight: Restoration Serials Index

Once you have at least a question and perhaps a working hypothesis along with a few tentative reasons for supporting it, you can start looking for the data you’ll need to support your reasons and test your hypothesis.*

Researchers in Stone-Campbell studies will find very helpful one online tool designed to facilitate this kind of search.  Restoration Serials Index is an on-going collaborative effort across many libraries and archives affiliated with the Churches of Christ and Christian Churches.  Begun in 1974, RSI relies on the efforts of dozens of librarians and interested volunteers to index serial literature (periodicals of many kinds, from weeklies to monthlies to quarterlies and the occasional recurring special event such as a lectureship).  For many years the fruit of this labor was available only in print volumes issued on a triennial basis. For over a dozen years it has been available on-line.

The project’s four goals are:

–to facilitate access to periodical literature produced by members of the Churches of Christ and historically related groups

–to encourage and facilitate scholarly research about Biblical teachings and restoration of New Testament Christianity

–to document the broad spectrum of thought among Churches of Christ and historically related groups stemming from the nineteenth-century movement to restore and unify the church of the New testament

–to serve the needs of those who have an interest in what adherents of these groups are thing and saying**

The online index now covers dozens of periodicals, with coverage (in places) from 1940 to the present, all indexed by author, title and subject.  A particular value of RSI for researchers is the level of expertise behind the index. Operating out of expertise and training in the field of information science, they understand the value of indexing thoroughly, accurately, consistently and with a standard approach across all journals.  The compilers have provided reliable ways to access the content of these journals.  Search by author, subject, keyword and more, to locate information that could be useful for your project.

When you need specific information from an author, or a particular article on a question or a range of articles on a topic across time, RSI will reward your search.  This the best way to currently access the content of these periodicals, short of turning page-by-page.  While RSI does not offer full-text content, it does a fine job of getting you a good ways down that road.  The journals indexed in RSI are widely available and your local library can assist through its InterLibrary Loan department.


*Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, 7th ed., ed. Wayne C. Booth et al. (Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2007), 24.

**Marsha Harper, Melissa Johnson, Erma Jean Loveland, Craig Churchill, Eds. Restoration Serials Index: A Subject and Author Index to Selected Periodicals and Lectureships, 2000. (Abilene: Christian College Librarians, 2001), iii.