Finding Aids

Religion and Theology

American Baptist Education Society. Records

Founded in 1888 for "the promotion of Christian education, under Baptist auspices, in North America," it was under the Society's supervision that the University of Chicago was founded in 1890. Frederick Taylor Gates served as first corresponding secretary of the Society, 1888-1892. Succeeded by the Board of Education of the Northern Baptist Convention, 1911. Minutes of the "Provisional Committee" (1888); printed proceedings of the National Baptist Educational Convention and organization of the Society (1888); printed annual meeting reports (1889-1902); financial records (1889-1890); clippings concerning the Society (1887-1902).

American Institute of Sacred Literature. Records

The American Institute of Sacred Literature, which offered courses in the study of the Bible, was organized in 1889. The Institute grew out of the Correspondence School of Hebrew (established in 1880 by William Rainey Harper) which was renamed the American Institute of Hebrew in 1883. The AISL records contain primarily correspondence. Topics include Chautauqua summer schools, the Institute's relationship with the University of Chicago and William Rainey Harper, and the Modernist-Fundamentalist controversy. Also includes material on the founding of the Institute and courses taught.

American Journal of Theology. Records

The American Journal of Theology was established in January 1897 and was edited by the faculty of the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. The collection consists of outgoing business correspondence of the American Journal of Theology, and of a book of minutes of the editorial board, which was transferred to this collection from the Divinity School Correspondence.

American Standard Bible Committee. Records

The American Standard Bible Committee was established by the ecumenical Protestant International Council of Religious Education in 1937 to create a revision of the American Standard Bible, taking account of contemporary scholarship. A Revised Standard New Testament was published in 1946, and an Old Testament in 1952. The collection consists primarily of manuscripts and notes compiled by Professor William A. Irwin of the Oriental Institute, who served on the Committee. The materials illustrate the various stages of the revision and the work of different members of the Committee on assigned portions of the Old Testament. The remaining papers include American Standard Bible Committee meeting minutes, correspondence, and public relations material.

Ames, Edward Scribner. Papers

Edward Scribner Ames (1870-1958) Professor of Philosophy. The collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, scrapbooks, and newspaper clippings. Includes correspondence with Vachel Lindsay (1904-1927).

Archicofradía del Santísimo Sacramento y Caridad. Records

Mexico (City). Archicofradía del Santísimo Sacramento y Caridad. Records of the Archconfraternity of the Blessed Sacrament of the metropolitan cathedral of Mexico City, from 1555 to 1858. Contains legal, financial, and other documents relating to the activities of the confraternity.

Baptist Ministers' Conference, Chicago. Records

The Baptist Ministers’ Conference was instrumental in the founding of the University of Chicago in response to John D. Rockefeller's pledge to support the founding of a new of higher education in Chicago. The Records consist of conference minutes from 1889-1909 as well as reports on committee work and social issues.

Baptist Theological Faculties Union. Records

The Baptist Theological Faculties Union Records consist of one bound volume of correspondence ca. 1914-1924 between members of the Union and its secretary during that period, Gerald Birney Smith of the University of Chicago.

Baptist Theological Union. Records

The Baptist Theological Union was founded to support students interested in the ministry at the University of Chicago. The collection contains minutes and administrative records, correspondence, financial information, and news clippings, documenting the early history of the B.T.U. and the activities of its governing board and committees.

Baptist Union Theological Seminary. Records

Baptist Union Theological Seminary was founded in 1865 by the Baptist Theolological Union to meet the needs of students of the first University of Chicago who wished to prepare for the ministry. The Seminary became the Divinity School of the present-day University of Chicago in 1892.

Beaver, R. Pierce. Papers

R. Pierce Beaver, Professor and Minster. The papers contain letters, course notes, missions reports, business documents, bibliographies, manuscripts, associated work by colleagues and students, and general missions literature. Though there is small collection of personal correspondence, the collection is mainly made up of institutional and academic treatments of missions and missions work. Most of this collection was compiled by Beaver during his time at the Missionary Research Library in New York and during his first few years as a professor of Missions at the University of Chicago’s Federated Theological Faculty.

Bernard of Clairvaux, De consideratione. Manuscript (Ms 9)

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux's advice to Pope Eugene III on ecclesiastical government, composed during 1149-1152. Text in Latin. Codex Ms 9.

Bibfeldt, Franz. Papers

Contains correspondence, newspaper articles, lectures by Martin Marty and others, biographical material, lists, photographs, memorabilia, academic attire, and a cassette tape. Material relates to Franz Bibfeldt.

