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Baptist State Convention of NC Digital Collection

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This project was supported by a Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) in 2017. The grant program is made possible by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

CLIR provided $50,000 for “Documenting the Evangelical Movement in the United States: Digitizing Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Open-Reel Audiotapes, 1957-1980.” George Blood LP (Philadelphia) reformatted and digitized approximately 1,384 at-risk and rare open-reel and cassette audio recordings for SCA. Also digitized were 1940s analog disc recordings for the Baptist Hour, and 2 motion picture films documenting the 1956 move of Wake Forest College/University, affiliated with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

The tapes document the American evangelical movement and contain presentations by prominent Southern Baptist pastors and church representatives at evangelical conferences and annual meetings of the Convention. The speakers and programs on the tapes document the denomination’s activities and subjects of discussion, 1957-1990, ranging from Baptist theology to broad cultural and societal issues. This project will provide long-term preservation digital storage for these tapes, and broad access through the Wake Forest University SCA North Carolina Baptist Portal for collections and resources.

As primary source material, the insight this material provides for the American evangelical movement through five decades is invaluable on many levels. The speakers include prominent Southern Baptist leaders, including such notables as Kenneth Chafin, Billy Graham, Dale Moody, Wayne Oates, and Stephen Olford. The subjects range widely, from internal Baptist concerns relating to baptism and dancing at Baptist colleges, the role of the church in an increasingly liberal society, missionaries working abroad, political involvement, and the role of women. Historians, researchers, scholars, and students, whether focusing on culture, the evangelical movement, gender, or religion, will gain new perspectives and understanding by having access to these previously unavailable materials.

Recent Additions

Below are a few recent additions in the Baptist State Convention of NC Digital Collection collection.