Finding Aid Round Up

We’ve been busy writing finding aids for recent acquisitions and revising finding aids for some materials already in our holdings. You can browse all of our archival holdings on DigitalCommons. See something below that piques your interest or could be useful for your research? Get in touch and let us know what you’re thinking about; we’d love to help!


Theophilus Brown Larimore Papers, 1907-1935, MS#6 [Revised Finding Aid]
Theophilus Brown Larimore was among the most widely-known and successful evangelists among Disciples and Churches of Christ from the latter decades of the nineteenth century until his death in 1929. This collection includes professional and business correspondence.

Letter from Emma Larimore to B. R. Colson dated 6 July 1915, Dixieland College Materials (1), Theophilus Brown Larimore Papers, 1907-1935. Center for Restoration Studies MS #6. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Reuel Gordon Lemmons Papers, 1908-1989, MS#11 [Revised Finding Aid]
Reuel Gordon Lemmons served Churches of Christ as a minister, writer, editor, and publisher. These papers are arranged by subject and include minutes, academic papers, broadcast transcripts, pictures, correspondence, and sermons materials.

John Parham Lewis Papers, 1926-1985, MS#12 [Revised Finding Aid]
John Parham Lewis was a Church of Christ preacher and teacher. These papers include his handwritten Bible notes and class notes, correspondence, assorted literary materials, and a scrapbook.

James Shannon Papers, 1849-1857, MS#505 [New Finding Aid]
James Shannon was president of Bacon College (Kentucky) from 1856-1859 and then president at Christian University (Missouri). He was an ardent defender of slavery and frequent contributor to church papers such as Alexander Campbell’s Millennial Harbinger. These papers include six issues of the Millennial Harbinger dating from 1849-1857 that were owned by James Shannon.

Front cover, Millennial Harbinger, March 1849, owned by James Shannon

George Phillip Holt, Sr. Papers, 1971-1972, MS#506 [New Finding Aid]
George Phillip Holt, Sr. was an evangelist and education advocate in the Church of Christ. These papers include one folder of photocopies of sermon outlines written and preached by Holt.


Stay tuned for more installments of Finding Aid Round Ups!

Foldered & Finished: V. Aubrey Hallum

The V. Aubrey Hallum Papers (1962-2011) are processed and ready for researchers. The finding aid for the papers and digitized selections are now available on DigitalCommons@ACU. These papers include 30 linear feet (80 boxes) of architectural drawings, papers, and memorabilia.

Architectural Drawing of Garland Road / Highland Oaks Church of Christ, Dallas, TX, Box 17, Vernon Aubrey Hallum Papers, 1962-2011. Center for Restoration Studies MS#485 . Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

V. Aubrey Hallum is an architect in Ft. Worth, Texas. He was born August 16, 1930 in Seymour, Texas, to Dixie Jewell (nee Bryant) Hallum (1912-2004) and Vernon D. Hallum (1904-1992). He holds the Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas (1956). After an architectural internship in 1957 in Washington, D.C., Hallum opened an architectural office in Highland Park (Dallas, Texas) in 1961. He retired from practice after 53 years in 2014. Hallum married Yvonne Bevil in 1955. They have two sons, David and Jeffrey.

“Guide for Planning Church Buildings for the Churches of Christ, Box 80, Folder 1, Item 10, Vernon Aubrey Hallum Papers, 1962-2011. Center for Restoration Studies MS#485 . Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

This collection consists of rolled sets of drawings of churches, mainly Churches of Christ in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, as well as of a few church-related buildings. Included are designs, master plans, construction drawings, and blueprints. In addition to the drawings, there are one complete set of contract administration files for one church building; about fifty clippings, articles, and letters; and a few memorabilia.

Architectural Drawing of Riverside Church of Christ, Coppell, TX, Box 40, Vernon Aubrey Hallum Papers, 1962-2011. Center for Restoration Studies MS#485 . Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

What Does Special Collections Collect?: A Brief Guide for Donors and Patrons

ACU Special Collections and Archives actively seeks materials from, by and about the Restoration Movement from its earliest days to the present.  We hold books, periodicals, ephemera, photographs, audio and video recordings, archival materials and artifacts.

Books and periodicals:  Ideally we will preserve one copy in as pristine a condition as we can locate.  Where we have two copies, one will be available to researchers as a ‘use copy’ while the other is kept as a ‘preservation copy.’  We are always looking to 1) fill in gaps in our collection; 2) to acquire better-condition copies; and 3) acquire signed or inscribed copies.  In outstanding cases we will retain additional signed or association copies.

Several first editions of the works of Alexander Campbell. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Masthead, Gospel Advance, September 1919, vol. 1 no. 1. Edited and published by Price Billingsley. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Ephemera and photographs:  Printed for the moment then cast aside, ephemeral items open a window into our history that is, regrettably, seldom preserved.  Broadsides, leaflets, posters, advertising cards, clippings and the like can help us understand moments that comprise our history.  Photographs, portraits, snapshots, and slides document the moment without using words.

Campbell Street Church of Christ, Louisville, KY. 3 June 1923. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Scrapbook, Box 1, Folder 1, Mable Fuchs Papers, 1920-1921. Center for Restoration Studies MS #445. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Audio and Video Recordings:  We estimate that we hold over 15,000 recordings in a variety of formats (from magnetic tape reels to phonograph records to cassettes to VCR tapes and DVDs).  Listen below to Lynn Anderson’s sermon Ride the Wild Horses:

Listen below to Zelma Stroop remember David and Margaret Lipscomb:

Archival material: We currently house just under 490 collections of personal papers of ministers, evangelists, professors, editors and missionaries.  Each set is as different as its creator.  Some are rich in sermons or correspondence, others in manuscript materials and some contain records from congregations or organizations.  Many have a little of everything. Congregational records include minutes books, selected bulletins, membership rosters, and directories.

Letter from Carl Ketcherside to Stanley Paregien, 11 February 1970. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Letter of Recommendation for both G.W. Varner and A.V. Varner signed by the entire congregation. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Artifacts: The iconic pulpit used by Thomas Campbell at Ahorey (Ireland) Presbyterian Church may be our most recognizable artifact.  But we have communion ware from the 19th and early 20th centuries, a pew from the Madison, TN Church of Christ and artifacts from across the world from several missionaries.  These items tell yet another side to the story.

Bed-sheet sized sermon chart on Heaven, ca. 1940s-1950s. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Brass printing plates used in the production of Great Songs of the Church. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

If you have materials like these you would like to donate, please contact Mac Ice, Director of Special Collections and Archives at mac.ice@acu.edu or (325) 674-2144.  Mac will be pleased to discuss any aspect of the holdings and work of ACU Special Collections and Archives.