American Religious History Resources in the Special Collections Research Center
This is a guide to religious organization records, papers of religious leaders, laypeople's diaries, religious periodicals, and other items in the Special Collections Research Center which can be used to study American religious history.
There are a variety of tools available to guide you in finding materials in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). Don't forget that you also may come into the SCRC in person and consult with the staff member on duty for guidance.
--4-page memoir by Henry Cooke, who had escaped enslavement recalling the gospel meetings led on Robert Carter Nicholas's plantation in Louisiana by William Ellis. Ellis and Cooke were originally from Virginia.
--journal from Freedman's Bureau teacher in Norfolk and Fort Monroe area from October and November 1865, discusses his teaching experiences, attending church with freedmen and their religious activities, etc.
This diary was formerly described as an unattributed diary and entitled: Diary (Portsmouth, Va.), 1901, but has now been attributed to Florence Barber of Norfolk, Virginia. In brief daily entries she talks about the weather, chores, and social life, trips to town, church, attending meetings, etc. In August she went to visit churches and schools in Georgia and Alabama, like Atlanta University and Spelman College, both historically black schools. She also mentions teaching music, attending educational meetings in Portsmouth and being elected president of the local YMCA. September 3 is the last entry in this diary.
Two diaries, 1919-1921 and 1921-1922. In daily entries, writer records weather, chores and daily activities, church and social visits, health of friends and family, etc. At the end of each volume there are lists of deaths and weddings, and some accounts, one of which has the heading 'Ladies Aid.' Based on this particular account and on some of the activities described (like making jam for a neighbor) the writer was most likely a woman.
Diaries of Violet Laughead Barnett (d. 1972) of West Chester, Pennsylvania for the years 1931-1972 (with the exceptions of 1967 and 1968). Violet Barnett was a homemaker and had two children, Ethel and Earl. Daily entries cover chores, weather, family and social life. There is also the occasional comment on national and international events. Violet Barnett was very engaged in church activities and a member of several chapters of the National Grange
Daily life of a married Amish woman, Fannie Stoltzfus, in Pennsylvania from 1937 and 1939. Descriptions of household routines and farm chores such as butchering stock, planting a garden, harvesting crops, cooking, sewing, canning, quilting and barn raising. Dentist trips, the birth of a child, a weddings and a funeral are also mentioned.
Three diaries, 1949-1951, 1957-1958, and 1964-1967, of Martha E. Russell. Russell was a high school teacher in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. She lived with and cared for her elderly mother. Containing brief summaries of each day, her diary entries record her thoughts on the weather, books, radio sermons, and Pittsburgh sporting events.
"The scrapbooks that I have given to the College represent my life as a professional, middle-class, middle-aged, completely actualized gay man with HIV who has stridently enunciated those causes that I believe in: gay rights, human rights, HIV education and prevention, left of center politics, sexual dynamics, spirituality, and global and timely issues such as global warning and energy policy." intro from Griffith