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James Oscar Atkinson Collection

 Collection
Identifier: Mss.Coll.026

Scope and Contents

This diverse collection contains both papers directly from J.O. Atkinson and other papers that have been collected about him over the years. The papers in this collection pertain to many different subject areas, including the Southern Convention, Women's Conferences of the Congregational Christian Churches, missionary work, Dr. Atkinson's time at Elon College as a member of the first group of faculty, his sermons, genealogy relating to the Atkinson family, and class notes from Dr. Atkinson's time at Harvard University. The collection is arranged alphabetically by type of material into eight series, then chronologically within each series, where applicable. The series are: Audio Recordings; Books; Correspondence; Lists; Literary Productions; Minutes; Photographs; Printed Material. Most of the smallest series in the collection contain information relating to church missionary work, Women's Conferences of the Congregational Christian Churches, the Southern Convention, and other church related events (Series 1, 4, 6). One of the small series that does not relate to the church is a book found in the second series which contains the grade book from Dr. Atkinson's time at Elon College as a member of the first group of faculty (2:1). While many of the larger series also include information similar to that in the smaller series, there are a few exceptions. For example, there is quite a bit of genealogical information about the Atkinson family that can be found in the Correspondence series, as well as the Printed Material series (Series 3 and 8). Additionally, the Literary Production series not only contains sermons and essays by Dr. Atkinson, but it also contains all of his class notes from when he attended Harvard University in 1892-1893 (5:4-5:12). These ledgers offer detailed notes taken by Dr. Atkinson while attending classes in philosophy, theology, religion, etc. Last but not least are the Photographs in this collection that visually showcase some of the groups that Dr. Atkinson more than likely visited while on mission trips for the church. Moreover, there are some unique postcards depicting farm scenes of where the Christian Orphanage used to stand near Elon's campus (now Elon Homes for Children) (Series 7). Overall, this collection would be useful to anyone studying the beginning of higher education in an Ivy League school (Harvard University), the life and times of the Congregational and Christian churches during the late 1890s-early 1900s, Atkinson family genealogy, or insight into the mind and time of a member on Elon's original faculty.

Dates

  • 1856 - 1966

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research of otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical / Historical

