The Abilene Christian College Faculty Wives Records are ready for researchers. The finding aid for the Abilene Christian College Faculty Records is now available on DigitalCommons@ACU and the digitized scrapbook is also available on DigitalCommons@ACU in its entirety.These records include a scrapbook that recounts and details the history of the Abilene Christian College Faculty Wives (1924-1961). The scrapbook includes historical notes, lists of members, by-laws, and relevant newspaper clippings. The Abilene Christian College Faculty Wives began in 1924 as the Dames Club. Wanda Baxter, wife of Abilene Christian College president Batsell Barrett Baxter, organized the group. Early on the group focused on assisting with the social affairs of the college and on doing personal work with the female students. Vera Sikes presented a history of the group during a meeting celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 1945. This sparked interest in preserving the group’s history, which led to the creation of the scrapbook.
We will participate in Preservation Week 2019 by hosting three preservation-themed webinars in the Special Collections and Archives reading room on the lower level of the ACU Brown Library from 1-2 pm on April 23, 25, and 26.
The one-hour webinars will focus on very practical strategies anyone can employ to preserve their family history. At each webinar we will feature three different recipes from the archives, primarily drawing on the 1974 Women of ACC Cookbook. If you’re in Abilene please come join us, and if you can’t make it in person we’ll share links so you can watch the webinars online. We will also share the recipes and some additional historical context about their authors.
For more information about Preservation Week webinars please check out the following blog posts to learn about the women who preserved the recipes we’ll be testing out:
- Tuesday, April 23: Preserving your Family History
- Thursday, April 25: Caring for Family keepsakes
- Friday, April 26: Preserving Family Recipes
A few days ago a donor sent us another box of wonderful books that will fill in many gaps in our collection. Among those books are several congregational histories. These, too, are a welcome addition. Each one is new to us and as a lot they represent a very wide ideological, chronological, and geographical spectrum. Tip O’Neill remarked ‘All politics is local.’ In a similar way, all history is local, and congregational histories document how people lived out their convictions as an assembly. They are vital sources of information. Intellectual and social histories of the Restoration Movement provide one kind of analysis; congregational history provide another. In congregational life and history and practice we see the general rules proved time and again; or we can see exceptions and variations. Sometimes we may see both in the same congregation. In every case, the congregational history, and the congregational historian, makes this kind of analysis possible. For this reason we want very much to preserve a robust collection of congregational histories.
We file them in a subset of our vertical files. Within the collections of Center for Restoration Studies we have a set each of biographical, congregational, missions or world churches, organizational, and subject files. We catalog books with a Dewey number and shelve them; materials that cannot be easily or safely shelved need another storage method. A vertical file is an ideal storage method for items that are small, thin, ephemeral, or for some other reason cannot or should not go on a shelf. Rather, they go in folders in a file cabinet. While a Dewey number gives us access to books (search for an item in the online catalog, find it, then locate the number and go to the shelf), a vertical file gets a finding aid. The folders are arranged in some kind of order (often alphabetical) and each one is listed in a document. That document is published or made available to the public so researchers can read or scan (or search) the document and locate the desired folder. Then we go to the right drawer in the file cabinet and bring them just what they need. Our congregational files are arranged in alphabetical order by state, then by city within each state, then by congregation in each city. Items in a vertical file usually are not cataloged or described at the item level. In the case of our vertical files, if a researcher can discover we have a file for a particular person, congregation, organization or subject, then that usually gets them far enough along in the discovery process. This provides a reliable way to manage the information and get the item in the hands of the researcher. It is also scalable: we can easily grow and expand the collection when new items like these come in.
So, thanks to a generous donor, here are the newest additions. When we update the finding aid it will be available here.