Godspeed, Special Collections! (A farewell note from our summer intern)

We are thrilled at the work completed by our 2019 summer intern, Michael Gonzalez. His knowledge, skill, and thoughtfulness were invaluable in working through this fabulous collection. Michael’s final report is included below. Thank you Michael, and good luck this year! Beth, Andrea, and Frank.

Final Report
Godspeed, Special Collections!
Michael R. Gonzalez

Three months and seventy-five archive boxes (about sixty linear feet) later, the Gaustad legacy has been completely unpacked and almost completely moved into its lasting home at Baylor’s Special Collection. It was my privilege to establish this collection for Edwin Gaustad’s personal papers—a rich and extensive trove, indeed! What began as a medley of mostly unsorted cardboard moving boxes has transitioned into a fine archival collection, and I am thankful for having been part of this process.

As I mentioned in the initial post this summer, it was surreal to organize the documents of a very successful academic when I am only just beginning my own career. I am grateful for having had the chance to learn about the workings of archives behind the scenes, but also for the opportunity to put my own scholarly pursuits in perspective. Dr. Gaustad produced an astonishing corpus of books, articles, reviews, lectures, sermons, and more—astonishing in quantity, but also, as his colleagues and friends attest, in quality. Throughout the summer, I often thought about how fitting it was that the personal papers of a historian (who himself had delved through archives for letters and documents) now stand waiting for other historians to request Dr. Gaustad’s own box and folder numbers. This seems to me both beautiful and fitting.

In addition to working with Dr. Gaustad’s collection, I also enjoyed working with the special collections staff on their St. John’s Bible project, and on the manuscripts in the Eldon J. Epp collection. I was happy to put my knowledge of Latin (and more limited knowledge of Greek) to work in identifying the various Biblical translations and related scholarly works donated by Dr. Epp.

In short, my experience with the special collections has been a blessing in many regards—and not just because it offered a summer job to a grateful grad student! Working with Beth Farwell, Andrea Turner, and Frank Jasek was an enriching experience. I am glad to have spent my summer hours with the three of them, working on such worthwhile projects as unpacking the Gaustad legacy. I hope that my labors this summer will continue to bear fruit for other academics who make use of the special collection, and especially so for those who come to view the Edwin S. Gaustad Scholarly Collection.

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