Early and Later Years and Family: * J.O. was born in Wake County, NC on April 20, 1867 (3:13) * His parents were George Washington Atkinson and Mary Jones Atkinson (3:13) * J.O. had a sister-her married name was Mrs. John Davis, but J.O. referred to her as "Sister Mamie" in his letters (3:7). She was born December 30, 1873 in Apex, NC * J.O. had a brother Moses and a brother E.B. Atkinson (3:7) * J.O. married Emma Williamson of Driver, VA in the early 1890s (3:7, 5:3). They had four children together (3 girls and 1 boy), and Emma had been a student at Elon in the early 1890s* J.O. married Emma Williamson of Driver, VA in the early 1890s (3:7, 5:3). They had four children together (3 girls and 1 boy), and Emma had been a student at Elon in the early 1890s* J.O. married Emma Williamson of Driver, VA in the early 1890s (3:7, 5:3). They had four children together (3 girls and 1 boy), and Emma had been a student at Elon in the early 1890s* J.O. married Emma Williamson of Driver, VA in the early 1890s (3:7, 5:3). They had four children together (3 girls and 1 boy), and Emma had been a student at Elon in the early 1890s* J.O. married Emma Williamson of Driver, VA in the early 1890s (3:7, 5:3). They had four children together (3 girls and 1 boy), and Emma had been a student at Elon in the early 1890s * J.O. had a cousin named Rev. J.E. Franks (3:7) * J.O. had an Aunt Net Sorrell (3:7) * J.O.'s grandfather was named Moses Atkinson (3:7) * J.O.'s father came to North Carolina from Isle of Wight County, VA (3:7) * J.O. died at St. Leo's hospital in Greensboro, NC at 5:15AM on July 2, 1940 from a deadly disease he had been battling (3:13, 8:7) * Former President of Elon College, Dr. Leon Edgar Smith preached at Dr. Atkinson's funeral which was held in Whitley Auditorium on July 3, 1940 at 3pm. He was then buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Elon/Burlington, NC (8:7) ** See 8:5 for a more detailed list of Dr. Atkinson's children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren ** See 5:28 for a description of J.O. Atkinson that was written by his children Education/Career: * J.O. graduated from Wake Forest College in 1890 (3:13) * He received a Master of Arts from Harvard University in 1893, where he studied religion and philosophy (3:13) * Served as editor for the Christian Sun publication from May 2, 1924-July 1, 1936 (3:13, 8:6, 8:7) * Member of Elon College's original faculty, and taught when the school first opened in September of 1890 (3:13) * Served on Elon College's Board of Trustees from 1914-1940 (8:7) * Served as Dean of the faculty from 1903-1905 (8:7) * While teaching at Elon, he taught in the departments of Latin and Greek, political economy and sociology, and psychology and ethics (5:14) Church Affiliations: * J.O. served as the pastor of Elon College's church from 1897-1917 (8:7) * J.O. worked diligently for the welfare of the Afro-Christian Convention and other African American schools in Franklinton, NC (Franklinton Christian College) (8:7) * He helped plan the merger of the Congregational and Christian Churches in 1931 (8:7) * J.O. was ordained a minister in 1893 (5:14) * In 1917, the Southern Christian Convention created a Secretary of Missions position in which Dr. Atkinson served until his death in 1940 (5:14) * J.O. made it a priority to attend district gatherings, rallies, meetings, etc. of women's church organizations (5:14) * J.O. had a close connection with African Americans-he would preach at their churches, he loved to hear them sing, and he helped them to sing on the radio (5:28) Awards, Honors, Memberships, etc.: * J.O. authored a book titled Preparing the Teacher...(3:13) * Awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity from Elon College in 1910 (8:7) * Served on the Board of Trustees at UNC-Chapel Hill and at the North Carolina School for the Deaf * Member of the Mission Board of the American Christian Convention from 1918-1935 (8:7) * Served on the American Board Conference of Foreign Missions (8:7) * Mentioned in the book Who's Who in the Clergy (8:7) * Member of the Home Missions board, starting in June of 1907 (end date unknown) (8:7) * Staley-Atkinson-Newman Memorial Foundation was established in 1943 to support Christian Education at Elon College and honor three men who were dedicated servants of the Church (Dr. Atkinson being one of the three men). This Memorial Foundation was also the first effort to strengthen the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Elon College (8:9) Biographical Sources: Mss.Coll.#026 (Series/Folder#'s) 3:7, 3:13, 5:3, 5:14, 5:28, 8:5-8:7, 8:9

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (2 archival boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

This diverse collection contains both papers directly from J.O. Atkinson and other papers that have been collected about him over the years. The papers in this collection pertain to many different subject areas, including the Southern Convention, Women's Conferences of the Congregational Christian Churches, missionary work, Dr. Atkinson's time at Elon College as a member of the first group of faculty, his sermons, genealogy relating to the Atkinson family, and class notes from Dr. Atkinson's time at Harvard University. The collection is arranged alphabetically by type of material into eight series, then chronologically within each series, where applicable. The series are: Audio Recordings; Books; Correspondence; Lists; Literary Productions; Minutes; Photographs; Printed Material.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically by type of material into eight series, then chronologically within each series, where applicable. The series are: Audio Recordings; Books; Correspondence; Lists; Literary Productions; Minutes; Photographs; Printed Material.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically by type of material into eight series, then chronologically within each series, where applicable. The series are: Audio Recordings; Books; Correspondence; Lists; Literary Productions; Minutes; Photographs; Printed Material.

Physical Location

The collection is located in Belk Library Archives Satellite Shelving at Elon University. Please contact the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian for further details about the location.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

See Mss.Coll.026, 8:11.

Related Materials

The collection is arranged alphabetically by type of material into eight series, then chronologically within each series, where applicable. The series are: Audio Recordings; Books; Correspondence; Lists; Literary Productions; Minutes; Photographs; Printed Material.

Processing Information

Processed by Katie Nash, November, 2007
Author
Encoded by Kristin Shaffer, October, 2008
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Belk Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Belk Library, Room 204
Campus Box 2550
Elon U.S.A. - North Carolina 27244