Frank Baker papers, 1641-2002 and undated, bulk 1740-1995
Using These Materials
- Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. In addition, original audiovisual materials are closed to patron...
- Baker, Frank, 1910-1999
- 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.
112.7 Linear Feet
Approx. 90,000 items
Approx. 90,000 Items
- Material in English
- Collection ID:
- Scope and Content:
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.
- Biographical / Historical:
Chronology List Date Event 1910 Apr. 15 Born in Hull, Yorkshire, England, to Frank and Annie Elizabeth Baker 1931 B.A., University College of Hull, (external degree of University of London; honors) 1934 B.D., University of Manchester, England 1934-1959 Minister of British Methodist Church in seven circuits, including Warminster, Westbury, Keighley, Bury, Ramsbottom, Mansfield, Cleethorpes, and Hull North 1936 Won Eayrs Essay Prize for "John Wesley's Christian Library," to which point he dated his interest in historical research 1937, Aug. 11 Married Ellen Eliza Levitt 1937 Ordained as a Methodist Minister 1947 Published A Charge to Keep: An Introduction to the People Called Methodists 1948 Publication of Charles Wesley as Revealed by His Letters 1951 Published The Methodist Pilgrim in England 1952 Published "The Rev. William Grimshaw (1708-1763) and the Eighteenth-Century Revival of Religion in England," thesis 1957 Publication of Methodism and the Love Feast 1960 Professor of English Church History in Department of Religion and in Divinity School, Duke University 1961 Duke purchased core of Frank Baker's personal rare book and manuscript collection on the history of Methodism, later named the Frank Baker Collection of Wesleyana and British Methodism Appointed as Associate Editor and Archivist on the Wesley Works Editorial Board 1963 Edited Representative Verse of Charles Wesley 1963 Published William Grimshaw, 1708-1763 1966 Compiled A Union Catalogue of Publications of John and Charles Wesley 1969-1986 Editor-in-Chief of the Wesley Works Editorial Project 1970 Published John Wesley and the Church of England 1976 Published From Wesley to Asbury: Studies in Early American Methodism 1980 Received Emeritus Status at Duke University 1980-1982 Edited Letters I and II (the Correspondence of John Wesley) 1985 Introductor of The Heart of True Spirituality: John Wesley's Own Choice 1985 Served on editorial board for A History of the Methodist Church in Great Britain 1999 Oct. 11 Died in Durham, N.C.
Frank Baker also wrote over 200 articles, essays, and published papers, including 80 entries for the Encyclopedia of World Methodism
Memberships: World Methodist Historical Society (executive, 1970-1999?), Wesley Historical Society, Royal Historical Society, International Methodist Historical Society (joint secretary, 1947-1960), American Society of Church History.
- Acquisition Information:
- The Frank Baker papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as gifts from 1986-2007.
- Processing information:
Processed by Jordan Anderson, Allison Curseen, Beth DeBold, Deanna Koretsky, Paula Jeannet, Matt Mitchell, Keith Page, Chloe Rockow, Nicole Rudden, Michael Shumate, January 2013
Encoded by Jordan Anderson, Allison Curseen, Beth DeBold, Deanna Koretsky, Paula Jeannet, Matt Mitchell, Keith Page, Chloe Rockow, Nicole Rudden, Michael Shumate, March 2013
Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 87-100, 87-105, 91-006, 91-037, 91-060, 96-052, 96-053, 1999-0155, 2000-0445, 2003-0201, and 2007-0044 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid. Some materials have been transferred to other Duke libraries or to other Rubenstein collections. See notes in inventory.
Addition 2017-0105 processed by Alice Poffinberger, August 2017.
- Physical Location:
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Related Material:
The Frank Baker Papers form part of a larger group of collections gathered by Baker during his long career as a collector and scholar. These collections, plus others housed in both the Rubenstein Library and the Duke Divinity School Library, contain extensive materials related to this collection. Rubenstein Library collections are listed first, followed by Divinity School collections.
- Frank Baker Collection of Wesleyana and British Methodism (printed materials division). Holds hundreds of editions of John Wesley's sermons, hymns, journals, and editorial works, plus such organizational materials as minutes of the Methodist Conferences. These materials can be searched in the online catalog by individual title, by genre, or by using the full name of the collection in the author field: Frank Baker Collection of Wesleyana and British Methodism.
