I keep these handy

The summer of 2009 has been, without question, the busiest research season in my three years at DCHS.  It’s been terrific: lots of people are working on congregational history, personal family history and genealogy, scholarly articles and presentations, theses and dissertations, plus an array of books.

In one sense our stacks are my reference shelf, but here are a few books I keep handy and use constantly in assisting patrons with their research:

1. Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, Eerdmans, 2004.

2. Survey of Service, Organizations Represented in International Convention of Disciples of Christ, St. Louis: Christian Board of Publication, 1928.

3. Churches of Christ, by John T. Brown, Louisville: John P. Morton, 1904.

4. Periodical indices, especially for Millennial Harbinger, Christian Standard, Christian-Evangelist, Christian Magazine, Christian Record, World Call and Missionary Tidings.

5. Directories and Yearbooks (Yearbook of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Directory of the Ministry, A yearbook for Christian Churches and Churches of Christ; and Churches of Christ in the United States).

I’m curious: what resources do you use often?

1 thought on “I keep these handy

  1. Would that there were many more periodical indexes! There is a rudimentary title index for the Gospel Advocate, but it is woefully inadequate for subject and author searches. Restoration Serials Index, conducted by the Christian College Librarians, fills a void for Churches of Christ periodicals since 1975. i offered years ago to begin constructing a digitally searchable, comprehensive index of Churches of Christ periodicals from 1901 to 1970. i found many eager to use it but no one willing the pay for the work of making it.

    As for other existing resources for research in these studies, i should mention Hans Rollmann’s magisterial collection of texts and documents at


    i also use online, every day, WorldCat, an international bibliographic utility with a human interface.

    We also find indispensable here the many, many volumes of “Mansell” — the National Union Catalogue, Pre-1956 Imprints — along with the Union List of Serials 1950. These monumental works of librarianship have not been surpassed in the digital age, and they testify to doubting administrators that “everything” is not yet “on the computer now.”

    Similarly, i regularly consult Claude Spencer’s “Periodicals of the Disciples of Christ” and “Author Catalogue of Disciples of Christ and Related Religious Groups.” We hold 136 volumes of pamphlets bound together on the organizing principle of size, and so i am grateful for the card catalogue to that collection that Marvin Dale Williams constructed 47 years ago, and i am thankful that David Bundy saved it from the barbarians who were going to cart it away. When Marvin shows up here, as he does almost every week, i give thanks for the living presence of bibliographic history.

    For the Churches of Christ in the latter half of the twentieth century, the five volumes of Preachers of Today are also indispensable. Add to them Annie Clay Tuggle’s Ministers and Songleaders of the Church of Christ. Terry J Gardner’s digitally searchable biographical database builds on these works and several others and now encompasses more 10,000 historically significant members of the Churches of Christ. It is still growing, and i should not want to work without it, or without any of these tools that you and i have named.

    God’s Peace to you.


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