Online digital repository reaches new milestone, thousands of items just clicks away

In September our online digital repository reached a new milestone, with over 100,000 downloads in a single month.  Launched in 2014, the repository contains over 27,000 items: from single photographs to audio recordings to full-length books and dissertations.  In September researchers from 1800 institutions in 185 countries downloaded materials.

There is a wealth of information here.  What can you discover?

This screen shot is not clickable, so here are the direct links. Each link opens in a new window:

The most popular papers in September were:
Church Directory and List of Preachers of Churches of Christ (6613 downloads)
The Effect of Anxiety and Depression on College Students’ Academic Performance: Exploring Social Support as a Moderator (2669 downloads)
A Qualitative Case Study Examining Parental Involvement and Parent-School Partnership Strategies in a Middle School: Perspectives of Parents, Teachers, and Administrators (931 downloads)

The most popular publications in September were:
Everett Ferguson Photo Collection (27432 downloads)
Lectureship and Summit Audio Collection (15888 downloads)
Electronic Theses and Dissertations (15674 downloads)

Book of Mormon Census Project

Back in the summer Robert Messick contacted me as part of his work on the Book of Mormon Census Project, an effort to document all extant copies of seven early editions and printings of the Book of Mormon.  This work is in advance of the 200th anniversary of the 1830 publication of the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon Census Project is an ongoing academic project to catalog and document the surviving copies of various early printings of the Book of Mormon. Understanding the value of this project often starts when the question is asked, “How many 1830 first copies of the Book of Mormon exist today?” The answer is currently unknown and the Census Project makes a plan to answer this as well as document the various characteristics of each copy.

The seven early editions under purview of the census are: the 1830 Palmyra true first edition, the 1837 Kirtland edition, the 1840 Nauvoo edition, the 1841 Great Britain edition, the 1842 Nauvoo edition, the 1869 Deseret Alphabet edition, and the 1899 Nephite Records edition.  All are scarce and notable editions and printings.

ACU holds three of the seven:

–Our copy of the 1830 Palmyra true first edition was in the library of O. C. Lambert, minister and writer among Churches of Christ.  Though it was rebound and lacks some pages, it bears the points necessary to identify it as a first printing of the first edition.  Its Census identifier is A0042.

Book of Mormon, 1830 Palmyra edition, Center for Restoration Studies, Abilene Christian University

–Our copy of the 1841 Great Britain edition is likely bound in the publisher’s original black calf leather (or at least a contemporary leather binding).  It lacks a spine label and a few pages, including the title page.  It was from the library of Maurice Meredith, evangelist among Churches of Christ, whose library was one of the major donations to Abilene Christian College that really established our collection as a significant collection of Restoration literature. Its Census identifier is D0023.

Book of Mormon, 1841 Great Britain edition, Center for Restoration Studies, Abilene Christian University

–Our copy of the 1899 Nephite Records edition retains its original publisher’s cloth binding, with spine lettering intact and original endpapers.  The text is complete and original.  It was from the library of C. R. Nichol, evangelist, writer, and debater among Churches of Christ and bears his signature.  Its Census Identifier is G0013.

Book of Mormon, 1899 Nephite Records edition, Center for Restoration Studies, Abilene Christian University

The Census Project is an ambitious one, but it is off to a solid start gathering data about and images of several remarkable examples of one of the most significant books in American religious history.  The project will establish a degree of relative certainty about the surviving copies of these early printings, and inform our understanding of print culture and the formation of religious identity.  Several very fine editions are already posted in the database, some with fabulous association ties to Joseph Smith and are beautiful examples of the printers’ and bookbinders’ craft.  I was pleased to learn our three volumes are among the choicest editions of the Book of Mormon, and was eager to contribute details and images about them.  They are not only significant in their own right, but given the connection between Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and the early Campbell reform movement in Ohio and Illinois, they are jewels in our Restoration collection.  I was also delighted to learn that Pepperdine University holds three copies, including two copies of the 1830 first printing.  And to top it all off, we can now see Alexander Campbell’s own copy of the 1830 Palmyra edition!

Tillit Sidney Teddlie Centennial Singing, June 2, 1985, Prestoncrest Church of Christ, Dallas, Texas

In June 1985, Tilllit S. Teddlie celebrated his 100th birthday.  Friends honored him with an afternoon of song.  This video describes Teddlie’s work as a hymnist, songwriter, publisher, and song leader among Churches of Christ.  It was filmed at Prestoncrest Church of Christ in Dallas, June 2, 1985.

Tillit Sidney Teddlie was a singing school teacher, composer, publisher, and minister of the Church of Christ. Teddlie was educated in Southern Development Normal in Waco, Texas, a school for advanced instruction in theory and harmony. He also attended what is now North Texas State University. He composed his first song in 1906. During his lifetime, Teddlie taught singing schools for 61 years, composed 130 songs, published 14 song books, and served as a full-time minister, including the Johnson Street Church of Christ (1945–1951), Central Church of Christ in Greenville, Texas, and Churches of Christ in Ennis, Sulphur Springs, Lone Oak and Quinlan. For two years he sang only with Foy E. Wallace, Jr. while traveling across the country for gospel meetings.

Additionally, we hold a small collection of his song lyrics and sermon notes, which are Manuscripts #29, and our Austin Taylor Hymnal Collection holds copies of Teddlie’s hymnals.

Enjoy the film!