The half of knowledge is knowing where to find knowledge.
The half of knowledge is knowing where to find knowledge.
“In a room at the base of the Scarritt Tower, whose walls are limestone from the hills of Tennessee, there are carved in the stone and in bronze, names bridging back a century. There, also, are names of contemporary persons. And each year a few more, always very few, may be added. These names have in common ‘evidence of a life which manifests the purpose, and ideals which led to the founding of Scarritt College for Christian Workers’ – evidence of the highest and finest Christian devotion and accomplishment. The room is called The Room of Remembrance. Appropriately, the recognition which is thus recorded in stone and enduring metal, is known as The Tower Award. Scarritt’s past and Scarritt’s present blend in grateful remembrance on that room at the base of Scarritt’s Tower.”
—excerpt from the 1979 Tower Award program
Day by day, the Archives in the Laskey Research Library at Scarritt Bennett Center continues to grow.
The latest collection to be processed by the Archives team is a collection of materials regarding the Tower Award and the Room of Remembrance. The Room of Remembrance is located on the second floor of Scarritt Hall, just beneath our historic bell tower. According to newly archived documentation, the Room of Remembrance was created in 1942 to honor and memorialize the founders of Scarritt College, as well as church workers, missionaries, and deaconesses of note around the connection. The photo and accompanying correspondence (left) is from 1943, and refers to the nomination of Rev. Dr. Fred C. Klein (1857-1926) to the original inscription in the Room of Remembrance. In 1883 Rev. Klein went to Yokohama, Japan as the first ordained minister sent to Japan by the Methodist Protestant Board of Missions.
The Archives team has also unearthed a number of materials, including documentation about the "Tower Award." This award was issued in the 1970s and 1980s to very small number of people, and those who received it were also memorialized in the Room of Remembrance.
Today, the Room of Remembrance can be accessed on the 2nd floor of Scarritt Hall. Next time you attend an event in the International Room at Scarritt Bennett Center, take note: you have to walk through the Room of Remembrance—and beneath the historic bell tower—on your way to your event.
The Virginia Davis Laskey Library houses a collection of more than 11,500 titles primarily on women’s leadership in missions and social justice around the world. While much of the collection was acquired to support the students of Scarritt College, today it serves as a resource for scholars and anyone else interested in Scarritt Bennett Center’s rich and varied history. On our shelves patrons will discover student theses, a vast reference collection of various United Methodist agencies, a wide range of cultural studies, an extensive collection of American Civil Rights Movement writings, and more.
What's in the Library: The Library's collection houses content that fall under five (5) main areas:
Women's History (issues and rights: current and past, national and global, including women in the church)
Mission (150+ years of publications on mission theory, missions, and missionaries)
Spirituality and Spiritual Formation
Worship and the Arts (including a large collection of hymnals and resources on liturgical design)
Multiculturalism and Diversity (including historical scholarship on race relations)
The Virginia Davis Laskey Library was dedicated and opened on April 1, 1968 at Scarritt College. The library was the final building added to the Scarritt College campus and was a gift of the Women’s Division of the Methodist Church through its "call to prayer and self-denial" offering from the Women’s Society of Christian Service and the Wesleyan Service Guild. The Woman’s Division of the Board of Missions of the Methodist Church also contributed grants. A Nashville committee under the leadership of Mrs. Henry Cannon, “Minnie Pearl” of Grand Old Opry fame, raised $50,000 for library furnishings.
The library was named to honor Virginia Davis Laskey of Ruston, Louisiana. Laskey devoted her life to the United Methodist Church. She taught Sunday school for more than 25 years, was a member of the Board of the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and the MacDonnel United Methodist Children’s Service, and served as the national president of the Women’s Division, Methodist Board of Missions from 1964 to 1968. She was one of only five women members of the World Council of Churches and was a two-time delegate to General Conference.
On March 9, 2007 the library officially became the Virginia Davis Laskey Research Library, with a focus on organized societies of lay women. The Laskey Research Library allows people today and in future generations to understand the struggle, faith, and vision of women committed to mission, justice, and peace ministries all over the world.
Most titles in the catalog are from the library of the former Scarritt College for Christian Workers or from the former Women's Division of the United Methodist Church. Titles are added to the catalog weekly.
Your first search should be a general, keyword search. Once you are in the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) you can refine your search
Searches are not case sensitive, diacritics are not recognized
Certain words or descriptions in this catalog and in the collection reflect the author's attitude and/or are reflective of the time in which the item was created, and may now be considered offensive.
The library’s archival collection, some of which is more than a century old, consists of personal papers and institutional records of faculty, alumni, and affiliates. These documents chronicle the story of Scarritt College for Christian Workers, from its early days as a place where women became deaconesses, through the Great Depression and Civil Rights movement, to its present day role as a forum for social justice work and spiritual formation.
WHAT'S IN THE ARCHIVES
The archival collections at the Laskey Library contain resources handed down from Scarritt College and Scarritt Bible and Training School. Such items include College materials (yearbooks, newsletters, calendars); student files (college applications, newsletters from missionary alumnae, birth and death announcements, photographs, news clippings); alumni/ae theses and dissertations; rare documents concerning the institution's history; personal papers of missionaries and Scarritt College faculty; and documents from National College, The Kansas City National Training School, and The Alumnae Association from 1900-1980. Recent additions also include papers from retired executives of Women’s Division and United Methodist Women.
Researchers are invited to use the collections on site at the Laskey Library. Because of the fragile nature of much of these materials, and so that we can best help you, we ask that researchers make an appointment before visiting either the library or the archives.
Archives house primary source documents—e.g. letters, memos, meeting minutes, speeches, photographs—that contain firsthand information about a topic or event. Primary source documents are often unique or rare and can add depth to your research.
Archival materials are generally arranged by provenance—that is, they are grouped according to who collected or compiled the materials. Each collection is divided into boxes, which contain folders that are arranged either topically or chronologically.
Each processed collection has a descriptive document called a finding aid. The finding aid describes the collection, including its context, its creator, and its original purpose. The finding aid is divided into sections describing the collection’s creator, the formats of materials it contains, the time period that it covers, and the subjects that it covers. It also contains a list of the folder titles that can be found in each box. Finding aids generally do not include links to digital materials; instead, they describe the materials contained in our physical collections so that you know what materials will be useful to you. About 25% of the materials in our archives currently have finding aids.
The Laskey Archives also has some unprocessed collections, which means that the materials have not yet been moved into archival-quality boxes and folders and we do not yet have detailed knowledge of what the collection contains. Most unprocessed collections are still open for research; however, navigating them will require a lot of time and patience. Ask the librarian about access to unprocessed collections.
Other Institutions Housing Materials Related to Our History
Laskey Research Library & Archives welcomes scheduled appointments on weekdays from 9:00am–4:00pm.
Staying on Campus: On-campus lodging options are available for out-of-town researchers who would like to arrange an extended visit to the Laskey Library and Archives.