The McKee Library Special Collections is the repository comprising the collections
within the Center for the Study of 19th Century America and others. We support research by a wide range of scholars, including
undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and other researchers whose work relies
on primary and secondary source materials, including rare books, archives, media,
Types of Materials
Collections are comprised mostly of books, but also present are journals, newspapers,
annuals, archives, ephemeral materials, photographs, posters, memorabilia, and various
other original materials.
Language and Geographical Aspects
Based on the collection scope, McKee Library Special Collections collects works written
in English and from the United States.
- Pre-1800: Few items in the collection were published prior to 1800 and serve to create
a well-rounded historical context of the 19th century.
- 1800-1900: Most items in the collection fall within this time period.
- 1900-1950: Few items in the collection were published after 1900 and serve to create
a well-rounded historical context of the influence of the 19th century in the early
20th century. It must be noted, however, that the Duane and Eunice Bietz Collection
contains memorabilia as well as collection development and sales information that
belong to this time period. Some items belonging to the Southern Adventist University
Archive also include items that fall within this time period.
- 1951-now: Most items in the Southern Adventist University Publications Digital Archives
fall within this type period. Some materials belonging to the Duane and Eunice Bietz
Collection also fall within this time period.
Center for the Study of 19th Century America
The Center for the Study of 19th Century America defines its mission as follows: To
acquire, preserve, and provide access to a wide range of primary and secondary materials
to present researchers with a context to understand the times in which the Seventh-day
Adventist Church began. The five collections that make up the Center for the Study
of 19th Century America are:
1. Thomas Memorial Collection
This collection contains materials related to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Included
in the collection are books, photographs, periodicals, newsletters, and other memorabilia.
Also included in the collection are the papers of Dr. Russell C. Slater, original
collector of the Civil War material, and John W. Fling, Jr., original collector of
the Abraham Lincoln material. This material was acquired by Dr. Vernon L. Thomas,
who subsequently donated it to McKee Library in 1973. This collection is considered
2. Duane and Eunice Bietz Collection
This collection houses books by and about Mark Twain. Included in the collection are
several rare first editions, signed copies, periodicals, memorabilia, and authentic
letters written by Mark Twain. The collection was donated to McKee Library by Duane
and Eunice Bietz in 2009. Additions to this collection are only accepted from the
3. Domestic Science and Cookery Collection
This collection houses rare books on household management, etiquette, nutrition, and
cooking. For a well-rounded 19th-century context, publication dates range from 1800
to 1950. Additions to this collection come from librarian acquisitions, deaccessioned
items from the library’s general collection, or patron donations.
4. Seventh-day Adventist Heritage and Apocalyptic Studies Collection
This collection houses books on Adventist heritage, specifically those pertaining
to the study of the books of Daniel and Revelation. The collection also features works
by prominent non-Adventist authors—Sir Isaac Newton being one example—who did significant
scholarship in this area. Included in the collection are several first-edition books
written by Ellen G. White and a copy of "A New Concordance of the Holy Scriptures"
by John Butterworth that belonged to Joseph Bates. Additions to this collection come
from librarian acquisitions, deaccessioned items from the library's general collection,
or patron donations.
5. Origins and Biology
This collection houses books on Creationism and Evolution. The collection's primary
focus is on materials that provide 19th-century creationist counter-arguments to the
Darwinian evolutionary theory. Also included in this collection are materials that
focus on the development of Darwinian thought up to the Neo-Darwinian synthesis. Additions
to this collection come from librarian acquisitions, deaccessioned items from the
library’s general collection, or patron donations.
The McKee Library French Collection consists of 105 titles and 189 volumes of works
primarily written in French. The collection spans 255 years, with its earliest book
published in 1711 and the most recent in 1966. It includes works by notable authors
such as Voltaire, Montesquieu, and Flaubert. Although most of the titles are written
in French, a few are written in Italian, English, German, and Latin. The collection
covers a variety of subjects, including history, philosophy, and literary criticism,
and also contains novels, memoirs, poetry, and plays.
Ray Hefferlin Collection
The Ray Hefferlin Collection comprises physics-related materials collected by Ray
Hefferlin, Ph.D. This collection includes research materials, periodicals, photographs,
posters, and correspondence. McKee Library acquired the Ray Hefferlin Collection in
2015 from the Hefferlin family.
Southern Adventist University Publications Digital Archives
Southern Adventist University Publications Digital Archives hosts a collection of
digitized university publications and institutional history materials. Additions to
this collection are accepted from the Alumni Relations and Administration offices
and relevant patron donations.
Preventive conservation practices are used to prolong the useable life of the items
in McKee Library’s Special Collections. Included in these practices are the following
- Environmental control
- Use of protective polyethylene covers on books
- Acid-free boxes and folders to store unbound materials
- Reformatting to digital medium
Transfer and Donations Guidelines
Criteria for Transfer of General Stacks Materials to Special Collections:
American books in the general collection that have been printed from to 1750-1950
are evaluated by the Special Collections librarian for transfer if their subject falls
within the following:
- Household management
- Seventh-day Adventist beliefs and history
Gifts to McKee Library’s Special Collections are accepted as long as no restriction
is placed upon their use and disposition. Acceptance of gifts will be determined by
the library director on the basis of the library’s special collections needs.
Deaccessioning of Special Collection Materials
Special Collections items may be considered for deaccessioning by the library director
- material is so severely damaged or deteriorated as to be of no practical use
- material is not appropriate to the needs of McKee Library