Picture This: Ibaraki Christian College Ping Pong Champs

August 4, 2017 Abilene Christian University Special Collections staff participated in the US National Archive’s Twitter Hashtag Party. The featured hashtag for the party was #ArchivesSquadGoals. We brought to the party this 1953 photograph of the “Ping pong champs” at Ibaraki Christian College and queried if anyone was up for a match:

The US National Archives quickly put the ball back in our court with this tweet:

Be sure to check out Twitter on September 1 to see what the National Archives has going on for the next Archives Hashtag Party! To see more photographs from Ibaraki Christian College, search the ACU Digital Commons page here.

Digital collection of Stone-Campbell books now features over 300 items

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.

Total Depravity, a Review of S. A. Paine’s Book, by W. T. Kidwill. Published by Firm Foundation in Austin, Texas, 1909. Worldcat shows only one other known copy.

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:

“Directory of Churches of Christ in the Northeast” (1969) 

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” 

H. T. Morrison,Twelve Reasons Why I Stand Identified With The People Known As Disciples Of Christ” 

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” 



Announcing the John Ridley Stroop Digital Archive

We are pleased to announce that a digital archive presenting materials by and about J. Ridley Stroop is now available.

jrs ca 1936

J. Ridley Stroop, ca. 1936.
This photo was taken around the time his dissertation was published in The Journal of American Psychology. Photograph, John Ridley Stroop Collection, Milliken Special Collections, Abilene Christian university, Abilene, TX.

When you begin a project in Special Collections, you never know where it might lead. As Bilbo puts it, “You step out onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” So, expectations and reality don’t quite align; you end up in places you don’t expect.

Such was the case with the J. Ridley Stroop Collection. This collection not only offers a window into Stroop’s life, but also presents ties to the founding of two major Christian universities – Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX) and Lipscomb University (Nashville, TN). It also contains personal artifacts from the creator of one of the most widely used and cited research studies in the field of psychology.

Dr. Stroop’s wife, Zelma, was the great-niece of David and Margaret Lipscomb. David Lipscomb founded the Nashville Bible School, which evolved into Lipscomb University. Margaret’s family, the Zellners, share a significant part in the founding and early development of Childers’ Classical Institute, now Abilene Christian University.

In the Stroop Digital Archive we’ll take a further look into these connections and the rich archival material the Stroop collection presents. The Digital Archive presents only a portion of the larger collection. We organized representative samples from the collection under four basic headings:

About John Ridley Stroop provides a basic biographical and professional precis for his life and work.
–The Documents page showcases items from the Stroop family
–The Lipscomb Family section highlights one-of-a-kind artifacts from Zelma’s family, particularly her father’s diploma from Nashville Bible School and Margaret Ophelia Zellner Lipscomb’s 1859 diploma from the Columbia [TN} Athenaeum.
–The Zellner Family section connects this family with the heritage of two schools in Tennessee and Texas

Finally, we include a bibliography of John Ridley Stroop’s published books and other resources for further study.

Feel free to comment, ask questions or share memories of the Stroop and Zellner families.