“This cookbook was created by a loving, Christ-centered fellowship of people who desire to share their best with each other. […] They have enabled us to further carry on a ninety-five-year tradition of good food and fellowship.” Heritage Cookbook, First Covenant Church, Seattle, Wash. (1984)
The study of community cookbooks is an emerging field, and few have looked at those published by communities of the Evangelical Covenant Church. The current collection of about forty community cookbooks held by the Covenant Archives and Historical Library suggests the breadth and variety that have been produced by Covenant communities. Published between 1932 and 1988, most were created by women’s groups in individual congregations, notably Covenant Women; some are the collaborative projects of two or several Covenant congregations; a few were published by Covenant retirement communities, and one was published by women of North Park Theological Seminary. The collection includes cookbooks that were reprinted multiple times or revised and republished as new editions, and cookbooks that saw one printing run; some were printed and bound by the community members, while others by specialized cookbook publishing companies; some were published to raise funds, others to celebrate the heritage of a congregation for an anniversary. All communicate an aspect of the creating community’s heritage and identity, as Colleen Cotter notes in Recipes for Reading: “In a satisfying way, we are all bound by our language, history, family, food, and community. Recipes in many ways can reflect that.” These cookbooks also hold more than recipes, and include Bible passages, inspirational or humorous quotes and poems, and helpful kitchen guides such as weights and measures conversions, menu ideas, and spice guides. In times when you couldn’t search online to learn what fruits would float in jello, these were books to live with.
We are always adding more books to the Frisk Collection. Just this week we added David Nyvall’s Via series, three volumes written in Swedish published between 1926 and 1936 which explores the life of Jesus as written in the New Testament. Also check out Paul E. Larsen’s The Mission of a Covenant describing his vision for the Covenant Church published in 1985.
“What I like about the collection as it is developing is its breadth and balance, which may in the future allow for thematic organization of categories. The collection includes seminal works of history and theology, primary (autobiography) and secondary sources (biography) of significant leaders in the ECC, and critical resources developed by the denomination through time. The published annual reports of the ECC since its founding are indispensable. Focused areas like preaching, hymnody and worship, world mission, and women, to name a few, are representative of the potential of the collection in making available the significance of a literary canon largely inaccessible before to most readers.” (Philip J. Anderson, Covenant Historian)
After uploading 50 books online on the Frisk Collection of Covenant Literature, it is exciting to show how the collection is shaping up. One book that really demonstrates a major goal of the Frisk Collection is Memories and Personal Experiences by E. Aug. Skogsbergh. Uploading an unpublished manuscript, otherwise only available here in the archives, online as an open source is definitely in the spirit of making the inaccessible accessible. This is the 1972 translation in typescript of E. A. Skogsbergh's autobiographical work. Skogsbergh, a pastor in the Swedish Mission Covenant Church, was the best known Swedish-American evangelist and preacher of his time (known as the Swedish D.L. Moody, who was his friend). He began as an evangelical preacher in Sweden and immigrated in 1876. During his life he established churches in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Seattle, two education institutions, and a successful newspaper. The original Swedish Minnen och Upplevelser: under min mer än femtio-åriga predikoverksamhet (also in this digital collection) was translated by Eric G. Hawkinson, Covenant Archivist, and sponsored by the Commission on Covenant History.
Memories and Personal Experiences by E. Aug. Skogsbergh
Themes run the gamut from reflections on nature, religion, love, life and death to vignettes on memorable people and places. In the exhibit currently on display in the second floor gallery in Brandel Library we feature students’ literary works about Chicago taken from select volumes from the 1930s through the most recent 2012 publication.
Read the earlier post about the history of the literary annuals.
North Branch 1979
North Park has an annual tradition of publishing student poetry, short prose, photography and other works of art. Almost every year since 1930 the magazine first called Pegasus and now called the North Branch is written, edited and published by students. The tradition started on March 28, 1930 when the North Park College News announced a new “all-school”poets’ club with the official name the “Pegasus Club” inviting all who desire to contribute original work to select a pen-name for their productions. The club published an annual anthology of creative writing from 1930 through the 1940s. Cover art in the 1930s featuring the winged horse was provided by well-known Covenant portrait artist Warner Sallman.
During the 1930s readings were held campus on the subjects of ballads, contemporary trends in French poetry, and classical poetry. Celebrated American poet Carl Sandburg visited campus in 1936 for a large event and returned to meet with the Pegasus Club in April 1944.
By 1950, the Pegasus literary annual was edited and published by Sigma Nu Pi, the pre-journalism group at North Park. Contributions ranged from nonsense limericks to poems and prose on more serious subjects.
In addition to poetry and prose, the 35th issue of Pegasus (1964 at right) featured images of oil paintings, linoleum cuts and sculptures from the art department, as well as contributions from the music department.
After a five year absence, the campus literary publication was reinvented as the North Branch in the spring of 1975. Published by the English department the new magazine was sold at 50¢ a copy. In order to encourage submissions copies of the American Heritage Dictionary were awarded to the two best works. The early issues of the North Branch featured photography and art work as well as poetry, essays, short stories, and short poetic prose works. Most issues featured student art work on the cover. By 1981 submissions and awards were overseen the Division of Humanities. To encourage submissions for the spring 1983 issue the editorial board invited alumni and faculty to participate.
