Week one at George Fox University revealed a rich collection of materials documenting the history of the University (established 1885 in Newberg as Friends Pacific Academy), the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends, also based in Newberg, and private papers from various individuals associated with the University and the Friends denomination. This collection has tremendous potential for research from many directions – students and faculty at the University, family and local historians, and those interested in the historical development of the Friends.
Having spent the past 20 years in state government service with a broad collecting mandate, I was particularly taken with the cohesiveness of the GFU collections; it’s definitely a collection created around a very discrete purpose. Always a plus when space and other resources are limited. Materials are diverse – church bulletins, membership records, photographs, audio tapes, yearbooks, meeting minutes, yearbooks and much more. I see lots of opportunities for GFU students to use the collection, whether majoring in history, biblical studies, journalism, or religion. And, again, having worked in the public sector, I see tremendous resources for family historians to find valuable information about ancestors who settled in the Pacific Northwest.
The GFU campus is beautiful and serene; last week anyway – the school was still on break. I look forward to next week when the students return and the energy level picks up.