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The Arthur Tappan and Delavan Leonard Pierson Manuscript Collection

Identifier: SCM 209

Scope and Content

The collection contains extensive papers of A.T. Pierson, as well as many of his son's. Among these are letters from C.H. Spurgeon, John Wanamaker, Woodrow Wilson, Helen Keller, Charles Lindbergh, A.A. Hodge, William Henry Green, Hudson Taylor, and many others. There are also several scrapbooks maintained by A.T. Pierson. In addition, there is a significant amount of miscellany, including notes, sermons, and article manuscripts.

Unfortunately, in the case of the miscellany, it is often difficult to distinguish between what was produced by A.T. Pierson and what was produced by his son Delavan. Delavan maintained theological concerns very similar to his father's and was involved in many of the same ministries. He used his father's notes and added to them in his own hand. Further, examination of the scrapbooks reveals that A.T. Pierson had several different styles of handwriting.


  • 1854 - 1899

Language of Materials



There are no special restrictions to the access of this collection. It may be examined by library patrons under the normal rules and conditions of Special Collections.

Preferred Citation

The following is the acceptable citation for publication: The Arthur Tappan and Delavan Leonard Pierson Manuscript Collection. Special Collections, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.

Biographical Information

Dr. Arthur Tappan (A.T.) Pierson (1837-1911) was a prominent Presbyterian minister, mission theorist, and Bible expositor. He received his education at Hamilton College (B.A., 1857) and Union Theological Seminary, New York (B.D., 1860). Among his pastorates were the Bethany Tabernacle in Philadelphia and Spurgeon's London Tabernacle in England. He was a leading promoter of the Student Volunteer Movement (SVM) and was editor of The Missionary Review of the World. He was a popular speaker at pre-millennial bible prophecy conferences and various "higher life" and holiness gatherings, especially those related to the Keswick movement. For a time he served as president of Gordon College. After his death admirers established the Pierson Bible College in Seoul, Korea in his honor. Many of his books have remained popular and are currently in print more than eighty years after his death.

Delavan Leonard Pierson (1867-1952), son of A.T. Pierson, was educated at Princeton University (B.A., 1890; M.A., 1894) and Princeton Theological Seminary (B.D., 1894), and was licensed by the Presbytery of New Brunswick in 1894. He had a distinguished career as a writer and as a Bible school superintendent, and was editor of The Northfield Echoes and of The Missionary Review of the World.


2.9 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Related Material

See also: four letters from Sundar Singh to D.L. Pierson in File D

Processing Information:

This collection was donated to the Seminary Libraries sometime prior to 1964. It had once belonged to Delavan Pierson. It was kept in library storage for many years before being organized in September of 1996. The collection was organized and the original finding aid was written by Raymond D. Cannata, under the direction of William O. Harris, Archivist. The finding aid was edited by Sarah Seraphin and Daved Anthony Schmidt in June of 2009.

The Arthur Tappan and Delavan Leonard Pierson Manuscript Collection
Raymond D. Cannata
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Princeton Theological Seminary. Library. Special Collections Repository

Princeton Theological Seminary
Wright Library
25 Library Place
Princeton NJ 08540 USA