to see the statistics for public service
for a list of organizations that the Archives assisted in 2008
We served many people during the year, apart from the researchers who came to the Archives’ Reading Room.
The BGC Archives Research Lectures. In 2007, the Archives was able to offer special lectures on campus because of guests we had on campus using the Archives. Evelyn Guehring talked about the work of Wycliffe Bible Translators and Dr. Grant Wacker discussed his experiences researching the public career of Billy Graham. These enjoyable experiences suggested to the Archives staff that it would be worthwhile each year to try and offer a lecture in which a researcher using our collections could talk about their current project and the experience of doing historical research with documents and other resources at the Archives.
We held our first Research Lecture near the end of 2008. On December 4, Dr. Joel Carpenter spoke to a friendly and interested crowd about his use of oral histories to study the beliefs and experiences of American Fundamentalist missionaries to China in the 1920s and 30s. (Visit the Lecture Web site for the text of his remarks.) The Archives also prepared a two-part exhibit, one of the sources in the Archives that Carpenter used for his study, and another of the different types of private missionary papers in the Archives such as scrapbooks, letters, diaries.
As Bob said when introducing Dr. Carpenter, “We on the staff have the privilege of meeting a wide range of scholars, Christian workers, and the general public engaged in many different types of research, from preparing a one-woman show, to filming a documentary, to fashioning a Web site, to researching books, articles, and dissertations on a wide range of topics in Christian and secular history.... The purpose of the BGC research lectures, which we hope to offer from time to time, is to give the Wheaton campus and community a chance to share in the adventure of learning about these exciting research trips and discoveries. We plan to ask people who have been digging ore from the Archives mines to talk a little about both their own experiences in the digging - the archival research experience - and the ore they have found - the larger study of which the data from the Archives will be a part. And every talk will be followed by questions and general discussion. We hope this can be one way that the BGC Archives can contribute to Wheaton's rich mix of knowledge, experiences and, above all, people."
Requests. People e-mailed, wrote, phoned and visited in person, all with requests for information, documents, pictures, videos, and audio recordings. The staff answered 928 different requests over the year, including 35 from the staff of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Classes. Special sessions were held for twenty different classes in the Archives Seminar Room. In addition to Wheaton College Undergraduate and Grad School classes, these included classes from Huntington College, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. For each, the staff prepared an orientation on how to work with primary sources, an explanation of relevant materials in the BGC Archives, and an assignment using materials, giving students a little of the experience of using primary resources. Among the classes using the Archives were Religion and Politics, East Asian History, African History, Women in Missions, Evangelistic Communications, English Research and Composition, Social Psychology, World Christianity, Modern British Christianity, Historical Inquiry, Gender & Leadership, Models of Evangelism and Church Growth, History and Philosophy of Christian Education, and Advanced Studies in American Christianity.
The Web. The Internet is the portal through which hundreds of thousands of people visit the Archives each year. See the Web site report page in this annual report.
Chicago-area staff members of Young Life looking at documents from YL’s early history.
Presentations. Paul worked with the regional director of Young Life to prepare a session for their Chicago-area staff on the history of the organization. He also gave his annual lecture on the theory and practice of doing oral history to Dr. Evvy Campbell's Cross-Cultural Research class.
Assistance to Other Archives. It has always been a high priority to assist other Christian organizations interested in beginning or further developing their own archives. During the year, we conferred with and assisted (and received assistance from) our colleagues with the archival programs of SIM International, SIL International's African and American branches, the American Tract Society, and OMF International.
Loans. People can use a few items from our collections over the Web. They can also borrow microfilm reels that may contain images of thousands of documents or audio copies of oral history interviews. These latter type of loans, called interlibrary loans, are sent by the Archives to the patron's home library anywhere in the world. We had twenty such loans over the course of the year.