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Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia Records

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-1985-004

Scope and Content

The records of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia consist of administrative records, including incoming (often from parishioners) and outgoing correspondence, with a scattering of newspaper clippings, photographs, building plans and surveys, pamphlets, and meeting minutes, from the central administrative office in Roanoke and the churches within the Diocese.

Please note: This finding aid is under revision as of February 2022, but all materials remain available for use.

Dates

  • 1905 - 1992

Creator

Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.

Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (specref@vt.edu or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Administrative History

The Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia was originally formed from the Diocese of Virginia, which was organized in 1795 and included the area that is now the states of Virginia and West Virginia. West Virginia achieved its statehood in 1863, and split from the Diocese in 1877. In 1892 the Diocese of Southern Virginia was formed, and in 1919 the western part of the diocese split off to form the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia.

Robert Carter Jett, D.D. (1865-1950), of the Virginia Episcopal School, was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese in March 1920. He selected Roanoke as the headquarters, and St. John's for his parish church. Bishop Jett established a diocesan newsletter, encouraged interdenominational cooperation among the Protestant sects, and oversaw a program of church construction and the growth of mission schools.

In 1938 Bishop Jett retired and Henry Disbrow Phillips (1882-1955) assumed the duties of Bishop of the Diocese. Under Phillips' leadership, the Diocese continued to expand in parishioners and influence, most notably in the growth in the Diocese's function in education.

William Henry Marmion, D.D. (1907-2002), became the third Bishop of Southwestern Virginia in May 1954, and led the Diocese through an era of social upheaval in the 1960s. Bishop Marmion was strongly against racial segregation, and was confronted with the problem of challenging the long-held beliefs of many of his parishioners while integrating Black people into the church at the same time. The 1960s and 1970s also saw women pushing for a higher status in society, and the Diocese saw women increasingly become part of the church leadership as lay readers, deacons, and priests. Bishop Marmion also guided his parish into accepting the revisions of the Book of Common Prayer.

Bishop Marmion retired in 1979, and A. Heath Light (b. 1929) assumed leadership that same year until 1996. Bishop F. Neff Powell served from 1996 to 2013, when Mark Bourlakas assumed the bishopric.

See Hills of the Lord: the Background of the Episcopal Church in Southwestern Virginia, 1738-1938 by Katherine L. Brown (1979) for more information on the early history of the Diocese (call number BX5917.V8 B67 1979 at Virginia Tech's Newman Library and in Special Collections and University Archives).

Extent

141.2 Cubic Feet (103 boxes)

Abstract

The records of the Diocese consist of the Diocese's administrative records, including incoming (often from parishioners) and outgoing correspondence, with a scattering of newspaper clippings, photographs, building plans and surveys, pamphlets, and meeting minutes, from the central administrative office in Roanoke and the churches within the Diocese.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into the following series:

Series I. Chronological subject files, 1905-1992, is organized chronologically. Within each year (e.g. 1932) or year range (e.g. 1932-1933), the files are typically arranged by assigned number code. Folders without a number are listed first, in rough alphabetical order, followed by numbered folders in ascending numerical order. The numbers are in parentheses following folder titles. These represent the original numbering system used in the Bishop's office. That numbering system is organized with Episcopal parishes and churches listed alphabetically, followed by subjects. Not every year has materials from each parish or subject.

Series II. Series II. Alphabetical subject files, 1923-1968, (bulk 1950-1968), is arranged in rough alphabetical order, in original order received from the Diocese. Original dividers remain in collection.

Series III. Robert B. Claytor files, 1956, 1969, is arranged chronologically. Claytor was chair of the 1956 Episcopal Census Committee, whose records dominate this series.

Series IV. Record books, 1913-1961, is subdivided by format into five subseries, each arranged chronologically: A. Daily Cash Books, 1930-1961; B. Rector's Monthly Report Ledgers, 1940-1948; C. Special Accounts Books, 1942-1961; D. Ledgers, 1919-1955; E. Secretary's Book, 1913-1921.

Series V. Photographic materials, [ca. 1910s-1920s], is divided by format and arranged chronologically.

Physical Access

Please note: This collection is in off-site storage and requires 2-3 days notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives for more information.

Source of Acquisition

The records were permanently deposited to Special Collections and University Archives by the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia in 1985. A small initial deposit was made in 1976, and additional materials were received from 1989 thru 1992. Some materials were accessioned in 2012.

Appraisal

Duplicates and blank pages were weeded. Withholding tax records containing were shredded to protect personally identifiable information, including social security numbers, of employees.

Existence and Location of Copies

Some of this collection has been digitized and is available online.

Related Archival Materials

See the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia Records II, Ms2011-018 and Bishop William H. Marmion Papers, Ms1986-013, also at Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia Records by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia Records was completed in November 1988. Small additions were integrated with additional description created in 1989-1992. Description was further updated in 2020-2021. The processing, arrangement, and description for additions from 1990-2012 (Boxes 94-103) was completed in February 2022. Within these boxes, titles within brackets [] were created by archivists.

Please note: This finding aid is under revision as of February 2022, but all materials remain available for use.

  • Folder title: 230-b - Withholding Tax - 1945 Date: 1945-1955 Size: 0.1 cf (1 folder)
  • Teacher applications for Virginia Episcopal Seminary, 1982 from folder: VES--Trustees '82, 1981-1982 Size: 0.1 cf (2 documents)
Title
Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia Records, 1905-1992
Status
Under Revision
Author
Elizabeth Paradine, Staff, and LM Rozema, Archivist
Date
2022 (CC0 1.0)
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
The original 2001 web version of the finding aid was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Contact:
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US
540-231-6308