- Frank Baker Collection of Wesleyana and British Methodism, 1632-1996 and undated. Most directly relate to the Letters Series of the WWA. The Wesley Family Series holds a number of John Wesley's autograph letters; numerous incoming letters can also be found here and in certain subseries of the Correspondence Series. Most of these letters date after 1755 and thus have not appeared in the two volumes of letters published to date.
- Wesley Works Archive, 1676-1996 and undated, bulk 1724-1791, 1960-1996 . Working papers of the Wesley Works Editorial Project (WWEP), as gathered by Frank Baker during his years as the WWEP's General Editor, Textual Editor, and main bibliographer.
- Wesley holograph letters also appear in two small sub-collections of the Wesleyana manuscripts, the Sarah Crosby Papers, 1760-1804 and the Perronet Family Papers, 1752-1855
- Wesley autograph letters are also contained in two small non-Baker collections in the Rubenstein Library, the Wesley Family Papers, 1726-1889[catalog record ; and the G. (George) Story Papers, 1738-1818
- The Frank Baker Microfilm Collection (Divinity Library) houses hundreds of microfilms from archives all over the world, collected at Baker's request from the 1960s-1980s. These microfilm thousands of images of Wesley manuscripts and printed materials used by the WWEP to gather as many as possible of the approximately 4000 editions of Wesley's publications to appear during his lifetime. Inquire at the Divinity Library Reference Desk.
- The Frank Baker Photocopies Collection (Divinity Library) contains photocopies of several hundred of the rare monographs housed in the Rubenstein Library. These were often Baker's working copies of books he had already sold or given to the library, and are similar though not identical to the many photocopies in the WWA.
- Works of the Rev. Dr. Frank Baker. Digitized versions of Baker's published works provided by the Duke Divinity School Library.
- Duke Divinity School: Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition . Contains numerous original and digitized texts on Wesleyan and Methodist studies, as well as links to many other archival sources on the Web. A sub-page of this site serves as the online home of the Wesley Works Editorial Project.
- In addition to this general list, other related materials in the Duke Libraries are cited in certain series notes. Inquire at the Divinity Library Reference Desk.
- Separated Material:
The following books, offprints, pamphlets, and serial issues were removed from the collection and cataloged separately. Some titles are cataloged as part of the Frank Baker Collection of Wesleyana and British Methodism, others as gifts of Frank Baker for various branch libraries. All can be located by searching the Duke University Libraries online catalog. Arranged in two lists: Works by Frank Baker and Works by Other Authors.Works by Frank Baker
Works by Other Authors
- "Aldersgate 1738-1963: the Challenge of Aldersgate [address]."Duke Divinity School Bulletin 28 (1963): 67-80.
- "Aldersgate and Wesley's Editors."The London Quarterly and Holborn Review 191 (Oct. 1966): 310-319.
- "The British Background of North Carolina Methodism," in Methodism alive in North Carolina ; a volume commemorating the bicentennial of the Carolina circuit, ed. O. Kelley Ingram. Durham, N.C.: Divinity School of Duke University, 1976, pp. 1-17.
- "Captain Thomas Webb, Pioneer of American Methodism."Religion in Life: A Christian Quarterly of Opinion and Discussion 34 (Summer 1965): 406-421.
- A Charge to Keep; an Introduction to the People Called Methodists. London: Epworth Press,  and 1954 editions.
- Charles Wesley: as Revealed by His Letters. London, Epworth Press, 1948.
- Charles Wesley's Verse: an Introduction. London, Epworth Press, .
- "The Doctrines in the Discipline: a Study of the Forgotten Theological Presuppositions of American Methodism."Duke Divinity School Review 31 (Winter 1966): 39-55.
- "Eyewitness to Early Methodism."Methodist History 28 (January 1990): 92-103.
- From Wesley to Asbury: studies in early American Methodism. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1976.
- "Introduction," in John Wesley: Contemporary Perspectives, ed. John Stacey. London: Epworth Press, 1988, pp. 1-10.
- [Introduction and notes], in Hymns for the Nativity of our Lord by Charles Wesley, facsimile of the first edition [London: William Strahan, 1745] and the 1788 edition. Madison, NJ: Charles Wesley Society, 1991.
- John Wesley and the Church of England. Nashville: Abingdon Press .
