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George Van Metre was a civil engineer, real estate dealer, local politician and local recorder of weather conditions at Martinsburg, West Virginia. The collection includes surveying notes, drawings, personal and business correspondence and papers of Van Metre as well as William Ferrel and members of his family. Also included are weather observations, account books and letters from a missionary in India.

The collection is predominantly composed of surveying notes and drawings, together with personal and business correspondence and papers of Van Metre, of William Ferrel (1817-1891), meteorologist, and of other members of the Van Metre and Ferrel (Ferrell) families of West Virginia. The Van Metre and Ferrel families were connected through marriage. The collection also includes weather observations, business diaries, letters relating to family matters, medical records, letters from a missionary in India about her experiences and the people she encounters, and account books.

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The John Lakin Brasher Papers, 1857-1983 and undated (bulk 1917-1970), are comprised of church-related and personal correspondence; records of the Iowa Holiness Association; records of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Alabama Conference; religious writings and speeches (including sermons, diaries and manuscripts of published works); printed material (tracts, religious brochures, serials, and hymnals); photographs (including many of camp meetings); transcriptions of tape recordings; legal papers; financial papers; and miscellanea. Most of the material concerns the religious career of John L. Brasher; the Holiness (Santification) movement in the Methodist Church, particularly in Alabama; Holiness education and the administration of the John H. Snead Seminary in Boaz, Alabama and Central Holiness University (later John Fletcher College) in University Park, Iowa; and camp meetings in the South, particularly Alabama, and the Midwest. Includes biographies of clergy and accounts of religious and family life in rural north Alabama. Among correspondents are Joseph P. Owens, F.D. Leete, John Paul, and missionaries in Eygpt, India, China, and Japan. Contains letters and printed material concerning the separation and reunification of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

The John Lakin Brasher Papers, 1857-1993 and undated (bulk 1917-1970) are comprised of church-related and personal correspondence; records of the Iowa Holiness Association; records of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Alabama Conference; religious writings and speeches (including sermons, diaries and manuscripts of published works); printed material (tracts, religious brochures, serials, and hymnals); photographs (including many of camp meetings); transcriptions of tape recordings; legal papers; financial papers; and miscellany. Most material concerns the religious career of John L. Brasher; the Holiness (Sanctification) movement in the Methodist Church, particularly in Alabama; Holiness education and the administration of John H. Snead Seminary in Boaz, Ala.; and Central Holiness University (later John Fletcher College) in University Park, Ia.; and camp meetings in the South, particularly Alabama, and the Midwest. Includes biographies of clergy and accounts of religious and family life in rural north Alabama. Among correspondents are Joseph P. Owens, F. D. Leete, John Paul, and missionaries in Egypt, India, China, and Japan. Contains letters and printed material concerning the separation and reunification of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

Brasher's activities as a minister are documented throughout the collection. The Correspondence and Transcriptions of Tape Recordings Series reveal Brasher's reflections on scripture and provide accounts of congregational reactions to his preaching. Transcripts of his sermons appear in the Writings and Speeches Series, Sermons Subseries as well as in the Transcriptions of Tape Recordings and in some of the published articles (Printed Material Series, Serials Subseries) and manuscripts of his books (Printed Material Series, The Way of Faith). His diaries and correspondence document his travels and his preaching engagements. Numerous invitations to preach and requests for guidance reflect Brasher's leadership role among ministers, missionaries, and church officials. Letters to and from converts regarding their religious experiences and responses to Brasher's preaching and writing are scattered throughout the Correspondence Series.

Brasher's administrative role in religious organizations and in church-affiliated educational facilities is well-represented in the Correspondence Series as well as in the Iowa Holiness Association Series and the Methodist Episcopal Church, Alabama Conference Series. Minutes, reports, and financial records are among the papers of these organizations, reflecting both Brasher's leadership and involvement and the activities of the organizations themselves. The Pictures Series includes some photographs of the schools with which Brasher was associated and of the attending students.

Brasher's career as an author is well-documented, not only in the Writings and Speeches Series, but throughout the collection. The Correspondence Series includes letters to and from his publishers and from editors of various religious serials to which Brasher contributed. The Printed Material Series contains many of these serials with articles by Brasher as well as tracts he wrote.

Throughout the collection, information on church history abounds. The Correspondence Series and the Methodist Episcopal Church, Alabama Conference Series in particular contain letters concerning the rivalry between the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; and the eventual unification of the two organizations. Conflicts between Fundamentalist and Modernist ideas also appear in the correspondence and in the Printed Material Series.

