Frank Baker collection of Wesleyana and British Methodism, 1536-1996
Using These Materials
- Access note. Collection contains some originals in the collection that are restricted except for use under direct staff supervision. Patrons must use photocopies of originals. Contact Research...
- Baker, Frank, 1910-1999
- 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.
50 Linear Feet
approximately 18,000 items
- Materials in English
- Collection ID:
- Scope and Content:
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.
- Acquisition Information:
- The materials in the Frank Baker Collection of Wesleyana and British Methodism were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as purchases and gifts from 1961-2007.
- Processing information:
Processed by Andrew Cannon, Tanner Capps, Stephanie Chao, Allison Curseen, Kaley Deal, Beth DeBold, Deanna Koretsky, Paula Jeannet, Elisabeth Narkin, Chloe Rockow, Michael Shumate, October 2013
Accession(s) described in this finding aid: all accessions prior to 2008 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.
Many Wesley-related items were transferred to this collection from the Frank Baker Papers.
Print materials such as Baker's library of books and pamphlets were cataloged separately for the Rubenstein collections or for the Duke Libraries general collections.
The collection is divided into ten series: Wesley Family, Correspondence, Methodist Class and Band Tickets, Printed Materials, Subject Files, Visual Materials, Writings and Addresses, Volumes, and the F. F. Bretherton Papers. Finally, the Small Collections Series describes twelve small related Methodist history manuscript collections cataloged and housed as separate collections.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Related Material:
Provenance of materials: The provenance of materials in the Frank Baker Collection of Wesleyana and British Methodism is both complex and incomplete. Baker built his collection over the course of several decades, from a wide variety of sources: booksellers, auction houses, historical societies, colleagues, and many people who wrote to him about items in their family or personal collections. Where possible, such provenance documentation is housed in folders or boxes adjacent to holograph items. More often, though, authenticating the full history of an item would require broader research in both this collection and the closely-related Frank Baker Papers.
Three series in the latter can prove useful for establishing what may be thought of as the later history of items (that is, how FB came to acquire them and pass them to Duke): the Subject Files, searched by name, place, or topic; Correspondence, particularly prior to FB's move from England to the U.S. in 1960; and the Baker Collections Files, which contain much correspondence detailing the gradual transfer of FB's collections to the Duke University Libraries from 1961 through the early 2000s.
The early history of items (how they passed from their creators down through the 19th and early 20th centuries to FB's immediate source), is more difficult to trace, though possible in many instances. Many otherwise obscure or anonymous handwritten notes on holographs and early transcriptions in the collection can be traced to one or more of a number of historians, writers, and collectors whose lives date from the late 18th century all the way to the mid-1950s. More information about all of these men is available elsewhere in this finding aid, but their names and dates are given here in chronological order: James Everett (1784-1872); Thomas Marriott (1786-1852); George Osborn (1808-1891); Lucas Tyernan (1820-1889); George Stampe (1836-1918); Marmaduke Riggall (1851-1927); and F. F. Bretherton (1868-1956). Bretherton, whom FB knew well from his work in the Wesley Historical Society, is often the most immediate connection between FB and the earlier historians and collectors.
Related collections: The Frank Baker Collection of Wesleyana and British Methodism forms part of a larger group of collections gathered by FB 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 related materials on many of the topics documented in 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 papers, 1641-2002 and undated [catalog record]. Contains FB's individual scholarship, as distinct from his work in the WWEP. Although in theory an entirely separate collection from the WWA, in practice there are numerous overlaps between the collections. The Libraries and Archives Series documents much of FB's correspondence with and visits to libraries around the world, mainly in the 1960s and 1970s, in the effort to document and gather as many Wesley archival and printed materials as possible. The Correspondence Series contains FB's letters to and from many of same correspondents and colleagues who appear in the Wesley Works Archive. And the enormous Subject Files are rich in materials related to the project, especially the numerous indexes of Wesley's letters and other writings to be found in the Card Files Subseries.
- Wesley Works archive, 1676-1996 and undated, bulk 1724-1791, 1960-1996 [catalog record]. Working papers of the Wesley Works Editorial Project (WWEP), as gathered by FB during his years as the WWEP's General Editor, Textual Editor, and main bibliographer.
- Frank Baker collection of Methodist circuit plans, 1777-1984 [catalog record].
- 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
- JW 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 FB's request from the 1960s-1980s, containing 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 FB'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.
- 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.
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.
Arminianism -- Great Britain -- History -- 18th century
Calvinistic Methodists -- Great Britain -- History -- 18th century
Church records and registers -- England
Class meetings, Methodist
Clergy -- Correspondence
Methodism -- History
Methodist Church -- England -- History
Methodists -- Biography
Protestantism in art
Women -- Religious life
Women -- Diaries
Women -- England -- Correspondence
Primitive Methodist Church (Great Britain)
Methodist Church (Great Britain) -- Missions
Methodist Church -- England -- Clergy
England -- Pictorial works
England -- Maps -- Early works to 1800
Wesleyan Methodist Church -- History
Wesleyan Methodist Church -- West Indies, British
Wesleyan Methodist Church -- Missions -- Africa
Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society
Wesley, Charles, 1757-1834
Wesley, John, 1703-1791
Wesley, Charles, 1707-1788
Rogers, Hester Ann, 1756-1794
Tabraham, Richard, 1792-1878
Osborn, G. (George), 1808-1891
Mortimer, Elizabeth, 1754-1835
Newton, Robert, 1780-1854
Fletcher, Mary, 1739-1815
Huntingdon, Selina Hastings, Countess of, 1707-1791
Everett, James, 1784-1872
Fletcher, John, 1729-1785
Coke, Thomas, 1747-1814
Clarke, Adam, ca. 1762-1832
Bunting, Jabez, 1779-1858
Benson, Joseph, 1749-1821
Baker, Frank, 1910-1999
Wesley, Sarah, 1726-1822
Wesley, Samuel, 1662-1735
Wesley, Sarah, 1759-1828
Wride, Thomas, 1733-1807
Using These Materials
Access note. Collection contains some originals in the collection that are restricted except for use under direct staff supervision. Patrons must use photocopies of originals. Contact Research Services for access.
- 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:
- Please consult our up-to-date information for visitors page, as our services and guidelines periodically change.
- PREFERRED CITATION:
[Identification of item], Frank Baker Collection of Wesleyana and British Methodism, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.