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Biblical Recorder

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The Biblical Recorder is the official journal of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention. Currently published biweekly, it has been in existence since 1833, when it was founded by Thomas Meredith, a Baptist pastor in New Bern, North Carolina. The Z. Smith Reynolds Library's North Carolina Baptist Historical Collection is the official repository for North Carolina Baptist churches and institutions. We hold one of the most complete runs of The Biblical Recorder, and it is the most heavily used collection in the archives.

The Biblical Recorder documents many themes and trends including:

  • The preoccupations, ideals and controversies that characterized NC Baptist life over a century and a half
  • Prominent attitudes and opinions expressed through editorial columns and letters to the editor
  • The development of churches throughout NC
  • The development of Baptist schools and colleges throughout the South
  • Examples of advertising and products that were available during the Civil War
  • Changes in attitudes and the political views of Baptists in NC and the United States over the decades
  • The history of Baptist benevolence work
  • The experiences of missionaries in China, Africa and Southeast Asia

Examples of topics for which researchers have used The Biblical Recorder as a primary source include:

  • Attitudes of Baptists during the Civil War
  • How early churches dealt with members who had "fallen"
  • How Baptist preachers were viewed by people in other regions of the US
  • How women contributed to Baptist life during Reconstruction.

Because The Biblical Recorder contains so much historical information reflecting the history of Baptist life and culture in North Carolina since 1834, it is a unique resource for scholars. Obituaries, marriages, wills, records of pastor ordinations, and the founding of new churches are all gems of information for researchers. Nowhere else can they find articles pertaining to churches, missionaries, pastors, associations and educational institutions in a single resource.

Supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.