- "John Wesley and the German Pietists in Georgia," in The Harold Jantz Collection: Proceedings of a Conference to introduce the Collection to specialists in German-American Literary Relations, ed. Leland R. Phelps. Duke University, Center for International Studies, 1981, pp. 30-39.
- John Wesley and John Bousell.Journal of the Friends' Historical Society 40 (1948): 50-53.
- John Wesley, London Publisher, 1733-1791: a lecture to the Friends of Wesley's Chapel, given on Thursday, May 24th, 1984 at Wesley's Chapel. The Friends of Wesleys' Chapel Annual Lecture No. 3. 15pp.
- "John Wesley, Postal Pastor," in Dig or die: papers given at the World Methodist Historical Society Wesley Heritage Conference at Wesley College within the University of Sydney, 10-15 August 1980, ed. James S. Udy and Eric G. Clancy. Sydney: World Methodist Historical Society, Australasian Section, 1981, pp. 37-47.
- "John Wesley's First Marriage."Duke Divinity School Review 31 (Autumn 1966): 175-178.
- "John Wesley's Last Visit to Charleston."South Carolina Historical Magazine 78 (1977): 265-271.
- "John Wesley's Own Choice," vol. 1 in The Heart of True Spirituality: Selections from William Law. Grand Rapids, Mich. Francis Asbury Press, 1985.
- "The Lay Pioneers of American Methodism," in Forever beginning, 1766-1966; historical papers presented at American Methodism's bicentennial celebration, Baltimore, Maryland, April 21-24, 1966, ed. Albea Godbold. Lake Junaluska, N.C., Association of Methodist Historical Societies, 1967.
- "Lent: Christ the Meditator," in The Upper Room Disciples, 1964. Nashville, The Upper Room, 1963, p. 67.
- "A Memorial Statement for Franz Hildebrandt, D.D., Ph.D., Lic. Theol. (1909-1985)."Methodist History 24 (July 1986): 238-240.
- Methodism and the Love-feast. London: Epworth Press .
- Methodism, our History and Heritage: a Reading List. London: Dudley Press, 1948. 8pp.
- The Methodist Pilgrim in England. London: Epworth Press,  ed. and 2nd ed., 1961.
- "The Oxford Edition of Wesley's Works and Its Text," in The Place of Wesley in the Christian Tradition: Essays Delivered at Drew University in Celebration of the Publication of the Oxford Edition of the Works of John Wesley ed. Kenneth E. Rowe. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1976, pp. 117-133.
- "Practical Divinity: John Wesley's Doctrinal Agenda for Methodism."Wesleyan Theological Journal 22 (1987): 7-16.
- The Relations Between the Society of Friends and Early Methodism. London: For the author by Epworth Press, 1949. 23pp.
- [Short book reviews].A.M.E. Zion quarterly review. Various issues, 1974-1975.
- [Short book reviews].The Duke Divinity School Review. Various issues, 1970-1973.
- [Short book reviews].Duke University Publications: The Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Various issues, 1973-1978.
- [Short book reviews].Wesleyan theological journal. Various issues, 1981-1983.
- Side-lights on sixty years: being Contributions to the History of the West Lane Methodist Church, Keighley. [Keighley? Eng.: 1940].
- The story of Cleethorpes and the contribution of Methodism through two hundred years. Cleethorpes: Trinity Methodist Church, 1953.
- The story of Methodism in Newland. Kingston-upon-Hull: The Trustees of the Newland Methodist Church, 1958.
- "Susanna Wesley: Puritan, Parent, Pastor, Protagonist, Pattern," in Dig or die : papers given at the World Methodist Historical Society Wesley Heritage Conference at Wesley College within the University of Sydney, 10-15 August 1980, ed. James S. Udy and Eric G. Clancy. Sydney: World Methodist Historical Society, Australasian Section, 1981, pp.77-88.
- Thomas Coke; the St.Paul of Methodism: An Address Delivered in Wesley's Chapel...on 9th September, 1947, in Commemoration of the Bi-Centenary of the Birth of Dr. Thomas Coke. London: Cargate Press, 1947. 12pp.
- A Union Catalogue of the Publications of John and Charles Wesley: 2nd edition, revised. Stone Mountain, Ga.: George Zimmermann, 1991.
- A United Methodist Heritage Tour of England. n.p. . 32pp.
- "Wesley's Early Preachers in America."Duke Divinity School Review 34 (Autumn 1969): 143-162.
