ATLANTA, GA (ABNS 6/2/16)—The Walter Rauschenbusch Family Papers will be closed to researchers from May 1 through December 31, 2016, so that the collection may be better organized, described, and preserved. The purpose of these archival processing efforts is to ensure better care of the Rauschenbusch Papers while providing greater access to them. During this closure period, Rauschenbusch-related blogs will be posted on the ABHS website by Andrew Scott, a graduate student in the McAfee School of Theology program. Andrew is an ABHS research assistant who is helping archivist Jan Ballard to process the collection.
Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918) was an American Baptist theologian whose writings provide the theological underpinnings of the Social Gospel movement. The Rauschenbusch Family Papers (1861-1970) document the life, work, writings, and influence of Walter Rauschenbusch and, for the half-century following his death in 1918, the lives and political activities of his wife, Pauline, and their children and spouses. This significant Christian ethics collection – one of the crown jewels of the ABHS’s holdings – is of interest to researchers in the history of religion and Baptist studies, American political and intellectual history, and women’s history.
Curatorial work on the Rauschenbusch Family Papers anticipates events and activities beings scheduled in 2018 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Walter Rauschenbusch’s death. Among these is “The Legacy of Walter Rauschenbusch,” a conference co-sponsored by the American Baptist Historical Society, the Acadia Center for Baptist and Anabaptist Studies, Mercer University’s Center for Theology and Public Life and McAfee School of Theology. The conference will be held April 8-11, 2018 on the Mercer University campus in Atlanta, GA.
Founded in 1853, the American Baptist Historical Society preserves and shares its collections documenting the influence Baptists have had on religious and civic life. Its six miles of shelving hold the archives of the national mission societies of the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., of which it is a part; the personal papers of prominent Baptist leaders; original church records; periodicals representing the world-wide Baptist press; national, state and associational published minutes from the vast array of Baptist denominations in the U.S.; and books and pamphlets that are by, about, for and against Baptists. Researchers come from all over the world from a multitude of disciplines, including American history, political science, women’s studies, anthropology and sociology. For more information about ABHS, including how to make a research appointment or to volunteer, visit our website at www.abhsarchives.org.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.