The Partee Missouri Baptist Archives, William Jewell College, has received a Digital Imaging Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Studies. The grant, titled, “Preserving 150 Years of Missouri Southern Baptists’ History: The Word and Way” is intended to digitize a significant portion of The Word & Way, a popular and historic Baptist publication.
Upon the completion of the grant, issues from 1896-1980 will be digitized, amounting to a total of 71, 320 pages. The grant will be a partnership with the Missouri Digital Newspaper Project, who will digitize, host, and classify the content in a searchable database. The MDNP has experience with and access to technology that will bring this project to the national standard and result in full-text searching, rich metadata and access.
This resource is valuable for researchers of Missouri Baptist history, Baptist historians and scholars of religious history, as well as those individuals who would use this paper to research their schools, churches and families, and those who have relied upon and still rely upon this resources for spiritual guidance and support. Baptist research centers all over the nation can use this resource.
The digitization process began in early June 2017 and will be completed and accessible in June 2018. The digitized version of The Word & Way will be available through the Digital Public Library of America website, the Missouri Digital Newspaper Project website, the Missouri Digital Heritage website and the Partee Archives website.
This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.
The digitization of The Word & Way is important for the history of Missouri Baptists. The technology used by the Missouri Digital Newspaper project will make the paper keyword-searchable, allowing researchers to locate any mention of the church or individual they may be investigating much more efficiently. An additional and unique benefit is that it will also help the Archive track the various changes in church names and association memberships that occasionally make it difficult to find church records.
The Partee Missouri Baptist Archive was founded in 1981, and is a repository for Missouri Baptist historical documents from the 19th and 20th centuries. The Partee Archive houses state association annuals and records, regional association records and church histories. The monograph collection includes Missouri Baptist histories, biographies and references. Biographical information on notable church leaders, members, and pastors and their notes, scrapbooks and letters are also housed in this location.
Visitors to the Archive are welcome to peruse our materials in the guest research area. The Archive is open by appointment and researchers should contact the archivist of the Partee Archive to set up an appointment. The Partee Archive also digitizes documents on a point-of-need basis, typically to accommodate off-site researchers requesting specific primary materials.
Church minutes and record books are continually being brought to the archive for safekeeping and preservation purposes. The climate-controlled facility ensures that the records remain safe in our acid-free, archival quality boxes and may be accessed by researchers upon request. The mission of the Partee Missouri Baptist Archive has always been to provide free and open access to materials pertaining to Missouri Baptist history. This grant and our improved online presence demonstrate that we are in line with our mission and continuing toward our goal.
If you are interested in doing research or housing your church’s records at the Partee Missouri Baptist Archive, please contact Abigail Broadbent, archivist, at firstname.lastname@example.org, the Archives email at email@example.com or call 816-415-7620.