Bickham, Martin Hayes. Papers

Martin Hayes Bickham, sociologist (University of Chicago, A.M. 1919, Ph.D. 1922). The Martin Hayes Bickham Papers consist of materials from coursework in the Sociology Department and Divinity School (1912-1922), correspondence relating to his appointment as secretary of the University of Chicago Christian Association (1911), materials related to his dissertation research (1922), correspondence with Amos Alonzo Stagg (1950s-1960s), and 1938-1939 correspondence related to his dissertation research. The collection also contains photographs and memorabilia from Bickham’s work with the Y.M.C.A. during the First World War in France.

Blakemore, William Barnett. Papers

Reverend Dr. William Barnett Blakemore (1912-1975) was a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a professor in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, a Dean of the University's Disciples Divinity House, an Associate Dean of the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, and a leader in the ecumenical movement of the mid-twentieth century. The collection contains biographical material and documents pertaining to Blakemore's education; appointment books, notebooks, and journals; a scrapbook and other collected ephemera; correspondence; administrative material such as memoranda, agendas, and minutes; syllabi and other course materials; drafts of published and unpublished essays and articles, sermons and lectures, and books; photographs, audiotapes, and film. The papers primarily document Blakemore's ministry and deanships at the University of Chicago, his numerous ecumenical activities, and his writing and public speaking.

Bradford, Amory H. Papers

Amory Howe Bradford, minister. The Amory H. Bradford Papers consist of a sermon titled "The Unity of the World" (1897).

Brauer, Jerald. Papers

Jerald Brauer, historian, minister, professor, and dean. The Jerald Brauer Papers consist of ninety-three and a half linear feet and include correspondence, memos, minutes, reports, manuscripts, notes, speeches, published materials, and audio recordings. The papers document Brauer’s career as a historian, professor of the history of Christianity in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, Dean of the Federated Theological Faculties and the Divinity School, and author and editor of many scholarly books.

Buitenen, J. A. B. van. Papers

J. A. B. van Buitenen was a professor of Sanskrit and Indic Studies at the University of Chicago from 1957 to 1979. The collection contains personal ephemera, professional correspondence, notebooks, notes and typescripts for articles and books, photographs, and materials relating to van Buitenen's time as a professor at the University. Most of the materials date between 1955 and 1973, with some undated material.

Burton, Ernest DeWitt. Papers

The papers of Ernest DeWitt Burton comprise 45 linear feet of personal and professional material. The papers document his career as a New Testament scholar at Newton Theological Institute and the University of Chicago as well as his interest in missionary work and religious education in east Asia. The collection consists primarily of correspondence as well as publications, addresses, and a small amount of course materials from the New Testament Department. From his involvement in missionary organizations and commissions, such as the Oriental Investigation Commission and the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, there are minutes, correspondence, financial records, photographs, and reports. The collection also includes personal materials including family history, a large number of memorials and some journals and notebooks.

Church History Documents. Collection

Primarily transcripts and photocopies of record books, journals, minutes, and other documents from early frontier churches. Also includes diaries, correspondence, notebooks, sermons, and miscellaneous notes of individuals important in frontier religious history. Original material includes papers relating to Benjamin Lakin and Edwin Clark's correspondence. Most of the material relates to activity in Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and several of the original thirteen colonies. Well-known names represented include Stephen Peet, Joshua Lacy Wilson, Wilhelm Loehe, and George Whitefield. The documents were collected under the auspices of the Church History Research Fund and in conjunction with the writing of William Warren Sweet's four-volume Religion on the American Frontier.

Culianu, Ioan P. Papers

Ioan Petru Culianu (1950-1991), Romanian-born historian of religions, essayist and fiction writer, served on the faculty of the University of Chicago's Divinity School. Mentored by Mircea Eliade, Culianu specialized in the history of Renaissance magic and mysticism. Culianu was murdered in the University of Chicago's Swift Hall, a crime that remains unsolved. While material in this collection spans the years 1883-1991, the bulk of material dates from 1974-1991, and includes correspondence, notes, manuscripts and reprints of published writings.

Eliade, Mircea. Papers

Mircea Eliade (1907-1986), Romanian historian of religions and author, and professor in the University of Chicago Divinity School and Committee on Social Thought, 1957-1986. The papers include correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, publications, audio and video recordings, and personal materials and artifacts.

Gates, Frederick Taylor. Papers

Baptist minister, businessman. Corresponding secretary, American Baptist Education Society, 1888-1902. Philanthropic adviser to John D. Rockefeller; president, General Education Board. Trustee, University of Chicago, 1896-1910. Summary: Correspondence to and from Gates relating to the American Baptist Education Society and founding of the University of Chicago (1888-1892). Major correspondents include Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed, William Rainey Harper, Henry L. Morehouse, and Augustus Hopkins Strong. Carbon copies of letters primarily to Gates from William Rainey Harper (1893-1906) concerning affairs relating to the university.

