The Library 169
First to be mentioned is the collection of manuscript materials. Of
these by far the most important are the church record books. The
oldest of these is that of the Great Cohara (now Rowan) Church in
Sampson County, which dates from 1759, and is probably the oldest
church record book of Southern
Baptists.25
Four others date from the
years before 1776, and several others begin in the eighteenth century;
notable among these is that of the Skewarky Church, dating from its
organization in 1786, with Martin Ross as pastor. Others are the
record books of Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church, three volumes
dating from 1789. A score of other record books date from the first
third of the nineteenth century. The Library has about 100 all told,
among these the more important ones, but the churches have been
slow to respond to the constant appeals made for more than a half
century that their record books be deposited in the collection. Since
the North Carolina Church Survey Project has begun to publish its
"Inventory of Church Archives of North Carolina," and the
whereabouts of the records of the churches is being discovered and
told, the Librarian has renewed her efforts to secure
them.26
Other
manuscript materials consist of the complete records of Wake Forest
College in all its departments and its literary societies, and its various
boards, such as that of the Board of Education. There are also several
valuable diaries, such as those of Samuel Wait and W. T. Brooks; a
few files of letters; a number of note books, such as those of Elias
Dodson which are a valuable index to the lives and habits of the
people of the time. There are also some 2,000 sketches of Baptist
churches done by their members, and of greater or less value. There
are two manuscript histories of associations.
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collection." Again from her report for 1930: "Every clue which might lead to the
acquisition of new material has been followed up."
25
There is none so old in the collection of church record books of the University
of Richmond.
26
The Library has had no traveling collector of such materials, such as the
University of North Carolina and Duke University have kept in the field for many
years, and the special collections of Wake Forest have suffered much in
consequence.
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