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Francis A. Schaeffer Studies at Southeastern: History of the Papers at Southeastern

Information on the unique resources and opportunities at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary supporting the study of Francis A. Schaeffer's life, work, and thought.

History of the Francis A. Schaeffer Collection at Southeastern

On September 14, 2010 Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary received the voluminous collection of papers and correspondence of the late apologist Francis A. Schaeffer to Southeastern’s library, thanks to the generosity of the Francis A. Schaeffer Foundation. Under the terms of the agreement, the Francis A. Schaeffer Foundation will retain ownership of the collection and Southeastern will have custodianship of the collection. The collection is given through the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture to Southeastern Seminary. The presentation was made by Udo Middelmann, president of the Foundation and his wife, Deborah, daughter of Francis and Edith Schaeffer. 

Southeastern Seminary Archives staff processed over 100 cubic feet of materials in the collection and created an inventory of the contents which totaled over 50,0000 items (Over 49,000 papers, 600 audiotape reels, and 360 16mm film reels). After processing was completed, Southeastern Seminary Digitization Lab staff began the process of creating digital copies of the papers and audio recordings, completing the digital capture of these resources in September 2014. Next, Digitization Lab staff began the process of identifying and describing the individual talks and discussions that were recorded on the open reel audiotape and Archives staff began enhancing the descriptions of the handwritten correspondence in the collection to make it more searchable for researchers. This work continues as our library staff develops a digital repository that will allow for advanced searches across the digital collection and provide researchers with tools to examine the writings of Francis A. Schaeffer in ways that were not possible previously.

In the meantime, digital copies of the papers and over 900 audio recordings have been delivered to the three approved research sites and the Francis A. Schaeffer Papers are accessible to approved researchers. Those with an interest in the life and work of Francis A. Schaeffer and the times in which he lived are encouraged to contact Southeastern Seminary or the Francis A. Schaeffer Foundation to plan a research visit.

Francis A. Schaeffer Foundation Presentation, 2010

Francis A. Schaeffer Collection Documentary, 2012

Archives and Digitization Assistants

Our Library at Southeastern staff and researchers who are able to conduct productive research in the collection are indebted to the faithful service of our current and former Archives and Digitization Assistants. Their diligent work built and continues to support access to the Francis A. Schaeffer Papers.

Special thanks are due to the following people.

Archives Assistants

  • Craig Freeman
  • Rebecca Hayden
  • Joshua Breland
  • Callie Wilder
  • Austin Williams

Digitization Assistants

  • Shem e'Silva
  • Nathan Sweet
  • Mary Cameron Caison
  • Daniel Hulsey
  • Aaron Coffey
  • Darrin Whitley
  • John Carter
  • Aaron Long
  • Dustin Toone
  • Sarah Davidson
  • Justin Brandt