Saturday, November 20, 2010

Historical Records Grant provides Deaconess Photos

What a surprise and delight to note that the state of Missouri supports the preservation of historical archive materials which are related to local history but originated in the context of the work of a Christian church.

The Dana Dawson Library located at Saint Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, has received a grant from the "Missouri Historical Records Grant" program for the purpose of restoring and digitizing historical photographs from the Kansas City National Training School for Deaconesses and Missionaries. (Saint Paul School of Theology is a seminary of the United Methodist Church, split between two campuses in Kansas City and Oklahoma City.)

The library's blog site explains: "These photographs document the history of women’s ministerial work in the Kansas City community and highlight Saint Paul’s ongoing commitment to social issues. The heritage of the Kansas City National Training School is reflected in the records, photographs and publications such as The Kansas City Deaconess of the training school as well as in several books in the Saint Paul library. This rich heritage tells the story of courageous young women who ventured into the most desolate, dangerous, and poverty-stricken areas of Kansas City to bring social services and hope to the poor. Additionally, their stories give voice to the poor and immigrant populations of Kansas City during the beginning of the 20th Century. These records can supplement students’ studies in women’s history, social justice issues, health and welfare ministries, and ministry to immigrant populations."

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