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Christian News


Scope and Contents

From the Collection: The Social Documents Collection was originally named the "Tensions File" when it was established by Ralph E. Ellsworth, Library Director, in 1946, because it held print materials produced by both left-wing and right-wing groups. The collecting focus soon centered on right-wing publications, and now occupies over 500 linear feet of ephemera, periodicals, pamphlets, fliers, handbills, leaflets, bulletins, newspapers, and correspondence. These materials are predominantly the gift of publishers and certain titles are actively being sent and added to the collection.

The collection was reprocessed in 2019 to create an updated finding aid that is organized alphabetically, however the materials may lack a strict, alphabetical, physical structure. This was done in order to adhere to the collection’s original order. The original order of the collection was organized in three sequences, boxed materials, non-serials, and serials. Boxed materials refer to publications that are physically larger and contained a magnitude of issues. However, these may be considered a serial or non-serial to modern archival practices. Non-serials and serials referred to materials that were significantly smaller in size (usually a single folder) and were originally housed in filing cabinets.

These categories while physically maintained are no longer relevant to the finding aids structure and ability to access the materials. Patrons may notice that certain folders have (s) or (n.s), which refer to serial or non-serial. These were preserved to capture the progression of the collection and structure of the original order, however there are other serial and non-serial materials that do not contain this folder code and are interwoven in the collection.

Patrons should note that one title may span a range of non-consecutive boxes and should refer to the individual item’s container instead of the title as a whole while requesting materials. This will allow for more accurate box retrieval. Patrons should also note that the microfilm mentioned in the historical note should not be referenced when requesting materials. Please use the supplied container inventory for the collection.


  • 1918-2019

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. This collection is housed at an offsight location. Please allow two business days for retrieval.


From the Collection: 502 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)