The purpose of this guide is to describe and thus make more available an exceptional resource for Christian work and the study of American religious history: the research collections of the Billy Graham Center. The Center, a division of Wheaton College dedicated to the study of missions and evangelism, began in 1974. Since 1975, the staff of the Archives, Library and Museum have been gathering a unique collection of documents, publications and artifacts about the ways that the Christian gospel is spread, particularly by Evangelical Protestant North Americans.
The materials in our holdings were collected with the intention that they would be a continuing resource for the pastor, the missionary, the scholar, the journalist, the interested layperson and the general community. The varied interests of these different groups were kept in mind as we described our holdings and prepared the index.
The concentration in this volume is almost exclusively on the material in the Billy Graham Center building on the Wheaton College campus. A select and helpful listing of other resource centers in the country with material on the people, organizations and events of American Evangelicalism is included in the appendixes. Appendix I lists archives and manuscript repositories and Appendix II libraries.
The staff of the Archives, Library and Museum wish to gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, without which the Center's collections would not exist. We also want to thank present and former directors of the Center for their support of our efforts: James Kraakevik, William Shoemaker, David Johnston and Donald Hoke.
Finally, the authors acknowledge with deep appreciation the other staff members who have contributed so much to the completion of this volume: Paul Ericksen and Magdalene Wohlschlegel of the Archives; Kenneth Gill, Daniela Bogdan, and Roberta Sommerville of the Library; and Doreen Fast and Cathy Koves of the Museum.