News from Special Collections & Archives at Wake Forest University

Guest post from Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Director of Special Collections & Archives, Wake Forest University.

BSCNC-award-375x500Special Collections & Archives (Z. Smith Reynolds Library), Wake Forest University recently hosted Marcia Phillips, a representative of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention and Chair of the Convention’s History Committee. The occasion was to present SCA with a resolution of appreciation at a small ceremony including Wake Forest President Nathan Hatch, Provost Rogan Kersh, Z. Smith Reynolds Library Dean Tim Pyatt, and SCA Director Tanya Zanish-Belcher. SCA was honored for its efforts in digitizing collections which are part of the North Carolina Historical Baptist Collection.

A week after receiving the resolution, SCA was notified it was one of 16 recipients of a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Recordings at Risk Grant:

CLIR will provide $50,000 for “Documenting the Evangelical Movement in the United States: Digitizing Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Open-Reel Audiotapes, 1957-1980.”  George Blood LP (Philadelphia) will reformat and digitize approximately 1,500 at-risk and rare open-reel audio recordings for SCA. The open-reel tapes document the American evangelical movement and contain presentations by prominent Southern Baptist pastors and church representatives at a number of evangelical conferences and annual meetings of the Convention. The speakers and programs on the tapes document the denomination’s activities and subjects of discussion, 1957-1980, ranging from Baptist theology to broad cultural and societal issues. This project will result in the long-term preservation digital storage for these tapes, and broad access through the Wake Forest University North Carolina Baptist History Portal currently being developed. Once completed, there will be an active outreach program, focused on demonstrating how historians, researchers, and religious scholars can use these records in their research and teaching.

As primary source material, the insight this material provides for the American evangelical movement through four decades is invaluable on many levels. The speakers include prominent Southern Baptist leaders, including such notables as Kenneth Chafin, Billy Graham, Dale Moody, Wayne Oates, and Stephen Olford. The subjects range widely, from internal Baptist concerns relating to baptism and dancing at Baptist colleges, the role of the church in an increasingly liberal society, missionaries working abroad, political involvement, and the role of women. Historians, researchers, scholars, and students, whether focusing on culture, the evangelical movement, gender, or religion, will gain new perspectives and understanding by having access to these previously unavailable materials.

For further information, please contact Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Director,

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