The Brown Library recently received a number of donated media objects including statistics, letters, papers, radio archives and videos spanning from 1952-2002.
The donations were finalized in January and are close to being completely cataloged by the University Archives Department. All donations were archives from the Herald of Truth, a local non-profit that started as a Church of Christ radio program in 1952 with ties to the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene. Eventually Herald of Truth grew into an international Christian organization in radio and television through the rest of the 20th century.
Although the collection is extensive and not necessarily about the history of the school, Dr. Carisse Berryhill, the associate dean for Digital Initiatives, Special Collections and University Archives, said that she is excited for the Brown Library to have it and for the opportunities that it will create for ACU students and others outside of the ACU family in research and information gathering.
“We’re not a storage facility, but we search for resources that provide to the students and the faculty at ACU and to the public at large the opportunity to understand the life in ministry of different organizations,” Berryhill said. “Our reason is to help ACU remember its connection to its past. We like to say that we prevent institutional Alzheimer’s disease, which is a corny little phrase that I’ve used, but in a way, you don’t want to forget who you are.”
With the history of the Herald of Truth, its influence on other churches and their outreach, and the Herald’s ability to use the newest forms of media at the time, the information that is now going to be available through the Brown Library hold records and facts that are otherwise unattainable and will be used by ACU students and outside intellectuals through the ACU Library for research for years to come.
“I think students who are interested in changing the world and outreach can gain courage and strength and inspiration from the people before them in the Herald of Truth who made similar challenging moves,” Berryhill said.
A display case is currently on the bottom floor of the Brown Library showing the history of the Herald of Truth and a small amount of the items that were received through the donation.