Some Good News on the Billy Graham Papers Front

Billy Graham Library

As many of you know, we have been covering the move of the Billy Graham Papers from Wheaton College to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina. Much of our coverage has been negative.  I have expressed concern that the papers will now be closed-off to researchers. Read our posts herehere, and here to get up to speed.

Now it looks like the Billy Graham Library is going to hire an archivist to care for the papers.

This appears to be a step in the right direction.  I am glad to see that the BGEA is advertising through the Society of American Archivists.  It looks like someone knows what they are doing. Of course the hiring of a professional archivist tells us nothing about what future access to the papers might look like.  We will see how it all plays out.

The Billy Graham Library supports the mission of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to proclaim the Gospel to all we can by every effective means available to us, and by equipping the church and others to do the same. Our staff and volunteers present the Gospel through the Journey of Faith tour, Memorial Prayer Garden, Homeplace, and evangelistic outreaches like Christmas at the Library. We also serve and equip Christians through the Billy Graham archives, Ruth’s Attic bookstore, Graham Brothers Dairy Bar, group programs, special events, memorabilia displays, student resources, communications, and donor ministry activities.

The BGEA archivist is responsible for the overall organization, management, supervision and preservation of the historical records program and the operations of the public research study center and program of the BGEA archives.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Oversee and manage BGEA archival functions and public research study center adhering to professional standards and requirements.
  • Process, arrange, catalog and store BGEA archival materials.
  • Manage archival collection and PastPerfect memorabilia databases.
  • Provide reference services to archival collections.
  • Plans and implement archival digitization and access initiatives.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current archival processes, long term storage requirements, digitization of materials, and trends in electronic delivery systems.
  • Assists in the development and maintenance of the archive’s web presence (presentation and content).

Marginal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Coordinate with Library promotions director and assistant for memorabilia displays and development of special interest programs in the Library.
  • Coordinates with the Director, Media and Archive group for preservation, storage and access for study of the BGEA audio-visual historical collection.
  • Review archival policies and procedures on an annual basis to adjust, update and create as needed.
  • Maintain professional awareness and technical expertise in archival work through attendance at educational workshops and professional training as needed, through review professional publications, and in utilizing professional networks and archival societies.
  • Maintain budgets and financial records.

Reporting Relationships

  • Reports to the Executive Director, Billy Graham Library.
  • Works with; Ministry Operations Director, Ministry Development Manager, Guest Services Manager, Volunteer Program Manager.
  • Relates to a variety of BGEA departments and ministries.

Benefits

  • Employees filling regular full-time positions, who are working no less than 40 hours per week, are eligible to participate in BGEA’s benefits program.

Skills and Knowledge

Master’s degree in library science or archival training from an ALA accredited institution.

  • Has understanding and experience with evangelical history, archival collections and theological/educational  institutions.
  • Two or more years’ experience in library or archive setting.
  • Experience in processing and organizing archival holdings, development of catalogs and guide systems.
  • Experience in archival database operations and other technical requirements.

Physical/Mental Demands

  • Excellent communication skills, written and verbal, including the ability to present information in a variety of formats.
  • Demonstrate organizational and time management skills.
  • Possess good interpersonal communication skills.
  • Ability to move boxes, stack materials, retrieve memorabilia items, and access shelving.

Working Conditions

  • Ability to perform under pressure and work with tight deadlines.
  • Ability to work independently as well as a team environment.
  • Possess excellent computer skills, including experience with archival database systems.
  • Ability to work at a computer station for long periods of time.

 

Ministry Requirements

  • Maintains a personal, active relationship with Jesus Christ and is a consistent witness for Jesus Christ.
  • Faithfully upholds BGEA in prayer.
  • Participates in daily BGEA staff devotions.
  • Demonstrates behavior aligned with BGEA’s Mission Statement, Statement of Faith, Hallmarks, policies, and expectations.
  • Effectively represents Jesus Christ to those within both personal and professional spheres of influence.

Thanks to my colleague Devon Manzullo-Thomas for bringing this to my attention.

More on the Billy Graham Archives Move from Wheaton to Charlotte

BG-Library-Fall-Events

Religion News Service is running another piece on the Franklin Graham’s decision to move the Billy Graham Archives from Wheaton College to the Billy Graham “Library” in Charlotte.

Back in March, I weighed-in as part of another RNS piece on this topic.  At that time I said this: “By taking the papers away from Wheaton, where access is open, Franklin Graham and the BGEA can now control access and can thus control the narrative of his father’s life in terms of who gets to read them….Evangelicals must come face to face with both the good side and bad side of their history by taking an honest look at people like Billy Graham.  I am not sure this will happen in Charlotte.  The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte is not a library.”

I also wrote a post here.

Here is a taste of Tim Funk’s recent RNS piece:

This week, at Wheaton College in Illinois, specially trained movers will begin organizing, preparing and packing 3,235 boxes of paper items, 1,000 scrapbooks of news clippings dating back to the 1940s and more than 1,000 linear feet of videos, cassettes, reels, films and audio.

All of it documents the life and ministry of evangelist Billy Graham, the Christian college’s most famous alumnus. And soon, all of it will be headed to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Charlotte, N.C., Graham’s hometown.

The big transport trucks that will haul the valuable cargo won’t make the nearly 800-mile trip until mid to late June. But the controversy over moving the Graham materials all began more than two months ago. That’s when it was announced that, after June 1, the materials would no longer be housed at Wheaton’s highly regarded Billy Graham Center Archives.

Since it opened with Billy Graham’s blessing in 1980, more than 19,000 scholars, journalists and other researchers from around the world have spent 67,000 hours doing work there.

The BGEA’s Charlotte site does include the 12-year-old Billy Graham Library, but it was not designed as a research facility. Instead, it is a presidential-like museum celebrating the life of Graham, who died last year at age 99, and is a brick-and-mortar continuation of his worldwide evangelism efforts.

“The so-called (Billy Graham) Library is not a library,” said Edith Blumhofer, a longtime history professor at Wheaton who is now completing a study of the music of the Billy Graham Crusades. “It has no archives. It has no archivist.”

Read the entire piece here.