University online digital repository unveils native streaming

After several months of beta testing we are pleased to announce that our online digital repository now supports native streaming for audio and video files.  This development significantly enhances the user experience by allowing users to preview media files in a web-browser prior to download.  Users will still be able to download each file, but this development makes listening much easier, much faster, and the overall user experience much better.

Interior of Sewell Auditorium, 1939 Bible Lectureship, from the Jesse Sewell Photograph Collection. The earliest Lectureship recordings were of sermons and classes delivered in this room, used for plenary Lectureship events from 1929 to 1967.

To pilot this upgrade, our partners at BePress implemented streaming for the West Islip (New York) Church of Christ Collection.  This small set of magnetic tape audio reels preserves primary source material pertaining to the Exodus Movement, a unique church-planting concept employed among Churches of Christ in the 1960s.  After a successful implementation for the West Islip files, we enabled streaming capabilities for the remainder of our audio, video, and historic films:

Herald of Truth film1 video file from 1960, a television broadcast featuring the Union Avenue Church of Christ, Memphis, Tennessee

Summit video: 6 video files of plenary Summit speeches

Lectures on Preaching12 audio files of Landon Saunders at the 21st Annual Lectures on Preaching held in 1971 

Vernon Boyd audio18 audio files of rich and historically significant oral histories pertaining to African-American Churches of Christ

Leroy Garrett audio26 audio files of recordings of Leroy Garrett’s teaching and lecturing

LeMoine Lewis audio246 audio files of Dr. LeMoine Lewis’ lectures on church history

Herald of Truth audio534 audio files of historic Herald of Truth radio broadcasts, 1950-1994, featuring speakers such as Batsell Barrett Baxter, James D. Willeford, E. R. Harper, Harold Hazelip, John Allen Chalk, Humphrey Foutz, James Walter Nichols, George Bailey, Landon Saunders, and many more.

Summit and Bible Lectureship audio5395 audio files of every known recording from the annual Bible lectureships


Shepherd’s Voice (1897-1898) now available online

Special Collections and Archives is pleased to announce seven issues of a rare early twentieth-century periodical, The Shepherd’s Voice, are now available online for full-text browsing and download.

In September 1897 the Churches of Christ mission to Japan was just a few years old.  W. K. Azbill and John Moody McCaleb, joined by Eugenese Snodgrass, arrived in 1892.  Snodgrass had been in Japan since 1888 under the auspices of the Foreign Christian Missionary Society.  The McCaleb mission, however, was supported only by local Churches of Christ and individuals in the United States apart from missionary societies or missions boards.  After a separation from Azbill, Snodgrass and McCaleb, along with Carme Hostetter, whose work is described in the first issue here, pioneered the independent missionary presence of the Stone-Campbell movement in Japan.  The Shepherd’s Voice is one of the earliest, if not the earliest extant, periodicals to document and raise awareness and support for this independent missionary work.  As such it contains a trove of information about the mission activities, offering primary source material unavailable elsewhere.  For example, the first issue contains a nice portrait of Hostetter and a photograph of her school along with a series of “inductive Bible lessons’ that reveal the kind of teaching the mission conducted.

“The Shepherd’s Voice, writes the Editor, “besides recording current Eastern religious, literary, and social news, is the only magazine in Japan devoted especially to studying and teaching the Bible.”*  Subscribers in Japan paid 50 sen per year; subscribers outside Japan paid one dollar.  While subscriptions were available to readers in the United States, presumably especially the Americans who supported the mission, the paper is primarily directed to a Japanese readership.  Significant portions of the articles in the 1898 issues are in Japanese and the 1898 issues reproduce portions of a debate Snodgrass held with a Japanese man.

The Shepherd’s Voice, volume 6, number 9, September 1897, front cover. Center for Restoration Studies, Special Collections and Archives, Abilene Christian University.

Readers of these few issues of this scarce periodical will find several more similar comments, plus items of news and notes about happenings among Churches of Christ in Japan.  Historians of missions and missiology, students of intellectual and social history, and anyone interested in the history of Churches of Christ will find these issues of The Shepherd’s Voice a welcome addition to their palette of source material.  We thank The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York for partnering with us to make these rare issues available online.  Burke holds the original issues. The Shepherd’s Voice, with one issue from volume 6 (September 1897) and six issues from 1898, is the newest addition to our growing collection of digitized print materials pertaining to Churches of Christ, currently with over 500 books, tracts, pamphlets from across the Stone-Campbell movement available online.  Additional materials on about this mission include The History of the Kamitomizaka Church of Christ in Tokyo, Japan by Yunosuke Hiratsuka and Bunkicki Iwahashi, Once Traveled Roads, and On The Trail of the Missionaries both by J.M.McCaleb.

*[Eugenese Snodgrass], [Editorial note] The Shepherd’s Voice, 6(9), September 1897, [first page].

Foldered & Finished: Abilene Christian College Faculty Wives Records

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.

Scrapbook [page 7], Abilene Christian
College Faculty Wives Records, 1924-1961. Center for Restoration Studies MS #121.
Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene
Christian University, Abilene, TX.

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.

Scrapbook [page 37], Abilene Christian
College Faculty Wives Records, 1924-1961. Center for Restoration Studies MS #121.
Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene
Christian University, Abilene, TX.

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.

Scrapbook [page 195], Abilene Christian
College Faculty Wives Records, 1924-1961. Center for Restoration Studies MS #121.
Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene
Christian University, Abilene, TX.