Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Edit




  • 1950-1955 (Creation)


  • 3.00 Boxes (Whole)




  • Scope and Contents

    Boxes 1-2: The records pertaining to the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches span the period 1950-1955. They comprise an artificially created collection of materials derived from three separate University Archives’ accessions. The records document Northwestern's involvement in the planning of the Second Assembly and its role as host. The records are divided into seven categories: correspondence; housing records; records of special convocation ceremonies; newspaper and periodical clippings; plenary session addresses; printed programs and agendas; and publications.

    The correspondence files, dating between the years 1950 and 1954, are arranged chronologically. They consist of incoming letters and carbon copies of outgoing letters to and from University President J. Roscoe Miller, University Vice-President/Director of Public Relations J.J. Gerber and his successor A.C. Van Deusen, and Director of University Housing Willard J. Buntain. Included with the correspondence is one folder of "crank letters" addressed to the University President.

    The housing records date from 1954 and consist of housing lists indicating building and room assignments of Assembly delegates, accounting ledger sheets, and meal menus. Materials relating to the special convocation ceremonies are divided into three separate files. At the convocation ceremony of August 16th honorary degrees were awarded to the five World Council of Churches' Presidents and to the World Council of Churches' Central Chairman. The records include a full text of remarks, a printed program, seating charts, and mimeographed announcements concerning the ceremony. At the August 19th ceremony President Eisenhower was awarded a doctorate. The records from this event include Dean of Students Joe W. Miller's file pertaining to security and planning arrangements with memoranda, itineraries, and security maps included. These records also include a full text of President Eisenhower's speech and other remarks, printed programs, and a photographic print of a certificate presented to the President by the Evans Scholarship Foundation. Records concerning the August 27th World Council of Churches plaque presentation ceremony consist of a full test of remarks, a portfolio illustration of the plaque design, and related correspondence.

    The newspaper and periodical clippings date from the year 1954-1955. The clippings are from the Evanston Review, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, other national newspapers, and Northwestern University publications.

    The plenary sessions addresses are arranged chronologically by date of session. They comprise an incomplete set of mimeographed full-texts of addresses delivered between August 15th and August 27th.

    The printed program and agendas are for church services and social events held during the Assembly. Also included is a copy of the official handbook of the Assembly.

    Publications include two types of brochures: promotional and evaluative. The promotional publications consist of historical background on the World Council of Churches, study guides used prior to the Assembly meeting and brochures advertising the Assembly. The evaluative publications are booklets and brochures assessing accomplishments of the Second Assembly.

    Addition, Box 3: This addition to the Records of the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches, comprised of one half-size box and spanning the year 1954, documents the daily activities of the Assembly and its special convocation ceremonies held at Northwestern University between August 15 and August 31. Records include correspondence, newspaper and periodical clippings, plenary session addresses, and printed programs.

    The bulk of the records consist of newspaper and periodical clippings, covering the daily events and speakers, including extensive coverage of President Eisenhower's visit. Other materials include copies of papers presented to the assembly and plenary sessions, pamphlets, programs, autographs, and one letter from G. Bromley Oxnam, Bishop of the Methodist Church of the Washington, D.C. area and a president of the WCC to Meredith Emily Anderson.

    Records are arranged chronologically when possible.

    Bookmarks [?], Accession #98-205: Each bookmark features an arrangement of three ribbons and four metal pendants. One metal pendant joins the three ribbons together and presumably fits into the area between the cover and headband of a book at the spine. The remaining pendants hang singly from the bottom of each of the three ribbons. The hanging pendants on each bookmark include a cross, a seal from the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches, and an anchor. The seal features on one side the following:

    World Council of Churches - Second Assembly / Northwestern University - Evanston 1954 / [the Greek word] OIKOUMENE and a representation of a cross in a boat on waves.

    On the other side are:

    + Christ + The Hope of the World / Evanston, IL, 1954 and reliefs of the First Methodist Church of Evanston and of McGaw Memorial Hall at Northwestern University.

    Four of the bookmarks include royal blue ribbon and silver plate pendants; four have light blue ribbon and possibly bronze or copper pendants. A fifth light blue and bronze/copper bookmark is incorrectly assembled and carries two crosses and a seal rather than a cross, anchor, and seal.

  • Method of Acquisition

    The materials in this collection were acquired by the University Archives, probably through James Alton James, prior to June 1, 1974. The Addition to these records are a combination of two acquisitions. One was donated to the University Archives by Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church on October 31, 1995, as Accession number 95-187. The second was donated by Carlyle E. Anderson on November 11, 1998, as Accession Number 98-205.

  • Conditions Governing Access


  • Separated Materials

    Nothing was separated from Boxes 1 - 2. From the additions: A few duplicate articles were discarded. Two photographs were placed in the University Archives' General Photographic Files. A film of Second Assembly events was transferred to the Archives' audio-visual collection as MP-253; one box of slides was placed in microfilm drawer #1, Room 109; nine commemorative bookmarks and two medallions were transferred to the Archives' Artifacts Collection (see description below).

  • Related Materials

    Users of these records may wish to refer to the James Alton James Papers (Northwestern University Archives' Series 11/3/16/4). Included in these papers is one folder documenting James' involvement with the Second Assembly.

  • Processing Information

    Kevin Davis; 04/15/1987. Additions processed by Eric Salcedo, April, 1999.

  • Existence and Location of Originals