As Historian of the Alabama Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Brasher wrote biographies of preachers, missionaries, and church officials involved in the Holiness Movement. These biographies appear in the Writings and Speeches Series, Biographical Sketches of Colleagues Subseries. Some of these biographies were published in Glimpses: Some Personal Glimpses of Holiness Preachers I Have Known, and with Whom I Have Labored in Evangelism, Who Have Answered to Their Names in the Roll Call of the Skies. Manuscripts of some of those appearing in the published work can be found in the Glimpses Subseries. Some of the letters and questionnaires from which Brasher wrote his sketches appear in the Methodist Episcopal Church, Alabama Conference Series, Biographical Information Subseries. The letters from which his information was gleaned vary in degree of detail, with some providing only dates and places of birth, marriage, ordination, etc.; and others giving descriptions of incidents in the religious life of the subject.

Correspondence, Pictures, Transcriptions of Tape Recordings, and the Family Biography Subseries of the Writings and Speeches Series document Brasher's life with his family. Brasher's biographical writings and other works in the Family Biography Subseries, and the Transcriptions of Tape Recordings Series also provide a small but rich glimpse into the traditional lore, customs, and folkways of the rural upland South.

Details of camp meetings are documented throughout the collection. The Transcripts of Tape Recordings Series contains transcripts of camp meetings. The Printed Material Series includes promotional literature for camp meetings; descriptions of facilities; and hymnals (some shape-note) used in these services. An unusual collection of copies of photographs of camp meetings from the early 1900's through the 1940's in Ohio, Iowa, Alabama, Michigan, Texas and Pennsylvania can be found in the Pictures Series.

The Boatman Family Papers, also housed in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, contains correspondence from John Lakin Brasher and other members of the Brasher family.

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Mary McMillan papers, 1936-1997 and undated, bulk 1952-1991, bulk 1952-1991 8.1 Linear Feet — 13 manuscript boxes; 2 oversize boxes; 2 oversize folders — 2277 Items

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The Mary McMillan Papers, 1936-1997 and undated (bulk 1952-1991), consist chiefly of journals and printed material, but also include correspondence, writings and speeches, photographic material, scrapbooks, clippings, videocassettes, audio cassettes, and memorabilia. Arranged in nine series based primarily on the format of the material, the papers illuminate the personal life and professional work of McMillan, a United Methodist missionary and teacher at the Hiroshima Jo Gakuin College in Hiroshima, Japan. In addition to her work as a teacher, the collection documents McMillan's service to the Kyodan, a unifying organization for Christian missionaries in Japan, and to the hibakusha, the survivors of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as her peace activism. Also included are materials related to the Topaz Relocation Center, a Japanese-American internment camp in Utah where McMillan worked in 1943. The papers are mostly in English, but include some Japanese language materials.

The bulk of the collection consists of the Journals Series, whose 43 journals contain almost daily accounts of McMillan's work at Hiroshima Jo Gakuin College, her involvement with the Ushita Christian Church, and her encounters with friends and other people. Also included are her personal thoughts about world events, particularly those related to peace and nuclear disarmament. Beginning on Aug. 11, 1939 with the final preparations for her initial departure, McMillan records her activities through her first year and a half in Japan. The 1939 and 1940 journals document in depth McMillan's adaptation to life in Japan, including her training in the Japanese language and customs, her first visits to various cities throughout the country, and the difficulties she faced as an American woman in pre-World War II Japan. After she and other American workers in Hiroshima were forcibly evacuated on Feb. 29, 1941, journal entries are scarce; however, the almost-daily entries resume in 1952 and continue until the day of McMillan's death on July 19, 1991.

In addition to the journals, McMillan's professional work as a United Methodist missionary and teacher at Hiroshima Jo Gakuin College is well documented through the Correspondence Series, Writings and Speeches Series, and Printed Material Series. The Biographical Material Series includes McMillan's handwritten autobiographical notes, as well as newspaper and magazine clippings and booklets documenting McMillan's work at Hiroshima Jo Gakuin College, and with the Ushita Christian Church, which McMillan helped found in 1948. McMillan's correspondence also sheds light on her work through "mission letters," mass mailings which she wrote periodically as a way of updating her supporters in the United States on her work in Hiroshima.

McMillan also was a staunch advocate of world peace and nuclear disarmament, and after her retirement from the United Methodist Church in 1980, she spent much of her time writing letters and speaking in churches throughout the United States promoting her cause. McMillan's role as a pacifist is well well documented throughout the entire collection by her correspondence, photographs of demonstrations and marches, printed materials, and items in the Clippings Series. Much of the material in the Writings and Speeches Series and the Printed Material Series is related to peace activism, and covers topics such as the lingering effects of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima and that city's fight for peace, the first-hand accounts of bomb survivors, and the United Methodist Church's pacifist stance.

