The North Carolina Baptist Historical Collection had another productive year for 2020. Among its activities were the following:
Access: In 2016, funding provided through LSTA/State of North Carolina supported the digitization of 120 Baptist churches with original records dating back to the 1730s. During 2020, the SCA Team and students worked to link the digitized manuscript church records to finding aids for easier patron discovery. This project was completed in March 2021.
Grants: Throughout 2020, SCA continued to focus on the creation of metadata for our CLIR-funded Recordings at Risk Grant which provided support for digitizing open-reel and cassette audiotapes for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. In 2020, 663 metadata records were created by SCA staff, SCA student employees, and Z. Smith Reynolds Library staff working remotely during the pandemic. These recordings document the American evangelical movement and contain presentations by prominent Southern Baptist pastors and church representatives at evangelical conferences and annual meetings of the Convention. Nearly 600 recordings remain needing metadata.
Digitizing Baptist files: The Baptist Church and Association files continue to be digitized (thanks to Digital Collections Librarian Mel Rutledge and SCA student employees) and 57,911 pages were scanned in 2020. 87 boxes have been completed thus far, out of 193 boxes total.
Processing, Reference, and Outreach: During 2020, we accessioned 6 accretions (nearly 12 linear ft.) for Baptist collections and received numerous publications for addition to our collection of monographs and serials. We are also working with the Wake Forest Baptist Student Union group who is celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2021.
We responded to 120 requests and visitors for our Baptist collections. Given that the Wake Forest campus is currently closed to external researchers, our reference work included conducting research and scanning materials for patrons. A special thank you to Public Services Archivist Rebecca Petersen May and Archives Assistant Finley Turner for handling these requests.
Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Director-Special Collections & Archives, Wake Forest University