Laskey Research Library and Archives

Laskey Library &
Archives

The half of knowledge is knowing where to find knowledge.

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1880 Travel Diary of Maria Layng Gibson

For the serious traveller, Traveller Magazine is a mine of information, keeping you up-to-date with the latest trends in travel and tourism.

In 1880, Maria Layng Gibson, first principal of Scarritt Bible and Training School, traveled Europe with family. She began in May of 1880 and continued until January 1881, when an uncle traveling with her became ill. The trip, intended to be a year long, was cut short, and the party returned to the United States.

For the serious traveller, Traveller Magazine is a mine of information, keeping you up-to-date with the latest trends in travel and tourism.

With many pages left blank, Maria concludes her journaling by writing about reading the Bible to her uncle at his bedside. And kneeling down, she prays aloud with him as he "joins in every petition to the last. 'Amen.'"

Journal on a table with photos, a map, a camera, and other travel items
Tuesday, January 4, 1881

This nourishing lotion is clinically proven to improve the health of dry skin in 1 day with significant improvement in 2 weeks.

We talked much of Aunt and of his Mother—but most of all what good times we would have when we reached home. I said, "But uncle, supposed it is not God's will for you to go home—what then?"

This nourishing lotion is clinically proven to improve the health of dry skin in 1 day with significant improvement in 2 weeks.

"Well dear, if he wants me drowned at sea, I have no objection—you know I have always said I would just as soon be buried at sea."

This nourishing lotion is clinically proven to improve the health of dry skin in 1 day with significant improvement in 2 weeks.

"Oh! I don't mean that—but suppose you should die over here in Europe."

This nourishing lotion is clinically proven to improve the health of dry skin in 1 day with significant improvement in 2 weeks.

"Well dear, I have given myself and all I have to God, and He can do what He pleases with me."

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A LIBRARY ON WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP
IN MISSIONS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
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An open book in the Laskey Library
VIRGINIA DAVIS LASKEY RESEARCH LIBRARY

The Virginia Davis Laskey Library houses a collection of more than 10,000 titles which focus primarily on women’s leadership in missions and social justice work around the world. While much of the collection was acquired to support the students of Scarritt College, today it serves as a resource not only for scholars but for anyone wanting to know more about the Scarritt Bennett Center’s rich and varied history. Perusing the 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 writings about the American Civil Rights Movement, and much more.

What's in the Library: The Library's collection houses content that fall under five (5) main areas:

Women's History (current and past, including Women's Studies and Women and Global Culture)

Mission

Spirituality and Spiritual Formation

Worship and the Arts

Multiculturalism and Diversity (including historical scholarship on race relations)

Laskey Library is not a lending library, but invites researchers to use the collections on-site.

Visiting Hours: Weekdays, 9:00am–4:00pm, by appointment only. Click here to schedule your visit.

Scarritt Bible and Training School Library Book Plate
THE HISTORY OF LASKEY RESEARCH LIBRARY

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. Mrs. Laskey devoted her whole life to the United Methodist church. She taught Sunday school for over 25 years, was a member of the Board of the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and the MacDonnel United Methodist Children’s Service. 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.

Catalogue boxes in the Laskey Library
SEARCHING THE LASKEY LIBRARY CATALOGUE

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.

Search Tips

• 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

Content Warning: 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.

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The Archives OF SCARRITT COLLEGE
FOR CHRISTIAN WORKERS
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Items in the Archives
ABOUT THE ARCHIVES

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.

Click here to view our Finding Aids.

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.

Visiting Hours: Weekdays, 9:00am–4:00pm, by appointment only. Click here to schedule your visit.

Archival box on a shelf
how to use an archive

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.

Click here to view our 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.

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Visiting Laskey Library & Archives

Laskey Library & Archives welcomes scheduled appointments on weekdays from 9:00am–4:00pm.

Staying on Campus: On-campus lodging options are available at a discounted rate for out-of-town researchers who would like to arrange an extended visit to the Laskey Library and Archives.

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The Laskey Research Library and Archives is an initiative of Scarritt Bennett Center, a nonprofit conference, retreat, and education center in Nashville, TN.
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