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Frank Baker (1910-1999) was a faculty member at Duke University in history, an expert on Wesleyan Methodism, and a rare book and manuscripts collector. The Frank Baker Collection of Wesleyana and British Methodism, 1536-1996 and undated, comprises correspondence, writings, local histories, printed items, engravings, and many other manuscript materials that date from the earliest years of Methodism to its worldwide expansion up to the 20th century. The collection includes the correspondence of two of the most important founders of Methodism, John and Charles Wesley, as well as correspondence from members of the Wesley family. Collection also includes correspondence from many of the key figures in 18th and 19th century history of British Methodism: Joseph Benson, Jabez Bunting, Adam Clarke, Thomas Coke, James Everett, John Fletcher, Mary (Bosanquet) Fletcher, Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, Elizabeth (Ritchie) Mortimer, George Osborn, Hester Ann Rogers, Richard Tabraham, and Thomas Wride. Other materials include church records and registers, account books, autograph albums, broadsides (notices), circular letters, engravings, maps, sermons, scrapbooks, photographs, and memorabilia. Topics covered by the materials include the life and training of Methodist clergy; the religious life of women; biography and portraiture of Methodists; spirituality; Protestantism in art; and the debate between Arminianism and Calvinism in the early church. Organizational history in the collection covers several branches of the 18th and 19th century church, including Wesleyan Methodism, Primitive Methodism, missions, and missionary societies.

The Frank Baker Collection of Wesleyana and British Methodism, 1536-1996 and undated, comprises a vast range of original correspondence, writings, local histories, printed items, engravings, and many other manuscript materials that date from the earliest years of Methodism to its expansion throughout the British Empire during the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. The collection includes the correspondence of two of the most important founders of Methodism, John and Charles Wesley, as well as correspondence from members of the Wesley family, including Samuel Wesley, Sr. (1662-1735), Sarah (Gwynne) Wesley (1726-1822) and the Gwynne family, and the children of Charles and Sarah Wesley: Charles Wesley, Junior (1757-1834), Sarah (Sally) Wesley (1759-1828), and Samuel Wesley (1766-1837).

Additionally, correspondence from many of the key figures in 18th and 19th century history of British Methodism greatly extends the collection's breadth of coverage. Among others, these groups of correspondence include Joseph Benson, Jabez Bunting, Adam Clarke, Thomas Coke, James Everett, John Fletcher, Mary (Bosanquet) Fletcher, Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, Elizabeth (Ritchie) Mortimer, George Osborn, Hester Ann Rogers, Richard Tabraham, and Thomas Wride.

The collection materials cover many topics, including: the life and training of clergy women correspondence and diaries; the religious life of women; biography; portraiture; spiritual topics; Protestantism as depicted in art; and the debate between Arminianism and Calvinism in the early church. Organizational history in the collection covers several branches of the 18th and 19th century church, including Wesleyan Methodism, Primitive Methodism, missions, and missionary societies.

Formats of materials include church records and registers, account books, autograph albums, broadsides (notices), circular letters, engravings, maps, sermons, scrapbooks, class tickets, photographs, photocopies of original manuscripts, memorabilia, and realia.

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Frank Baker papers, 1641-2002 and undated, bulk 1740-1995 112.7 Linear Feet — Approx. 90,000 items — Approx. 90,000 Items

Scholar, editor, collector, and Duke University faculty member specializing in the history of English and American Methodist history, and the life and career of minister John Wesley. Collection documents the professional career and life of Frank Baker, historian of Methodism and particularly of the founder and Methodist minister John Wesley. Materials are arranged in the following series: Baker Collections Files; Correspondence; Libraries and Archives; Ministry; Personal Files; Printed Materials; Professional Service; Scrapbooks and Albums; Subject Files; Teaching Materials; and Writings and Research. Topics covered include: the history of the Baker book and manuscript collections in the Duke University libraries; the history and development of Methodism and of the Wesley family; the Church of England; the Methodist Church in England, the U.S., and other countries; the development of academic research on Methodist history; music and hymnology; and material on the Wesley Works Series, a publishing project headed by Baker. There are abundant research materials on notable individuals associated with Methodism such as Charles Wesley and many other Wesley family members, William Grimshaw, and Francis Asbury. Printed material abounds, and includes many maps, articles, clippings and newspapers, pamphlets, and religious music.

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.

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Wesley family papers, 1726-1889 and undated 3 Linear Feet — 46 Items

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The brothers John Wesley (1703-1791) and Charles Wesley (1707-1788) were Church of England clergymen and two of the founders of Methodism; Sarah Wesley (1726-1822) and Sarah Wesley (1759-1828) were the wife and daughter of Charles Wesley. The Wesley family papers span the years 1726-1889 and mainly comprise the correspondence of John and Charles Wesley, with single items from the wife and daughter of Charles, both named Sarah; there is also an inventory of John Wesley's library taken at the time of his death, 1791, and a photograph album, 1889, of English sites related to the Wesleys and the history of Methodism. Correspondence discusses John Wesley's life as a student at Lincoln College, the administration of Kingswood School, the brothers' mission to Georgia in the 1730s, and Methodism's eventual separation from the Church of England. Correspondents and people mentioned in the letters include the Countess of Huntingdon, George Whitefield, James Oglethorpe, Joseph Benson, and Samuel Bradburn.

The Wesley family papers, 1726-1889 and undated, comprise correspondence, poems, sermons, affidavits, and other documents of the brothers John Wesley (1703-1791) and Charles Wesley (1707-1788), both Church of England clergymen and two of the founders of Methodism; of Sarah Wesley (1726-1822), wife of Charles; and of Sarah Wesley (1759-1828), daughter of Charles and Sarah.

John Wesley's letters discuss his life as a student at Lincoln College; the administration of Kingswood School, Bath; his conflict with the Countess of Huntingdon; his involvement with the funeral sermon for George Whitefield and Whitefield's estate; and various other topics including the appointment of ministers. Charles Wesley's letters discuss details of the Wesley brothers' experiences on their mission to Georgia, including their relationship with James Oglethorpe, and his regrets over the Methodists' separation from the Church of England. Correspondents and persons mentioned include Samuel Wesley (brother of John and Charles), Eliza Bennis, Joseph Benson, Samuel Bradburn, James Kenton, and Samuel Lloyd.

Other materials include an inventory of John Wesley's library at the time of his death; a signed affidavit concerning a major chapel of British Methodism, opened in Nottingham in 1783; a photograph album of places in England associated with the Wesley family and the history of Methodism; and some infant baptismal clothing (a christening gown) attributed to the Wesley family.

Original correspondence housed in Box 1 available by prior request only. Use copies are in Box 2.