Also contributing to an understanding of McMillan's life, the Photographic Material Series and the Memorabilia Series offer visual and three-dimensional documentation of her activities as a missionary, teacher, and friend to the Japanese.

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Carl and Enid Whirley were Southern Baptist missionaries in Nigeria from 1947 to 1980. The Whirley Family Papers includes material from throughout their lives, beginning with Carl's studies at Howard College, now Samford University, in the 1940s and ending with his and Enid's retirement into the 1990s. Their papers include correspondence, documents and photographs from the Whirleys' time in multiple regions of Nigeria, as well as Carl's sermon notes and teaching materials. Also includes printed materials from their time as missionaries, including Nigerian newspapers and clippings, church bulletins, and other articles, books, serials, pamphlets, and newsletters.

The Whirley Family Papers collection is divided into seven series: Teaching Materials, Speeches and Sermons, Correspondence, Nigerian Mission, Printed Materials, Personal Materials, and Audiovisual Materials. Teaching Materials is divided into four subseries: subject files, specific course materials, Samford University administration, and Carl Whirley's personal coursework and notes. Speeches and Sermons contains three subseries: Carl Whirley's sermon notes, sermons by himself and others, and speeches by himself and others. Correspondence contains contact between Carl and Enid with personal friends as well as American churches and official organizations. Nigerian Mission includes both administrative documents from various Nigerian missionary organizations as well as some uncaptioned photographs. Printed Materials consists of eight subseries: articles, newsletters, newspapers, pamphlets, serials, books, programs, and church bulletins, mostly from their time in Nigeria. Personal Materials largely relates to the lives both before and after their missionary work in Nigeria.

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Dr. William J. Williams and his wife, Irene Leslie Sands Williams, a nurse, were Southern Baptist medical missionaries stationed at Ogbomosho Baptist Hospital, Nigeria from 1944 through 1984. The couple also worked in Gaza and Kurdistan, and were active in several Baptist churches in the United States. This collection contains their diaries, photographs, correspondence, and other items documenting their work and family life as Christians, medical personnel, and educators.

The collection consists of personal diaries, correspondence, and photographs largely dating from the couple's service in Nigeria from the 1940s-1980s.

The Diaries series contains diaries from both Bill and Leslie; each reflects their personal style of journaling. The William J. Williams subseries contains small datebooks, usually featuring regular entries about his and Leslie's daily movements or activities. Leslie Williams' subseries contains diaries that vary in length and size; for a period of time in the 1940s and 1950s, she used her diary as a sort of scrapbook, which meant volumes arrived with all kinds of letters, clippings, and ephemera tucked in the pages. Because these presented preservation challenges to the volume, and likely difficulty for use in the reading room, archivists separately foldered the inlaid items but attempted to record where in the volume they originated. Thus researchers looking to reconstruct Leslie's correspondence should also check the Diaries series, which includes letters along with other items that she saved in her diaries.

The Correspondence series arrangement largely reflects how the materials were transferred to Rubenstein. The bulk of the letters are from Leslie to friends and family, including Jereen Rugis (her college roommate), May Bernhart, and other stateside friends and family. There are also pockets of correspondence from Bill to Leslie, both dating from the 1930s while each was in school, and from 1976, during a furlough. Other correspondence is more formal, including administrative letters from the Foreign Missions Board regarding their appointments and salaries.

The Photographs series contains albums, slides, prints, and negatives, some captioned but largely uncaptioned. Images date from the 1940s through the 1980s. The bulk of the iamges are from Nigeria, including photographs of Bill, Leslie, and their children; medical care for patients in Ogbomosho, Eku, and various villages and leper colonies; education of student nurses and church services in Nigeria; and photographs of plants and other Nigeria street scenes. Other photographs document their travels to Gaza, El Salvador, Honduras, Gaza, and Kurdistan, as well as their visits to the United States (including images in Texas, Oklahoma, and Detroit).

The Medical Missionary series contains assorted items from Bill and Leslie's theological and medical education in the United States, as well as materials from their appointment as missionaries in Nigeria. The series contains assorted newsletters and administrative materials from the Baptist Mission and other churches that supported their work; travel documents such as passports and shipping logs; their personal banking and cash accounts from the operation of the hospital; two Bibles used by Bill and Leslie; and other ephemeral materials from their missionary careers.