The Texas State Library and Archives Commission recently awarded funding to Abilene Christian University’s Brown Library through its TexTreasures grant program. The $25,000 grant will facilitate digitization of the full print run of The Christian Chronicle, a major, global newspaper serving Churches of Christ since 1943.
“We are grateful to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for its generous support of this digitization project,” said James Wiser, ACU dean of library services and educational technology. “The Brown Library houses one of the preeminent archives of the Stone-Campbell Movement, a faith heritage that has contributed much to the religious tapestry of Texas history. Digitizing our tradition’s most influential newspaper allows us to preserve and disseminate this history for generations to come.”
This project will ensure back issues of The Christian Chronicle will be available digitally by the end of Summer 2021. The digital archive will be available on the Portal to Texas History (texashistory.unt.edu) and the ACU online repository (digitalcommons.acu.edu).
“From the first issue, The Chronicle was globally aware,” said Mac Ice, director of special collections and archives at ACU. “Each issue since has carried news and information about Churches of Christ from around the world. It is rich in information like no other source. We will be able to write better history because this material is available.”
This digital repository is the result of a partnership among the Brown Library Special Collections and Archives, ACU, The Christian Chronicle, Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma Historical Society, and University of North Texas.
The project is one of 44 made possible this year by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.
“Communities in every corner of Texas will benefit from the resources that have been made available through this list of forward-thinking grant proposals,” said TSLAC director and librarian Mark Smith.
TSLAC awards competitive grants annually, as funding allows. For the 2020 fiscal year, which runs from Sept. 1, 2019, to Aug. 31, 2020, TSLAC has awarded approximately $1.23 million in competitive grants. The TexTreasures Grant will provide assistance and encouragement to 12 libraries to provide access to their special or unique collections and to make information about those collections available to library users across the state, including the Brown Library’s project to digitize The Christian Chronicle.