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Inventory of the New Religious Movements Organizations: Vertical Files Collection, ca. 1955-1998
GTU 99-8-1  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Agency History
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: New Religious Movements Organizations: Vertical Files Collection,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1955 - 1998
    Accession Number: GTU 99-8-1
    Collector: Center for the Study of New Religious Movements, Graduate Theological Union
    Extent: 44 boxes; 44 linear ft.
    Repository: Graduate Theological Union
    2400 Ridge Road
    Berkeley, California 94709
    Abstract: The Vertical Files Collection is part of the New Religious Movements Research Collections in the Graduate Theological Union Archives. These materials were collected over a 22-year period by successive library staff people. The collection includes such materials as correspondence, newsletters, pamphlets, brochures, events flyers, promotional material, newsclippings, or research papers.
    Shelf Location: 5/A/1 - 5/C/3, Record Group 4, Subgroup I
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], New Religious Movements Organizations: Vertical Files Collection, GTU 99-8-1, The Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

    Acquisition Information

    Transferred to the GTU Archives in 1999.

    Agency History

    California has historically been a center for the development and practice of non-traditional or alternative religious movements. In the 1960s, there was a large growth of new religious ideas, philosophies, groups, and organizations. The Graduate Theological Union, a consortium of nine Protestant and Catholic seminaries in Berkeley, California, focused early on the study of this phenomenon establishing the Center for the Study of New Religious Movements in 1977. The Center's purpose was to study as an academic discipline the developing religious movements and groups which were new to the United States or had grown significantly since 1960. To this end, the Center in cooperation with the Graduate Theological Union Library developed an alternative religions resource library and brought research scholars to the GTU. Materials for the resource library were collected from and about hundreds of groups and organizations in California and across the United States. Periodicals and books were also added to the resources. The Center sponsored inter-disciplinary conferences, symposia, and forums recording the proceedings in print and/or audiocassette tape form. Grants were provided for individual scholars to come use the resource library and write research papers in Berkeley. (See also: The Center for the Study of New Religious Movements Collection, GTU 91-9-3.) When the Center closed in 1983, the GTU Library Reference Staff continued to collect from and about new religious movements until 1998 when the decision was made to cease collecting. Books and periodicals were added to the general GTU Library catalog, GRACE. Files were set up for over 800 groups and organizations. These files were arranged alphabetically by organization name and kept in locked file cabinets on the main floor of the Library. It is these files which form the New Religious Movements Organizations Vertical Files Collection.

    Scope and Content

    The Vertical Files Collection is part of the New Religious Movements Research Collections in the Graduate Theological Union Archives http://www.oac.cdlib.org/dynaweb/ead/gtu/nrm/ . The materials were collected over a 22-year period by successive library staff people. The staff received material in various ways through that period, either directly from organizations, or given to the GTU Library by interested persons who had collected on specific organizations. The collection includes such materials as correspondence, newsletters, pamphlets, brochures, events flyers, promotional material, newsclippings, or research papers. Each file varies as to the included amount, type, and dates of material. Files may include a very few items, or be more extensive. No file is comprehensive for any organization. Files do not include internal organization records (i.e., administrative files, financial records, legal documents, etc.) Significant donations of collected materials were made by William Noffke and Arthur Carl Piepkorn. Will Noffke (1929-1997), was a radio-host whose lifework documents the cultural and religious changes which began to emerge in the 1960s in California. (See also: William ("Will") Noffke Collection, GTU 2001-8-01). Arthur Piepkorn (1907-1973) was the author of the four volume Profiles in Belief: The Religious Bodies of the United States and Canada (See also: Arthur Carl Piepkorn Collection, GTU 89-5-015). The Library Staff transferred selected materials from these donations to the Vertical Files. Where a significant amount of original Noffke or Piepkorn donated material is found in an individual file, their name will appear on the file folder and in the container listing below.

    Arrangement

    This collection is organized into two series: Organization files; and Subject files.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Piepkorn, Arthur Carl, 1907-1973
    Noffke, Will (William), 1929-1997
    Buddhism--United States--20th Century
    Cults--United States--History--Sources
    Hinduism--United States--20th Century
    Islam--United States--20th Century
    Metaphysical Movements--20th Century
    Neopaganism--United States--20th Century
    Occultism--United States--20th Century
    Satanism--United States--20th Century
    Scientology--History--Sources
    Sects--United States--History--Sources
    Sikhism--United States--20th Century
    Sufism--United States--20th Century
    Taoism--United States--20th Century
    Yoga--Religious aspects
    Zen Buddhism--United States
    Zen Buddhism--20th Century
    Unification Church--History--Sources
    United States--Religion--1965-