Special Collections Overview
Mercer University has collected and preserved Baptist history materials since the late 1870s, following the University's move from Penfield to Macon. The Georgia Baptist Convention named the University archives as the official depository of state Baptist records, the Georgia Baptist History Depository. Fortunately for historians, the University's libraries have never been destroyed by fire; and the depth of the current collection gives evidence of that good fortune. Careful collection development has created a body of documents which has breadth, as well as depth, documenting the work of the University and the Georgia Baptist Convention and later embracing Primitive, Progressive Primitive, Free Will, Holiness, and African-American Baptist endeavors. Other state Baptist educational institutions, such as the Locust Grove Institute, the Mary P. Willingham School for Girls, Hearn Academy, and Tift College, are documented in the archives. Books from Mercer's earliest libraries record Baptist history in colonial North America and the European continent. Documents also chronicle the beginnings of a more recent national Baptist organization, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.