Gilkey, Charles Whitney. Papers

The Charles Whitney Gilkey papers contain correspondence primarily concerning the University Chapel, and the Committee on the Presidency of the University (1928-1929). The collection also contains the minutes of the Commission for the Study of Moral and Religious Influence and Agencies in Higher Education, as well as several published articles by Gilkey.

Gilkey, Langdon. Papers

Langdon Brown Gilkey taught at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago from 1963 until his retirement in 1989. He was a prominent protestant theologian, an expert on the relation between science and religion, and a key respondent to the rise of intelligent design as a way of teaching creationism. During 1940-1945 he taught at Yenching University (now part of Peking University) in Beijing, China, then occupied by the Japanese, and from 1943 to 1945 he was interned along with other Allied civilians at the Weihsien Internment Camp (or Weihsien Civilian Assembly Center). The collection contains official and personal correspondence, notes, manuscripts and typescripts, newspaper clippings, postcards, periodicals and other publications, photographs, and administrative documents dating between 1934 and 2004. The bulk of the material dates between 1940-1945 and 1954-2004. The papers primarily document Langdon Gilkey’s life in China during the Second World War and his professional career as theologian, academician, and professor at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago and other institutions.

Goldsmith, Joel. Papers

The Goldsmith, Joel. Papers consist of 1.5 linear feet and contain materials that date from 1949 to 1964. Goldsmith, a one time Christian Science healer, was an independent mystic who founded a movement called the Infinite Way. The collection includes letters written by Goldsmith to Lorraine Sinkler and Ann Darling Kuys, both of whom were followers of the movement. The collection also contains copies of a few Masonic talks given by Goldsmith in 1958 and 1959.

Goodman, Edward. Papers

Edward Goodman was a Baptist minister and an early University of Chicago trustee. The Edward Goodman papers consist of notebooks of newspaper clippings and handwritten notes, as well as loose notes for The History of the First Baptist Church of Chicago, 1833-1910, which was published in 1910 by the United Religious Press. The clippings contain accounts of church business, poetry, minutes, and speeches. The papers also include material such as scrapbooks, programs, and memorabilia from Baptist Anniversaries and events, and from the early history of the University of Chicago.

Goodspeed, Edgar J. Papers

Edgar Johnson Goodspeed, New Testament scholar, writer, and Ernest DeWitt Burton Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. The Goodspeed papers consist of correspondence, notes, manuscripts, diaries, notebooks, clippings, reviews, and items of a miscellaneous nature. The primary focus of the collection is on Goodspeed’s literary and professional work.

Harper, William Rainey. Papers

William Rainey Harper (1856 -1906) was the first president of the University of Chicago, from 1891 to 1906. The collection is comprised primarily of correspondence, and papers not included in the Harper-Judson-Burton section of the Presidents Papers, and is of a somewhat more personal nature that the Presidents Papers. The collection also contains speeches and manuscripts, including Harper's first convocation address; personal correspondence concerning his illness, funeral and memorial services; and clippings, memorials, reprints of articles by Harper and bibliography of his works. It also contains books from the library of William Rainey Harper, including Prophetae Posteriores; notebooks of both Harper and his secretary; and scrapbooks.

Henderson, Charles Richmond. Papers

Charles Richmond Henderson (1848-1915), Baptist Minister, sociologist. The Charles Richmond Henderson Papers contain correspondence, lectures notes, student term papers, and research materials relating to prisons in Europe and Mexico, including International Prison Commission Congress (1910) and prison reform.

Historical Manuscripts. Collection

The Historical Manuscripts Collections contains correspondence and other brief manuscripts documenting personal, scholarly, business, government, and religious affairs, written by an array of authors, primarily from North America and Western Europe. The manuscripts date from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries.

Hutton, William Ralph, Papers

William Ralph Hutton received his A.B. from Southwestern University in 1912, and was a graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School, where he wrote works on the development of Islam and Buddhism. He served as a Christian missionary in Assam, in northeast India, where he wrote a Mikir.English dictionary, and appears to have translated both the Bible and Pilgrims Progress into Mikir. The collection consists primarily of bound materials, which have been heavily annotated.

Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council. Records

This collection contains the records of the Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council, from 1911-1993. Included are administrative records such as minutes, correspondence, budgets and directories of membership. This collection also contains general subject files covering Council projects and affiliated institutions.

