Save the Date: Restoration Day September 7, 2020

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Abilene Christian University and its Center for Restoration Studies will host Restoration Day 2020 on September 7 to mark the anniversary of Thomas Campbell’s Declaration and Address and highlight the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement’s historic emphasis on unity in the Body of Christ.

This year’s Restoration Day activities will be held virtually and will center upon one of the most important figures in the movement’s history, Alexander Campbell. Dr. Douglas A. Foster, professor emeritus of church history at ACU and one of the foremost scholars of the Restoration Movement, recently completed the first ever critical biography of Alexander Campbell entitled A Life of Alexander Campbell. Dr. Foster will share his wisdom via a recorded lecture on the topic of Campbell’s life and ministry, and as an added bonus, Dr. Foster will speak from behind Thomas Campbell’s pulpit from Ireland, currently housed at ACU’s Center for Restoration Studies.

Watch the video here:

Restoration Day 2020: Alexander Campbell and Believer’s Immersion by Dr. Douglas A. Foster from ACU Library on Vimeo.

Blessings,

Wes Crawford, PhD

Assistant Professor of Church History
Director, Center for Restoration Studies
Abilene Christian University

On the Shelf: New items added to Center for Restoration Studies collections, August 2020

In August our colleagues in Technical Services and Cataloging added 185 items to the Center for Restoration Studies, University Archives, and Rare Books collections.  Among them are books, periodical issues (both bound volumes and many, many boxes of unbound issues), and a few A/V items in various formats, plus a few hymnals.  A few of the additions this months to ‘unbound periodicals’ are publications by a single congregation, yet these bulletins were intended for wider distribution than the local congregation and contained teaching content rather than strictly news information.  I neglected to mention in earlier monthly installments that these unbound, single issue periodicals have been a special focus of cooperation between Special Collections and Technical Services for quite some time now.  A couple of years ago we began in earnest to get these issues sorted, collated, and cataloged so that researchers can know we have them, and so we can know where the gaps are in order to build out a fine, complete collection.  Shan Martinez, Director of Technical Services, has cataloged over 700 boxes of materials already, and is moving ahead rapidly with the remainder.  Her work builds on the sorting and collating work of student workers Avery Reinoehl, Brianna Mullins, and Chava Green.  Many items added in during the summer of 2020 (and now continuing into the fall) are not only new to us, the work performed on them reflects original cataloging, which is a tremendous contribution to knowledge about information resources from and about the Stone-Campbell Movement.

Abilene Christian College. Prickly Pear, Yearbook of Abilene Christian College, 1952, yearbook, 1952; Abilene, Texas. University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.

Our goal is to build a comprehensive research-level collection of print materials by, for, and about the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement.  But beyond assembly and preservation, a collection should be discoverable by those who need the information.  Collecting and preserving is only part of our task; those objects must be described and made available.  Thanks to the close and careful work of our colleagues upstairs, who describe our holdings, these materials are now discoverable. By discoverable I mean a patron can utilize our online catalog (such as by searching by author, or title, or subject) to find these materials.

185 new items…cataloged, shelved, and ready for research:  Continue reading

Foldered & Finished: Don Heath Morris Presidential Records, 1942-1974

The Don Heath Morris Presidential Records (1942-1974) are processed and ready for researchers. The finding aid for the papers is now available on our institutional repository. These papers include 80 linear feet (190 boxes) of correspondence and topical files generated, compiled, and utilized by Don Heath Morris in the course of his duties as President of Abilene Christian College.

Dr. Don Heath Morris earned his education degree at Abilene Christian College. As a student, he served as president of his class; edited the school yearbook, the Prickly Pear; and participated in intercollegiate debate, never losing a decision. After graduation, he taught and coached debate at Abilene High School. He returned to Abilene Christian in 1928 as a speech teacher. In four years, he rose to the vice presidency. From 1932-1940, he was vice president and head of the Department of Speech. Morris was the first former student to become president of Abilene Christian College. He served 29 years, and in 1969 ranked as the dean of college and university presidents in Texas, having served the longest in the chief executive’s position. He received three honorary doctorates from other Christian colleges before his retirement in 1969. After retirement, Morris was appointed the first Chancellor and remained active in campus life. He died suddenly on January 9, 1974, suffering a heart attack while walking from Moody Coliseum back to his office in Brown Library. His Presidential papers remained as he left them, and we transferred into the University Archives shortly after his death. [Adapted from https://www.acu.edu/about/past-present-future/leadership.html. Accessed 19 August 2020]

