The Joseph Ross Stevenson Manuscript Collection
Scope and Content
This collection consists of President Stevenson's personal papers, as well as material about him collected by the Seminary Libraries. Content includes sermons, addresses, ecumenism papers, correspondence, and other files.
- 1887 - 1939
Language of Materials
There are no special restrictions to access of this collection. It may be examined by library patrons under the normal rules and conditions of Special Collections.
The following is the acceptable citation for publication: The Joseph Ross Stevenson Manuscript Collection. Special Collections, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
- 1866 March 1
- Born, Ligonier, Pennsylvania
- B.A., Washington and Jefferson College
- M.A., Washington and Jefferson College; B.D., McCormick Theological Seminary
- Student, University of Berlin
- Ordained, PCUSA
- Pastor, Broadway Presbyterian Church, Sedalia, Missouri
- Adjunct Professor, Ecclesiastical History, McCormick Theological Seminary
- Professor, Ecclesiastical History, McCormick Theological Seminary
- Pastor, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, New York
- Member, Board of Directors, Princeton Theological Seminary
- Pastor, Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, Maryland
- President and Professor of History of Religions and Christian Missions, Princeton Theological Seminary
- Instructor, Homiletics, Princeton Theological Seminary
- 1939 August 13
- Died, Princeton, New Jersey
President Stevenson received honorary doctorates from Washington and Jefferson College (1897), Ursinus College (1908), Lafayette College (1915), University of Edinburgh, Scotland (1919), and Presbyterian Theological College, Halifax, Canada (1920). He was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. in 1915.
10.3 Linear Feet (23 Boxes)
This collection has been arranged into six series by subject, with respect to their original order at the time of accession. They include: Sermons, Addresses (formal, informal, and miscellaneous), Ecumenism Papers, Biographical Materials (including correspondence files),"Reorganization Controversy" Papers, and Addendum (including personal papers and correspondence files).
This collection was processed, and the original finding aid was written by Raymond Cannata in April of 1996, under the direction of William O. Harris, Archivist. The finding aid was edited by Sarah Malone in July 2008.
The J. Ross Stevenson manuscript collection consists of papers relating to President Stevenson gathered from a number of sources. President Stevenson's manuscripts of sermons and addresses appear to have been organized under his direction into three distinct sets: "sermons," "formal addresses," and "informal addresses." These were carefully maintained during the entire course of his ministry. Each manuscript was given a cover, which was labeled with appropriate information: title, biblical text, dates and places of delivery. Each covered manuscript was assigned a number and filed in order. The only exception to this system regards the "informal addresses," which were assigned several numerical schemes which do not run concurrently. All these sermons and addresses were later wrapped in bundles and labeled.
In approximately 1989 the sermons and addresses were removed from these bundles and placed in archival file boxes in the "Alumni Alcove" collection of the Library Archives Department. Gathered with these boxes at that time were other miscellaneous papers related to President Stevenson. A collection of correspondence to and from President Stevenson, largely relating to the "Re-organization controversy" of the 1920's, had been donated to the library some time earlier by his widow. These had been sealed and remained inaccessible until the April of 1996.
Another set of papers was given to the Seminary on December 6, 1984 by the Stevenson family. This consisted of twenty-one groups of items, including President Stevenson's diary, scrapbook, pastoral journal, memorabilia, published writings, and correspondence. A typed inventory of these items has been preserved. Some other miscellaneous papers relating to President Stevenson, of unknown origin, were shelved with these items. These largely consisted of papers on the ecumenical movement collected by Dr. Stevenson, 1936-1939. Photocopies of newspaper clippings and biographical items from the Archives' office files were added when the collection was organized in April 1996.
Additional papers were discovered shortly thereafter in the Archives' "File D," which currently form an addendum to the collection. President Stevenson's sermon and address file was added to the archives in January 2008. It is meant to be preserved “as is.”
- The Joseph Ross Stevenson Manuscript Collection
- Raymond D. Cannata
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
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