Frank Baker papers, 1641-2002 and undated, bulk 1740-1995 112.7 Linear Feet — Approx. 90,000 items — Approx. 90,000 Items
The Frank Baker Papers date from 1641 through 2002, with the majority of the materials dating from the 1800s to the 1990s. The collection houses correspondence, articles, pamphlets, extensive subject and research files, clippings, publicity, a few audio recordings and microfilm, and other materials documenting the professional career and life of Frank Baker, historian of Methodism and particularly of the life and career of minister John Wesley, considered the founder of British Methodism. The collection is arranged in the following series: Audiovisual Materials, Baker Collections Files; Correspondence; Libraries and Archives; Ministry; Personal Files; Printed Material; Professional Service; Scrapbooks and Albums; Subject Files; Teaching Materials; and Writings and Research. Many of the series are divided into subseries, and two are also followed by an Oversize Materials subseries. Note that early dates usually represent reproductions, not originals, although the collection does house some original research materials.
Topics covered by the materials in the collection include: the history and development of Methodism and of the Wesley family; the history of the Church of England, and the Methodist Church in England, the U.S., and other countries; the development of academic research on Methodism and its publications; the history of the Baker book and manuscript collections in the Duke University Libraries; music and hymnology; and the development of the Wesley Works Series, a publishing project headed by Baker. There are abundant research materials on notable individuals associated with Methodism such as John and Charles Wesley, many other Wesley family members, and others such as William Grimshaw and Francis Asbury.
The largest series is the Subject Files (122 boxes), research files assembled by Baker on approximately 1500 topics related to the Wesley family and the history of Methodism and the Methodist Church. Another large series is Writings and Research (48 boxes), containing files of research notes, correspondence, print materials, and publicity related to each of Baker's published works. There are also many student writings in the collection and other materials related to Baker's teaching. Among the Personal Files are biographical files on Frank Baker; awards and honors; travel-related items, and two portrait photographs of Baker's parents. Baker's personal hobbies are reflected in the stamp collecting materials and a group of Victorian-era monogram and crest albums and "libri amicorum," or friendship albums that round out the collection.