Photo of Walter Adams (Dean), Don Morris (President), and Lawrence Smith (Bursar) sitting on a couch with Walter Adams getting ready to sign something. There are flowers on the middle of the table and a Bible is in front of Lawrence Smith. Ca. 1965. From the Jesse P. Sewell Photograph Collection: https://digitalcommons.acu.edu/sewell_photos/837/

This processing of the Morris Papers began through partnership with Dr .Tracy Shilcutt, Professor of History, and successive classes of her students in HIST 353: Historical Methods. These students worked under the supervision of Special Collections staff Chad Longley, Ron Longwell, Carisse Berryhill, Amanda Dietz, and McGarvey Ice.  Students refoldered the collection into acid-free folders, generated the folder-level description, while gaining hands-on experience in archival theory and practice as part of their training in historical methodologies.

ACU history majors in Dr. Tracy Shilcutt’s HIST 353 (Historical Methods) course process the papers of longtime ACC president Don Morris. While they work the 1960 ACC Bible lectureship speech by Dr. Carl Spain, Modern Challenges to Christian Morals, plays in the background.

Photo of the Sub-T 16 Social Club:top row-Walter Adams, Raymond Simcox, A.C. Hill, Wendell Bedicheck, Aubrey Pete Banowsky, Jack Meyer, John Paul Gibson, Lowell Whimbush, J.C. Brown. second row-Oscar Kelley, Ernest Wells, Rupett Watson, Ernest Witt, Frank Kerchville, Albert Wall, Don Morris. From the Jesse P. Sewell Photograph Collection: https://digitalcommons.acu.edu/sewell_photos/392/


Additional materials by or about Don Heath Morris:

–Don Heath Morris, “Moral responsibilities of Christian Leadership,” 1963 Abilene Christian College Lectureship

Owen Cosgrove interview with J. W. Treat. Oral history interview on cassette dated 29 August 1975. Owen Glen Cosgrove interviewed J. W. Treat, head of the Language Department at Abilene Christian College. Cosgrove chose to interview Treat because he roomed with President Don Morris while they were doing graduate work at the University of Texas and because they worked together at Abilene Christian College for thirty-five years.

 

Remembering Professor Olbricht

With news coming this week of Dr. Tom Olbricht’s death, we know many are remembering him, and reflecting on his impact.  If you took courses from him at ACU, or taught with him, read his articles or books, heard him preach, or otherwise felt the impact of his work, please comment with a memory or a story or a reflection.

Perhaps these images from the Prickly Pear will jog your memory.

From the 1968 Prickly Pear, Abilene Christian College, Abilene Christian University Library Special Collections and Archives, https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39920/m1/299/?q=olbricht

From the 1969 Prickly Pear, Abilene Christian College. From Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39919/m1/142/?

From the 1969 Prickly Pear, Abilene Christian College. From Abilene Christian University Library Special Collections and Archives, https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39919/m1/142/?q=olbricht

From the 1970 Prickly Pear, Abilene Christian College. From Abilene Christian University Library Special Collections and Archives, https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39918/m1/106/?q=olbricht

From the 1970 Prickly Pear, Abilene Christian College. From Abilene Christian University Library Special Collections and Archives, https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39918/m1/106/?q=olbricht

From the 1979 Prickly Pear, Abilene Christian University. From Abilene Christian University Library Special Collections and Archives, https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39909/m1/150/?q=olbricht

From the 1979 Prickly Pear, Abilene Christian University. From Abilene Christian University Library Special Collections and Archives, https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39909/m1/150/?q=olbricht

From the 1985 Prickly Pear, Abilene Christian University. From Abilene Christian University Library Special Collections and Archives, https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39903/m1/163/?q=olbricht