The NC Baptist Historical Collection is one of the largest collections in Wake Forest’s Special Collections and Archives. This collection documents North Carolina Baptist churches, institution, and individuals. It contains various materials on Southern, Missionary, Primitive, African-American, Union, and Alliance of Baptist churches. It includes over 16,000 books, periodicals, association annuals, and other printed materials as well as church records, association minutes, and church vertical files. Patrons may also find more than 1,000 biographical folders containing information as well as photographs on Baptist pastors and Wake Forest alumni. This collection serves at a repository for records from North Carolina Baptist churches and institutions as well as for the Alliance of Baptists and the Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina archives. However, that’s not all someone can find in this collection. This collection holds a complete set of the print version of the Biblical Recorder, which is the official journal of the North Carolina Baptist Convention. It was published biweekly and in existence since 1833.
To see what else is in this expansive collection, check out the finding aid for North Carolina Baptist Historical Collection or the Ethel Taylor Crittenden Collection in Baptist History.
Bill Leonard was the founding dean of the WFU Divinity School and is the James and Marilyn Dunn Professor of Baptist Studies. He is also a professor of church history, author of Baptist history writings, and an ordained Baptist minister. He received his education form Texas Wesleyan University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Boston University, and Franklin College. He’s recognized for his work in American, Southern and Baptist religious studies and he is the author and editor of 17 books including The Fragmentation of the Southern Baptist and Baptist Ways: A History.
This collection includes some of his personal and professional papers, sermons, and research materials. It also includes research materials for books and lectures, professional papers and correspondence collected during his tenure at Southern Baptist Seminary, Samford University, and Wake Forest University. A major portion of the collection contains materials relevant to the controversy and split of the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1970s and 1980s. The collection also contains his correspondence files with letters from President Jimmy Carter, Walter Harrelson, James Dunn, Glenn Hinson, and many notable figures of the Southern Baptist Convention. There are also some audio recordings of his sermons as well as lectures by such prominent theologians as Jurgen Moltmann.
To find out more about this notable Wake Forest professor, check out the finding aid for Bill J. Leonard and visit Special Collections and Archives to see materials.
R.B. or Robert Bontine was a Scottish adventurer, writer, and political radical. He was the son of a Scottish laird and a half-Spanish mother. He was educated at Harrow School and in Brussels. During his adult life he was a rancher in Argentina, a traveller, a socialist Liberal MP (1886-92), and in 1892 a parliamentary candidate for the Scottish Labor Party, a party that he was a co-founder of. He was also elected president of the National Party of Scotland in 1928. He published various works on Latin American history, stories on Scotland, and travel books.
His short work “Bibi” is a rare find. A editor’s note in the work states “This edition of “Bibi” is limited to 250 copies, numbered and signed by the author” The copy that Special Collections and Archives holds also has a handwritten note underneath the editor’s note that reads “251. Out of series.” The work was published in London by William Heinemann Ltd. in 1929. The work includes a prologue and the story itself is only 19 pages long.
In this work, Graham writes an episode of the life of Bibi. Bibi is the son of an English family living in Tangier who becomes a follower of Islam. The story is a quick read and very intriguing, and also not the only work of Graham’s that you can find in the Rare Books collection.
To find out more about Bibi or to read more of R.B. Cunninghame Graham’s works visit Special Collections and Archives.
This ABC’s of Special Collections blog post was written by student assistant Brittany Newberry.
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