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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 Overview
 
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Description
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.
Background
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.
Extent
44 boxes; 44 linear ft.
Restrictions
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.
Availability
Collection is open for research.