Finding Aid Round Up

We’ve been busy writing finding aids for recent acquisitions and revising finding aids for sets of papers already in our holdings. You can browse all of our collections 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!


George Dallas Smith Papers, 1895-1921, MS#28 [Revised Finding Aid]
George Dallas Smith was born 17 March 1870 in Union City, Tennessee. He attended Dickson Normal College and Georgie Robertson Christian College, both in Tennessee. In 1896 he began preaching throughout the southern United States. In addition to traveling speaking engagements, he also worked with churches in Texas, Kentucky, and Tennessee. He authored multiple books and pamphlets which emphasized the importance of Bible study, among other things. He passed away on 7 November 1920 in Cleburne, Texas following a very brief illness. This collection includes sermons written by George Dallas Smith and by John Thomas Smith. It also includes articles for Christian journals written by George Dallas Smith.

Sermon sheet, George Dallas Smith Papers, CRS MS#28. Center for Restoration Studies, Abilene Christian University.

Morris Solon May Papers, 1956-1995, MS#429 [Revised Finding Aid]
Morris Solon May was born July 10, 1926 in Winfield, Alabama. He served in the Navy during World War II as a typist in the Pacific. He married Helen “Maxine” Ehl on April 5, 1947. The couple had four children. He preached at the Church of Christ in Yakima, Washington for many years and also worked as a millwright in Richland, Washington. He retired in College Station, Texas, and died February 25, 2016. This collection contains a large set of sermon outlines, along with notes, lessons, correspondence, church bulletins, printed charts and articles, and several sermon manuscripts.

Ray and Nancy Hansen Papers, 1943-1944, MS469 [Revised Finding Aid]
Nancy Hansen was born April 7, 1931 in Grand Saline, Texas. She attended Abilene Christian University and majored in Home Economics. Ray and Nancy Hansen were married January 23, 1954. Ray worked for Exxon Oil and the two lived in many places throughout his career and had three children: Kathy, Tim, and Ted. Nancy passed away November 28, 2016. This collection contains World War 2 ration books belonging to Nancy Hansen and her family members. There are six books inside a green book cover.

Commerce Church of Christ (Commerce, TX) Records, 1963-2011, MS496 [Revised Finding Aid]
This record group includes one box of Commerce Church of Christ history and bulletins. Commerce Church of Christ is located in Commerce, Texas.

“Some Days and Years in the Life of the Church of Christ at Commerce, Texas–An Unfinished Notebook,” Box 1, Folder 1. Commerce Church of Christ Records (Commerce, TX), MS #496. Center for Restoration Studies, Abilene Christian University.

David Henry Bobo Papers, 1960s, MS519 [New Finding Aid]
David Henry Bobo was born in 1910 in Alabama. He attended David Lipscomb College from 1929-1933. He then worked with Churches of Christ throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Indiana. He married Madolin Davis (1915-1985) and the two had a daughter in 1938. He began working with the Fountain Square Church of Christ in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1950 where he served until his death in 1985. This collection consists of two boxes of magnetic tape reels of sermons at Fountain Square Church of Christ in Indianapolis, Indiana, from the 1960s. Bobo is likely the speaker on most if not all of the reels. Some reels retain the handwritten labels with sermon titles and dates.


Stay tuned for more installments of Finding Aid Round Ups!

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.

Sermon Charts from the Alfred Waller Collection

We are working hard to provide collection-level access to all manuscript and personal papers collection through the ACU library catalog and on our Finding Aids blog.  Along the way we see three cloth sermon charts from Alfred Waller.  These three charts comprise The Alfred Waller Collection, Center for Restoration Studies Manuscripts #140.  To see additional sermon charts from ACU Special Collections, browse the Portal to Texas History.

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