Researching Modern Evangelicalism: A Guide to the Holdings of the Billy Graham Center, with Information on Other Collections

By Robert D. Shuster; James Stambaugh et al. | Go to book overview

The Archives

The Archives has the narrowest collecting policy of the three Graham Center resources. The staff acquires documents about North American Protestant, nondenominational, Evangelical efforts to spread the gospel. This includes the records of faith missions, the papers of evangelists, the files of youth groups, materials relating to prison ministry, the tapes and films of radio and television ministries and documents from many other types of Christian work besides. The nucleus of the Archives' holdings is made up of the records of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. About one fifth of the processed collections are from the BGEA.

This collecting policy is unusual among American religious archives. Almost all other repositories document an institution, namely a denomination. The BGC Archives is documenting an activity. The policy was framed so as to preserve valuable materials which other archives were not acquiring, such as the files of the nondenominational evangelistic organizations and faith missions which provide so much of the leadership and direction of Evangelical Protestantism.

As of January 1990, the Archives contained 2500 linear feet of processed materials and an additional 3300 linear feet of unprocessed records. The processed materials form 525 collections and include such diverse elements as paper records, audio tapes, films, video tapes, computer tapes, photographs, slides, negatives, and microforms. On the following pages, most of the processed holdings are briefly described. For every collection described below, there is a guide available for use in the reading room of the Archives. These guides can be over a hundred pages long and describe the individual collections in much greater detail than the brief entries in this volume allow.

A few words should be said about materials that have not been described below. Unprocessed materials are not included, although researchers can have limited access to them in many cases. Among the as yet unprocessed materials in the Archives are the records of Bill Glass Evangelistic Association, Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of

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