- "Wesley's Principles for Social Action," in Basic United Methodist Beliefs: An Evangelical View, ed. James V. Heidinger. Wilmore, Ky.: Good News Books, c1986, pp. 72-79.
- William Grimshaw, 1708-1763. London: Epworth Press .
- Brett, Gilbert James. The Words of Jesus, as Recorded in the Authorized, King James Version of the Holy Bible. With illuminated insert, previously published, of the Sermon on the Mount. Chicago: Consolidated Book Publishers, Inc., 1943.
- Champness, Thomas. John of Epworth, as by "Benjamin Bobbin." Rochdale, [England]: "Joyful News" Book Depot, 1890.
- Espener, Isabella. Sentimental Poetry, Acrostics, &c. Hull, England: Hutchinson, 1826.
- Hugo, Victor.The Toilers of the Sea. London: R. E. King, [circa 1900]. Partial printing plates for this edition.
- Kipling, Rudyard. The Absent-Minded Beggar. [London?] : Daily Mail Publishing Co., 1899.
- The Little Lamb: Showing How It Wandered, How It Suffered, and How It Was Saved by the Good Shepherd. London: Religious Tract Society, [circa 1885].
- The Methodist-Protestant Recorder, Baltimore and Pittsburgh: Aldersgate Commemoration Edition. Baltimore. Vol. IX, No. 42, May 20, 1938.
- Percival, George. Aflame: a Pageant for Methodists. [Sheffield]: Sheffield Methodist Youth Committee, 1945. Together with "The Making of the Ministry: a Feature Program Intended for Use in Connection with the Methodist Exhibition, 'How Great a Flame'"; a brochure; and notes by Frank Baker.
- Platts, John. The Principles of Unitarian Christians Stated and Explained, and Erroneous Views Respecting Them Corrected: a Sermon, Preached Before an Association of Unitarians, at Hull, September 29, 1818, in Which Are Also Defined the Nature and Objects of the Association. Doncaster: Printed and sold by W. Sheardown, .
- Sufferings of the Ice-bound Whalers; Containing Copious Extracts from a Journal Taken on the Spot by an Officer of Kirkaldy, and Embracing Full Details of the Jane of Hull and of the Wreck of the Middleton of Aberdeen. Edinburgh: Sir D. Hunter Blair and J. Bruce, 1808
- Taylor, Edward. A Narrative of the Loss of the Ship Wyton, (Captain Collinson, ) Wrecked on the 23rd of November, 1823, on the Island of Cape Breton; and of the Sufferings of Part of the Crew. Gainsbro': T. Amcoats, 1826.
- Thompson, Thomas. French Philosophy, or, a Short Account of the Principles and Conduct, of the French Infidels. 3rd ed. London: Printed at the Conference-Office, Geo. Story, agent: sold by G. Whitfield, J. Butterworth, and R. Baynes, 1803.
- Thornhill, Alan. Ride! Ride!: a Musical Play Based on a True Incident in the Life of John Wesley. London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1976. Together with a study guide and souvenir programme.
- Young, Edward. A Poem on the Last Day. Chester: J. Poole, circa 1770s.
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
Collectors and collecting -- United States
Theology -- Early works to 1800
Methodism -- History
Methodists -- Biography
Christian life -- Early works to 1800
Methodist Church -- England -- Clergy
Methodist Church -- England -- History
Methodist Church -- Great Britain -- Archives
Methodist Church -- Great Britain -- History -- Sources
Duke University. Divinity School
Duke University. Library
Methodist Church (Great Britain)
Church of England -- History -- 18th century
Church of England
Duke University -- Faculty
Primitive Methodist Church (Great Britain)
Methodist Church -- Membership
Methodist Church -- United States
Wesleyan Methodist Church in England
Wesley Historical Society
Grimshaw, William, 1708 or 9-1763
Baker, Frank, 1910-1999
Asbury, Francis, 1745-1816
Wesley, John, 1703-1791
Wesley, Charles, 1707-1788
England -- Church history -- 18th century
England -- Religion -- 18th century
Using These Materials
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
In addition, original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use. Research Services staff need to produce use copies before contents can be accessed.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
- BEFORE YOU VISIT:
- Register online to request material for use in our reading room and track the status of your requests. Requests for material must be made 2 full business days in advance of your visit. Most of our collections are stored at the Library Service Center, our off-site repository.
- PREFERRED CITATION:
[Identification of item], Frank Baker Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.