Since I finished the bulk of archives sorting in May, Maggie (my boss) and I have been working on “cleaning up” the rest of the boxes scattered around the “rare books room” shelving. Many of the boxes are collections of papers from theologians, pastors, bishops, and centers that stored their work at CST over the years. This means that in preparation for the move we need to decide what to do with all of it!
Some of the collections have been absorbed into the CST archives, such as Howard Clinebell’s personal research, but a lot of it would be better utilized by a different group. This means that Maggie spends a lot of time tracking down different organizations to see if they might want the papers for, say, the widely influential Disciples of Christ pacifist and evangelist from the mid 20th century, Kirby Page.
Kirby Page was never officially associated with CST but he spent the second half of his life as a globe trotting pacifist evangelist based in Southern California. So, upon his death his personal letters, publications, and research were sent to CST to be stored and shared. This means that we had 12+ bankers boxes full of papers for a man with no official connection to CST.
Luckily, Maggie was able to secure a new home for the papers with the Disciples of Christ Historical Society! However, we decided that we wanted to ensure that Kirby’s papers would be widely accessible, so we set out on the extensive, exhausting, and (i’ll say it) ridiculously boring project of digitizing his collection. For the last 3 months I have spent a lot of hours hanging around the library’s photocopier scanning every single page of Kirby’s collection! We finished the project last week, and after a lot of double checking and a little math the official count of pages scanned and uploaded over the course of this project is over 33,752!
Want to learn more about Kirby Page? Learn more about the Christian pacifist movement surrounding WWII? Or just want to see how I spent my summer? You can check out the Kirby Page Collection on the Internet Archive, it’s free and I can personally say that Kirby’s files are full of surprises.