The LOC in DC

April 26, 2007

Prior to heading to the ASDAH meetings at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, I spent a week in Washington DC. Apart from visiting Sligo SDA Church and a few museums etc., most of my time was spent doing research in the Library of Congress.

I spent most of my time in the Microform Reading Room examining the the Millerites and Early Adventists Collection of 60 reels put together by UMI some years ago. Unfortunately there appears to be no copy of this work anywhere in Africa. Some weeks ago I enquired with UMI as to the price–thinking that it may be possible for Helderberg College to purchase it. I was informed that the cost for the set was $50,000 USD!!! At that price it would be cheaper for me to fly to Washington DC annually for the next 20 years than to purchase it! Converted to local currency, the cost works out at about R375,000 which is more than the Helderberg College library’s entire annual budget for book, periodical & media purchases. Any rich benefactors out there who would like to make my research a whole lot easier? (I’ll even dedicate my thesis to you–well to you and my wife anyway!)

The collection is wonderfully comprehensive, highlights including most of William Miller’s handwritten correspondence. The most obvious thing I noticed when I started browsing this correspondence was the sheer number of requests to speak Miller was receiving. People sent multiple requests, some attached petitions with many signatures, while others got quite abrupt when an affirmative reply was not received quickly.

I also came across some other works that I had not read before. These included a wonderful 34 page book by the Advent Christian preacher Beulah Mathewson called Woman [sic] From a Biblical Stand-Point or Do the Scriptures forbid the Public Labour of Woman [sic] published in 1873. I hope to find out more about her and her ministry at some stage.

I have previously posted on a recently discovered photo of William Miller, said to have been the only photo of him. However, the frontispiece of Albert C. Johnson’s Advent Christian History (1918) appears to contain a different photo of Miller. My printout from the Microfilm is of such poor quality that its not worth scanning & posting. Perhaps one day I’ll find a nice copy of the book & promise to post a scan when I do.

For anyone interested, there is a number of Advent Christian books, tracts & periodicals dating from 1874 for sale on eBay here. Again I make no claims for the authenticity of the objects nor the reliability of the seller. It would be great if these ended up at the CAR or at Aurora University’s Jenks Memorial Collection–any benefactors out there?

Finally, WordPress–the host of this blog has recently upgraded to allow the posting of Slideshare presentations. Here is one on William Miller I put together for my SDA History class. I’d be interested in your comments.



  1. Great images, Jeff. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

  2. Hi H0bbes

    Two small practical issues:

    1. I’ve been using a feed reader to read your blog, but the last time it updated was with the article on hairstyle rules at Helderberg College. Is this because you changed a setting?

    2. Have you ever considered licensing the work that you publish on your blog under a creative commons license. I think the creative commons license encapsulates what you try to do on the last page of your presentation. It might just provide a more sound legal framework.


  3. Hi Weiers. Feed readers appear to be a bit laggy–at least mine (Sage in Firefox) is. I haven’t changed any settings that I know of lately.

    I’m vaguely familiar with the creative commons licence but never thought of applying it to my powerpoints. Thanks for the tip.

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