Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Glen Bruner collection
Bulk Dates: (Bulk 1962-1978)
Collection number: GTU 89-8-01
The Graduate Theological Union. Library.
Abstract: The bulk of the collection is from the period after Glen Bruner's retirement as a missionary, mid-1960s-1978. The Correspondence
series provides extensive information through personal narrative from Protestant missionaries with various denominations all
over the world. He served as an interpreter in the American hospital for Atomic Bomb victims after World War II.
Shelf location: 1/I/1-2
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research.
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.
Glen Bruner collection, GTU 89-8-01 . Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.
Gift of Glen Bruner in 1978.
Glen Willard Bruner (1897-1987), was born in Red Cloud, Nebraska, August 22, 1897 to Charles Erwin Bruner and Sue Evelyn Brown
Bruner. Moving early to Colorado, Glen attended public schools, then graduated from Colorado Agricultural College (now Colorado
State University) with a BS in Civil and Irrigation Engineering in 1917. He served in World War I in the 148th Field Artillery
of Colorado and Wyoming. At the end of the War, while still in the Army, he studied languages at the University of Grenoble,
France. After his return to the United States, he married Edith Williams in June 1920. Edith was born in 1896, Rockvale,
Colorado, the daughter of John Williams and Lucy Ann Bodycomb Williams. She graduated with a BS in Home Economics also from
the Colorado Agricultural College, 1919. The Bruners had no children.
They were accepted as missionaries by the Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and sent to Japan,
arriving October 1920. They taught at the Chinzei Gakuin, the Methodist Boys' School, in Nagasaki. While on furlough, 1926-27,
Glen received a Master's degree in Religion from Northwestern University, and received full ordination in the Colorado Conference
of the Methodist Episcopal Church (now the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church). Because of the Depression,
the supporting churches could no longer afford the Bruners' missionary salaries. So in 1931, Glen Bruner left the Boys' School
and joined the American Foreign Service working in consular and/or diplomatic functions until 1942.
The beginning of World War II caught Bruner working in the American Consulate in Taipei, Taiwan. The Japanese brought him
back to the Tokyo Consulate where he was interned with the other American diplomats for several months. He was sent to the
United States in 1942 with the other diplomats on an exchange ship. Bruner went back into the Army and served in Intelligence
through WWII. In 1946, he returned to Japan with the American Army of Occupation. He served as an interpreter in the American
hospital for Atomic Bomb victims in Nagasaki.
Glen and Edith returned to missionary work in 1955. They served at the Tokyo School of the Japanese Language, 1955-58, then
at the International Christian University, 1958-61. In 1961, Bruner had to retire from missionary service due to health reasons.
He then became an associate in the business administration for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (a facility of the National
Academy of Sciences) in first the Hiroshima, then the Nagasaki Laboratory, 1961-66.
In 1966, Glen and Edith retired and returned to the United States. They settled at the Frasier Manor Retirement Home in Boulder,
Colorado run by the United Methodist Church. Throughout their retirement, they were active in several associations involving
aspects of their lives including the Lions Club, a retired diplomatic corps group, a retired Army group, college alumni, and
the United Methodist Church. They remained very interested in and supportive of missionary work, particularly in Japan.
Glen Bruner died March 26, 1987 in Boulder. It is not known when Edith died.
Scope and Content of Collection
From the documentation and Bruner's correspondence in the collection itself, it appears that Rev. Bruner first contacted J.
Stillson Judah, then Director of the Graduate Theological Union Library, in 1974 about donating his collection of books and
papers. Judah referred him to Oscar Burdick, Librarian at the Pacific School of Religion Library, then still separate from
the GTU Library. From 1974 to 1978, Bruner sent boxes of books, periodicals, pamphlets, and papers to the PSR Library. Some
of Bruner?s contents lists remain and are found in Box 1, File Folder 3a. It is not known how much of the material was incorporated
into the PSR Library at that time. Fourteen boxes of material were stored in the PSR Library. When the PSR Library was integrated
into the GTU Library in 1981, the stored boxes of Bruner material were moved to GTU Library storage. When the GTU Archives
was established in 1989, the Bruner Collection was transferred to the Archives. See the Separation Notes below for information
on distribution of non-archival material.
There is very little material prior to 1950. The bulk of the collection reflects Bruner's collecting material in his retirement,
after the mid-1960s. The Correspondence series provides extensive information through personal narrative from Protestant
missionaries with various denominations all over the world. The Speeches and Sermons series in Boxes 2 and 3 provide good
sources of autobiographical information about the Bruner's experiences in Japan.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Missions--Methodist Episcopal Church--Japan
Missions--United Church of Christ--Japan
World War, 1939-1945--Personal Narratives--American
Diplomatic and Consular Service, American--Personal Narratives
Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission--History--Sources
Kokusai Kirisutokyo Daigaku (International Christian University)--History--Sources
Souls Undaunted, Verses from the Christian Poetry Club at the Hospital for Lepers, Oshima, Japan. Translator, Lois Erickson; illustrated (woodcuts) by C.O. Spamer. Published by American Mission to Lepers,
New York, NY, n.d. Transferred to GTU Rare Book collection: PL757.4 L46 S68 1945.
2) Newsletters and worship bulletins from the Simpson United Methodist Church, Arvada, CO, ca. 1966-75. Transferred to the
Rocky Mountain United Methodist Conference Archives, Denver, CO.
3) "Frasier Manor Mirror", 1973-77, newsletter of the Bruners' United Methodist retirement home in Boulder, CO. Transferred
to the Rocky Mountain United Methodist Conference Archives, Denver, CO.
4) Japanese language books, 1 ft., to the GTU Library circulating collection. (See partial list in Box 1, File Folder 3a.)
5) Japanese language periodicals, 2 ft., to the GTU Library circulating collection. (See partial list in Box 1, File Folder
6) DACOR Newsletter (Retired Diplomatic Corps. Association), Vol. 19, 1970 - Vol. 27, 1978. Discarded.
7) Department of State Newsletter, no. 180-191, 1976-77. Discarded.
8) "The Growler", Lions Club of Boulder, CO newsletter, Vol. 1-6, 1973-78. Discarded.
9) "Footnotes", staff newsletter of NAS (National Academy of Sciences), Vol. 3-5, 1975-77. Discarded.