• Baylor Libraries make Baptist history accessible via Baptist Standard digitization

    Photo of a 1928 issue of the Baptist Standard

    Since 1888, the Baptist Standard has been the newspaper of record for Baptists in Texas (and beyond), bringing a journalistic approach to covering stories connected to Baptist life. Given Baylor’s distinct Baptist heritage, it’s only natural that this would be the place where historic issues of the Baptist Standard would find new life.

    Baylor University Libraries is partnering with the Baptist Standard to digitize the publication’s entire history of back issues (including those of its predecessor, Baptist News), making it easily accessible for future generations of scholars, researchers, and anyone interested in Baptist news and history. In many ways, the partnership brings Baptist Standard access full circle, with physical archives available through University Libraries and the Texas Baptist Historical Collection in downtown Waco.

    “This type of access will allow researchers to quickly find reports on people and events they are studying,” says Dr. Alan Lefever (BA ’84), director of the Texas Baptist Historical Collection. “Because of this ability to expedite research, I believe more people will study the history of Texas Baptists. Topics and historical events previously ignored or understudied will be seen in a new light — or for the first time.”

    It’s a natural fit that adds another key piece to University Libraries’ roster of digitized collections. From classic music in the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project to correspondence between poets Robert and Elizabeth Browning, Baylor continues to add to resources that enable people around the world to access history from their computer. In all, there are now 10 digital collections that gather important documents, interviews and media for online access.

    The first parts of the Baptist Standard collection are now online and available, with over 500 issues from 1928-44 available. Once the entire process is complete, a painstaking task expected to take about 18 months, all 133 years of the publication will be easily accessible and searchable.

    Sic ’em, Baptist Standard and Baylor Libraries!