The Library 167
tinctive that the Library possesses. The first notice of it appears in the
catalogue of 1885-86, in which it is said that, "Special shelves have
been prepared for the Library of the North Carolina Baptist Historical
Society, and any books, pamphlets, church records, papers,
manuscripts, minutes of associations, and other documents tending to
throw light upon the history and progress of our denomination, will be
gladly received and carefully preserved." The Society, a revival of a
Society with like name and constitution, constituted in 1873, had been
organized November 11, 1885, during a meeting of the Baptist State
Convention at Reidsville. Its president was J. S. Purefoy, its secretary,
W. L. Poteat, and its executive committee consisted of W. G.
Simmons, N. B. Cobb, T. E. Skinner, C. E. Taylor and C. T. Bailey.
The historian was J. D. Hufham. In its constitution it was written that
its books, manuscripts and other memorials should be deposited "in
some room at Wake Forest College."
Very little, however, came to
the Library on this score, though the above statement continued to
appear in the catalogues for thirty years. In fact, in accord with a
resolution of B. W. Spilman adopted by the Baptist State Convention
in 1897 the statistical secretary of the Convention, not the Librarian of
Wake Forest College, was intrusted with collecting and preserving
Baptist newspapers and other periodicals, catalogues of colleges and
minutes of associations and conventions and "other publications of
historical value to North Carolina Baptists." Though the persons
holding this position did not do quite so much as was contemplated in
the resolutions, in general they did well and collected much valuable
material which was kept in the Biblical Recorder Building in Raleigh
under the supervision of the General Secretary of the Convention. By
1922 it had far outgrown the space which could
22 The constitution of the earlier society is found in the Convention minutes of
1873 and of 1874. Minutes of the N. C. Baptist State Convention for 1885, p. 50f.
Article 2 of the Constitution of 1873 reads.
"The objects of this Society shall be to establish and maintain at W. F. College, a
library composed of books, pamphlets, manuscripts, portraits, &c., pertaining to the
history of Christianity and of the Baptists of North Carolina In particular."