As SCA continues to expand access to its Baptist collections from sources throughout North Carolina, including analog (paper), digitized, and born-digital in varying formats and hosted by different sources, we knew we needed an easy and user-friendly way for our researchers to find what they needed. A new Portal would include links to online digital resources such as digitized collections and the Biblical Recorder, FAQs for those genealogists wanting to visit Wake Forest, and information concerning our numerous church collections for interested congregations.
After we discussed and selected the needed categories, Rebecca and Kevin implemented the changes this past fall, and the Baptist Portal was born! The Portal is also an important new way to provide access to our Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)-funded Recordings at Risk project focusing on our Baptist State Convention of NC audio collection. The tapes now have their very own page, and the content is searchable for researchers. We hope to have everything that was digitized in 2018 ingested and available in 2019.
FYI, for our LSTA grant several years ago, we collected the types of Baptist questions (and from whom) we receive from patrons, and I thought seeing the questions might be of interest. Special thanks to Rebecca, who responds to the majority of these questions!
• Please help me with the names of the family of [ ], pastor of [ ] Church in 1915. We are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the building of our sanctuary.
• Does the library hold any research material on [ ] Baptist Church in Chatham County, North Carolina?
• I’m looking for the 1882-1897 [ ] Church Rolls and I was told to contact you.
• We are interested in any Indian Church and church membership records, annual meeting books, communication for associations for NC.
• I am doing genealogical research on a family member who was a reverend at [ ] Baptist Church in [ ] NC. I cannot determine if the church is still operational but came upon your archive website in the process. I am wondering if this is an online accessible or if particular documents must be requested. I am in Hawaii so coming to the University would be difficult at best.
• My husband and I are trying to decide whether a trip to Wake Forest would be worth our effort. We live near Asheville. We want to find out whether [ ] was listed as a Baptist minister anytime between 1880-1907. All of his work was in the West, where he married his second wife). We think he abandoned his first family and changed denominations. The following is from a family Bible: “[ ]…joined the Baptist at St. John’s Aug. 11/81…and was ordained to the office of Deacon at Corinth Feb. 9th/84. 15 years 24days old when joined the church and as liberated by the church at Corinth to preach Jan. 12th 1880.” Do you know what this might mean?
• I was able to come by and read over the minutes of this Church’s meetings. Thank you and Wake for the access to this document. I was able to find some family information that has been of great help.
Researchers and scholars:
• My name is [ ], and I am currently beginning a two year project to write a history of [ ] Baptist Church in [ ], NC. The church was founded in 1835. This is an exciting project as the church has never had a proper history written. I am keenly aware that your archives will play an important role in the writing of the history, and would like to set up a time to meet and take a look at some of what you have.
• I am currently performing research for my senior thesis at [ ]. I am delving into the evolution debate that occurred in the 1920’s. My focus is upon Baptists in western NC during these years. I would like to see the Baptist State Convention minutes from 1920-28. Also the Buncombe Association minutes during the same years.