Discarded files become archival history of Palmer Seminary

Palmer Students

This week’s blog post comes to us from our Librarian for Public Services, Administration & Research, Joy Dlugosz. Joy wears many “hats” here in the library, including that of Assistant Archivist to University Archivist Dr. Fred Boehlke. Over the summer, an interesting archival discovery was made….

“This summer while our new university president, Dr. Duffett, was touring old and new facilities, he came across a pile of files left in an office at our former Wynnewood location.

While he glanced through them he felt the need to keep them and have the library/archives examine them. Much to our surprise, what was slated to be trashed, became a small archival collection called Student Records of Palmer Theological Seminary. These records date back to the seminary’s beginning – 1925 when students entered Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Some interesting facts gathered after perusing the collection:

  • Each student record showed the date of registration and the date of graduation.
  • There are line items for “Appearance”, “General Remarks by faculty” and “Positions obtained after graduation”.
  • Some interesting “positions obtained” include: pastoral work (largest number of positions obtained in this field), professor at Bob Jones University, assistant pastors in Ohio, and a professor at Eastern Baptist College.
  • Many women did not complete coursework because they married.

Some unusual information:

  • Each student record included a photo of that student (taped to the document).
  • After 1941, a chart was included for grading students for qualities such as voice, physical vigor, sense of humor, tact and carefulness in dress.
  • The very first person registered, or record #1,  was a woman – Mrs. Buelah Reeves Adams. She registered in 1925 and graduated in 1928.
  • The letter ‘B’ category was missing – alas our own record for our colleague Dr. Fred Boehlke was not among them!

This collection is now housed in the University Archives along with additional administrative information and history of Eastern University and Palmer Theological Seminary.”

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