Jones, Jenkin Lloyd. Papers

Jenkin Lloyd Jones, minister, social reformer. The Jenkin Lloyd Jones papers contain correspondence, diaries, lecture notes, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, and photographs. Papers relate to All Souls Church and the Abraham Lincoln Centre. Other topics include the Unitarian Church, the Henry Ford Peace Expedition, the Western Unitarian Conference, the weekly publication Unity, the World's Parliament of Religion, Tower Hill Summer Camp in Wisconsin, and other aspects of Jones' ministry. Correspondents include William C. Gannett, Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, Francis W. Parker, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Booker T. Washington. Also contains papers of Edith Lackersteen Lloyd Jones, Jones's second wife; her daughter, Mary Lackersteen; and the Lackersteen family.

Journal of Religion. Records

The Journal of Religion Records consist of correspondence from the editorial offices of the Journal of Religion and its two predecessors, The Biblical World and the American Journal of Theology. The correspondence concerns articles and book reviews submitted, subscriptions, budgets and financial matters, and printing arrangements with the University of Chicago Press.

Juxon, William. Collection

William Juxon (1582 –1663) Archbishop of Canterbury (1660-1663) and Lord High Treasurer of England. Collection includes two letters written by Juxon and one legal document, all dating from 1637 to 1639, during Juxon’s service as Bishop of London.

Mathews, Shailer. Papers

Shailer Mathews (1863-1941) Professor, 1894-1933, Dean of the Divinity School, 1908-1933. Contains correspondence, minutes, articles, reports, and teaching materials. Subjects relate to the history of the University of Chicago and the Divinity School, the development of the religious and social ideas known as Modernism, and the Chautauqua Institute.

Northrup, George W. Papers

George W. Northup, educator, preacher and theologian, 1826-1900. Primarily outlines and notes for lectures on theology.

Northwestern Baptist Education Society of Chicago. Records

The Northwest Baptist Education Society was incorporated in 1876 with the purpose of providing financial aid to deserving students studying for the ministry while attending a Baptist college or seminary in the West. The administration of the Society was taken over by the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1912. The records contain reports, minutes and account books.

Pitcher, W. Alvin. Papers

W. Alvin Pitcher (1913-1996), professor, minister, community and social justice activist. The Pitcher Papers include manuscripts, correspondence, press clippings, and extensive records from numerous political and civic organizations. The papers document Pitcher’s scholarly career at Denison University and the University of Chicago, his ministerial work, and his participation in the civil rights movement and in various community organizations.

Scott, Hugh M. Papers

The Reverend Hugh MacDonald Scott (1848-1909) was professor of Church History at the Chicago Theological Seminary. The collection contains lecture notes written by Scott from 1894 to1909.

Smith, J. M. Powis. Papers

J. M. Powis Smith was the Professor of Old Testament and Literature, at the University of Chicago and also served as literary secretary to William Rainey Harper. The papers contain lecture notebooks and other notes. Material relates to the teaching and study of the Old Testament.

Sondheim, Harry B. and Branka J. Jewish Heritage Collection

Images, publications, reproductions and artifacts documenting and illustrating aspects of the Jewish religious year, synagogue inaugurations and monuments and aspects of Jewish daily life, and ceremonies in Europe and North America from the 15th to early 20th centuries. Collected by University of Chicago alumnus Harry Sondheim (A.B. 1954; J.D. 1957.)

Sweet, William Warren. Papers

William Warren Sweet, Professor of American Church History at the University of Chicago, 1927 to 1946. Among his many books on church history are Story of Religion in America, Religion on the American Frontier, and American Culture and Religion. The papers include professional and personal correspondence, manuscripts, reports and other administrative documents.

University of Chicago. New Testament Club. Records

The New Testament Club was founded during the 1892-93 academic year at the University of Chicago Divinity School. The Records contain correspondence, manuscripts, programs, membership lists, minutes, announcements, and letters of tribute. Also include are writings on the founding and history of the Club.

Wach, Joachim. Papers

Joachim Wach (1898-1958) taught at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. The papers contain correspondence, manuscripts of published and unpublished works, notes and research files, course materials, and manuscripts and correspondence relating to posthumous publications.

Walden, John Morgan. Papers

John Morgan Walden, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church and editor of the Quindaro Chindowan (Kansas Territory). Contains correspondence, a diary, manuscripts, sermons, clippings, speeches, articles, and biographical material. Some material relates to Walden's experiences as a newspaperman in the Kansas Territory and his involvement with the Methodist Episcopal Church, its polity, missions, and attempts at federation.

World Conference on Faith and Order. Collection

This collection consists of publications and other materials related to the first World Conference on Faith and Order, proposed by the Episcopal Church in 1911 in the name of ecumenical consensus and Christian unity, and finally held in 1927 in Lausanne, Switzerland. The collection documents the lengthy process of planning and promoting the first conference, which launched the ecumenical Faith and Order Movement