During North Park’s lean years in the late 1980s funding was drastically cut throughout campus and the 1989 issue of the North Branch barely made it to print. A strong student interest in the publication caught the attention of President Horner and funding was restored. As a result the editorial board was able to promise a free copy to every student and faculty member.
North Branch 1981 left
The North Branch has remained under the umbrella of Student Association – now CLASS – sponsorship. Both Pegasus and the North Branch have been pamphlet sized magazines averaging 70 pages in length. The 2012 issue was released on April 16 with a poetry reading in the Brandel Library Gallery where you can now view an exhibit of past cover art.
North Branch 1996 right
below 1989, 2007 and 2012
The staff of the Archives and Special Collections is building a digital collection of Covenant publications. The Frisk Digital Collection of Covenant Literature will make accessible hard-to-find original publications, mainly monographs and serials, considered to be key texts in the formation and growth of the Evangelical Covenant Church.
Works will cover a variety of themes such as theology, Bible, history, biography, education, spirituality, mission, and records of various institutions of the ECC. Many works were originally written in Swedish. Available here will be both the original Swedish works and their English translations, many of which were previously only available as archival manuscripts. In addition, other unpublished documents will be selectively included. The new collection joins the digital photograph collection of North Park University and the Covenant Church already made available as part of the CARLI Digital Collections.
The recently published book Aging in Grace: The Growth of Covenant Retirement Communities 1886-2011 opens with a quote from Karl A. Olsson, Covenant theologian, historian and president of North Park from 1959 to 1970.
From a small mustard seed planted with love and hopefulness more than a century ago, a giant tree has come. Now what matters is the vital essence of the tree, the life expressing itself in branch and leaf..., an unceasing outpouring of love in compassion and caring.
Into One Body...By the Cross, 1986
With this quote Olsson reflects on the work of the Evangelical Covenant Church which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2010. Benevolent institutions, local churches and conferences started shortly after the denomination was formally organized in 1885. The Northwest Conference, organized in 1884, celebrated its quasquicentennial in 2009. The Midwest Conference celebrated in 2010 and the Midwest Conference in 2011.
Aging in Grace tells the story of the Covenant Church's tradition of benevolence beginning with the opening of the Home of Mercy in 1886 in the Bowmanville neighborhood of Chicago. Read more about the Home of Mercy in this earlier post. The book traces the story of the Home of Mercy which grew to become the Covenant Home and goes on to tell about the fifteen other retirements homes and communities that have served the needs of aging Covenanters and many others across the country.
Eloise Nelson, frequent researcher and friend of the Archives, spent many hours here gathering photographs to write the histories of several of the retirement communities for the book. In coming blog posts we will feature some of the materials Eloise discovered that did not make it into the book.
Researches, regardless of their experience level, have many questions when they head to an archives to conduct research. How do I schedule an appointment (and why do I have to)? How will I find what I'm looking for once I'm there? What's online and/or why isn't everything online? Why can I only use a pencil? What can I make copies of and how can I do that? Our website attempts to answer most of these questions for our researchers before they arrive but falls short in some areas.
Last week I met the author of a great new e-publication to which I can now direct researchers. Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research is written by Laura Schmidt, archivist at the Wade Center at Wheaton College and published by the Society of American Archivists as downloadable pdf or viewable on their website. The guide is well organized, addresses all of the above questions and gives researchers sound advice for using materials in a variety of archives. Thanks Laura!
Last Saturday in the Archives reading room members of the Swedish-American Historical Society were treated to a talk by Society board member Kevin Proescholdt about the life and work of Sigurd Olson. Olson who lived from 1899 to 1982 was an influential advocate for environmental conservation. His voice is still heard in the many books he wrote and through the environmental policies he helped establish.
Kevin Proescholdt, who himself works professionally to protect wilderness areas as wilderness and public lands program director for the Izaak Walton League of America, told of Sig Olson’s role with the National Parks Association, the Wilderness Society, and the passage of the l964 Wilderness Act. In his talk Kevin shared many photographs as he traced Olson’s life, passion for nature and struggles in environmental activism.
The photograph here shows Kevin (right) in early May 1978 with his friend Carl (BT) Beyerhelm (left) and Sig at the Olson home in Ely, MN. Kevin had met and visited Sig on earlier occasions, but in this shot he had just returned from Washington, DC, where he spent two-weeks lobbying during the subcommittee and full committee markups and votes on the Boundary Water Canoe Area legislation. He was asked by his mentor, Bud Heinselman, chair of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and close friend of Sig Olson, to stop at the Olson home after a canoe trip and fill Sig in on the latest updates of the campaign in DC.
The image poignantly illustrates how we can make connections that serve to guide us well into the future. You can learn more about the life and legacy of Sigurd Olson at his website. Many books by and about Olson, including The Hidden Forest (1969), Of Time and Place (1982) and Guardians of the Parks: a History of the National Parks and Conservation Association, are available at Brandel Library (link to catalog).
Open Stacks is written by the staff of the F.M. Johnson Archives and Special Collections. The Archives, located in the lower level of Brandel Library, holds collections from the university, the Evangelical Covenant Church, and the Swedish-American Historical Society. Students and researchers from the public are welcome to use our collections. Visit the Archives website to learn more.
Because of their uniqueness, archives and special collections are kept in closed stacks. To bring them more to light, the Open Stacks blog features items from the collections, how to use the collections, and posts about research, events, and related topics.