Pearl Highlights: Halfway Through 2023
With the midpoint of 2023 already here, we’re taking the opportunity to highlight some exciting additions among the 1,500+ new records to Pearl, our digital archives, from the year.
In the winter, we wrapped up an inter-institutional effort to publish the personal records of the founding voice of womanist theology, Katie Geneva Cannon. This work was done in partnership with the Center for Womanist Leadership at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond and The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary (Columbia University Libraries). The result—the Katie Geneva Cannon Digital Collection—contains over 450 of Cannon’s sermons, lectures, and writings, and can be accessed from anywhere in the world for free.
In April, PHS was awarded an NEH grant for the digitization of the Religious News Service photograph collection, which will expand access to the historical photographs to an international audience. The multi-year project will add 22,500 new photographs to Pearl that will spotlight the intersection of religion and society during pivotal 20th century historic events. Be sure to check back as we continue to grow the Religious News Service photograph collection with new content!
Our mission history collection is one of our largest and most popular collections in Pearl, and it continues to grow. Below are some new additions that help to tell the story of Presbyterian mission:
- Our newest thematic collection, Korean mission history, provides access to items related to mission work in Korea, one of our most commonly researched topics.
- Images added to the Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations photograph collection highlight mission work in India, Lebanon, China, Pakistan, Iran, Japan, and Iraq.
- Images from the collection of Albert Irwin Good, a 20th century missionary to West Africa.
- Board of Foreign Missions annual reports, 1921-1958.
- Family films, circa 1920s-1930s, made by Horace and Ethel Underwood, Presbyterian missionaries to Korea.
- United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations Records, 1833-1966 contains missionary correspondence, minutes, and reports related to mission work in Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan, India, and Pakistan.
- The Message of an Alaskan Life by Susan F. Pingry. Tells the story of Frances (Fannie) H. Willard, a Tlingit missionary.
- From the records of the National Council of Churches, materials related to Christian mission work in post-World War II Japan.
Digitization staff continue to add new content that helps PHS showcase Presbyterian and Reformed history and its relevance to American history and contemporary life. Below are some new records in Pearl that help illuminate this history.
- Videos from the James and Melva Costen Papers, including interviews with the Costens.
- In collaboration with Brooklyn Historical Society: Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church (Brooklyn, N.Y.) records, 1857-1973.
- Select personal papers of Rev. Edler Hawkins, the first African American Moderator of the General Assembly. Materials include commonplace books and correspondence.
- Sermons by Dave Sholin, a Presbyterian minister who was active in the sanctuary movement.
- From the David Sindt papers, materials from That All May Freely Serve, an organization which advocated for an inclusive and welcoming Church and for the ordination of qualified lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) candidates for ministry.
- Audio of the Installation service of Kermit Overton as moderator of the Presbytery of Philadelphia in 1979.
- Videos from the More Light Presbyterians collection at Rutgers University’s Special Collections and University Archives. Includes footage of the 190th General Assembly in 1970 and of the Consultation on Homophobia, Stony Point Conference Center, New York, September 1984.
- Scrapbook of the House of Neighborly Service, a community center in San Antonio, Texas which was jointly supported by the Synod of Texas and the Board of National Missions.
- Audio from Hollis Presbyterian Church (Queens, N.Y.) anniversary worship services in 1972 and 1982.
- In collaboration with Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary: Presbyterian Church in the U.S. Presbytery of Texas-Mexican records, 1916-1946.
- Highlights from past General Assemblies, including the 185th GA in Omaha, Nebraska (1973) and the 216th GA in Richmond, Virginia (2004)
We have even more noteworthy additions to Pearl planned for the rest of the year, so be sure to check back!