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.

Picture This: Daisy Hall

This post is part of our ongoing series featuring photographs from our collection. Explore more of our digitized photos (and other items) over on Digital Commons @ ACU

As students arrive on campus this fall, we’re taking a look back at dorm life through the years at Abilene Christian University, starting off with Daisy Hall. Don’t recognize that name from a recent walk around campus? That’s because Daisy Hall was located at the Childers Classical Institute (and then in 1917 the newly renamed Abilene Christian College) campus on North 1st street near the center of Abilene.

Daisy Hall on the Abilene Christian College campus, circa 1914-1915. The new sidewalk pictured was built by the Zellner Literary Society as a memorial at the end of the 1914-1915 school year. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

Named in honor of President Jesse P. Sewell’s wife Daisy Sewell, Daisy Hall served many purposes on the growing campus. The 1915-1916 Catalog of Abilene Christian College described Daisy Hall:

This is a three story brick structure, modern and first class in every respect. It is heated with steam and lighted with electricity. There are baths, with hot and cold water on each floor. Each floor has completely equipped toilet rooms. Each room has individual clothes closets and a lavatory with running water. Most of the rooms are furnished with single beds, and all of them with nice dressers, tables, chairs, etc. The reception parlor, library and dining room are decorated with Sister Sewell’s beautiful oil, pastel and water color pictures, and hand painted china. The library contains Brother Sewell’s excellent collection of more than six hundred books. 

Brother and Sister Sewell live in the building, with other members of the faculty, and give their very best thoughts and efforts to making it a pleasant and wholesome home for all girls who are trusted to their care.

Photograph of a student reading in a Daisy Hall bedroom, circa 1915-1916. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

Daisy Hall bathroom, circa 1915-1916. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

Daisy Hall bedroom, circa 1915-1916. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

According to the 1919-1920 Catalog of Abilene Christian College, board in Daisy Hall ranged from $59-$75 per semester, depending on the term and if you preferred a north room or a south room. For comparison, tuition for the same academic year ranged from $22.50 for the winter term all the way up to $27.50 for the fall term.

The administration office in Daisy Hall, circa 1915-1916. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

Parlor of Daisy Hall, circa 1919. The photograph was taken from Carrie Acuff Brasher’s scrapbook and is part of the Sewell Photograph Collection.

The Library in Daisy Hall, circa 1915-1916. President Jesse Sewell is pictured reading a book. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

The same 1919-1920 catalog provides a glimpse into the daily schedule of the residents of Daisy Hall:

6:30-7:00__ Arise and arrange rooms.

7:00-8:00__Breakfast.

8:00-10:00__Study and recitations.

10:00-10:30__Chapel.

10:30-12:30__Study and recitations.

12:30-1:30__Lunch.

1:30-3:30__Study and recitations.

3:30-6:00__Exercise.

6:00-7:00__Dinner.

7:00-10:30__Study.

Daisy Hall was used until the ACC campus moved to its current location in 1929.

Are you interested in the history of a particular ACC or ACU dormitory? If so, find us on Twitter (@DISCAatACU) and let us know! 

Can you identify this preacher?

Special Collections received an early Christmas present yesterday. Just before the morning service started Tom Milholland handed me this photo of a very young preacher in knee-breeches. Can you guess his identity? Check back tomorrow at noon for the answer! Here is one hint: taken when he just began preaching (at about age 15 or 16) this young man would be one of the most recognizable preachers among Churches of Christ in the 20th century.

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