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Inventory of the Norman C. Mealy Collection of 18th Century Methodist Hymnals
GTU 96-8-01  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Other Finding Aids

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Norman C. Mealy collection of 18th Century Methodist Hymnals
    Dates: ca. 1983
    Collection number: GTU 96-8-01
    Collector: Mealy, Norman (1923-1987)
    Creator: Wesley, John (1703-1791)
    Collection Size: .5 linear feet (2 archives boxes)
    Repository: The Graduate Theological Union. Library.
    Berkeley, CA 94709
    Abstract: The collection contains photocopies of significant 18th century Methodists hymnals with notes and indexes of the hymns by Norman Carleton Mealy.
    Physical location: 1/E/2
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    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

    Norman C. Mealy collection of 18th Century Methodist Hymnals , GTU 96-8-01. Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

    Acquisition Information

    Collection donated by Margaret W. Mealy in August 1996.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Norman Carleton Mealy (1923-1987) was Professor of Church Music at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific from 1952 to 1987 and the GTU from 1965 to 1987. He was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1960. He served as the Director of Music at Saint Mark's Episcopal Church in Berkeley from 1947 to 1961.
    According to his wife Margaret Mealy, "This Norman Mealy collection of 18th century hymnals (photocopies) is part of the John Wesley family of tune books. All are edited by John Wesley, who chose the hymns and their musical arrangement, except for Harmonia Sacra, from which Wesley selected some hymns. These hymnals reflect Wesley's insistence that all sing at Methodist meetings. His work culminated in A Collection of Hymns for the use by the People Called Methodists."
    The Rev. Mealy spent several sabbaticals studying these Wesley materials at the library of the British Museum and the Methodist Archives at Manchester. In 1975, he wrote, "In 1970 I had begun a study of the Wesley family of tune books and first became fascinated with the congregational music of a church in the midst of renewal...(Now)I hope to bring back photographic reproductions of the more important collections to add to our hymnological resources...In addition to indexing melodies, I hope to study the curious stylistic changes in congregational music from the syllabic tune of the 17th century to the graceful sound of the 18th."
    In 1983, as part of a sabbatical request, he proposed "to complete a study of the 1780 A Collection of Hymns for the use by the People Called Methodists. This hymnal (525 texts) was the last to be edited by John Wesley and became the foundation for all subsequent revisions." Illness and death prevented the completion of this project.
    Active in developing new music within the Episcopal Church, he served on several commissions on service music and liturgy and assisted in collecting music for several Church publications: Hymns and Carols (1966); Songs for liturgy and more hymns and spiritual songs (1971); Book of Canticles (1979); and The Hymnal (1982). Other publications include Sing for Joy; A Songbook for Young Children (1961) with his wife, Margaret; Skier's Song Book (1950) with David Wyckoff Kemp; and Music, Dance, and Religion: The Performing Arts in Worship (1985) and Performer as Priest and Prophet: Restoring the Intuitive in Worship through Music and Dance (1988) with the dancer, Judith Rock.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains photocopies of six 18th century hymnals edited by John Wesley and one printed by Thomas Butts with notes and indexes of the hymns by Norman Carleton Mealy.

    Indexing Terms

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


    Wesleyan Methodist Church--Hymns.
    Methodist Church--Hymns.
    Hymns, English.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Hymns, English.
    Hymns, Methodist Church.

    Index Terms Related to this Collection

    Butts, Thomas, 1759-1846.
    Mealy, Norman.
    Wesley, John, 1703-1791.

    Other Finding Aids

    GTU 97-5-01, Hymns,Our Common Christian Heritage, Commentary by Norman Mealy. MSS 253, Norman Mealy Research Material on British Library Hymn Collection, Pitt Theology Library, Emory University, consisting of index cards and notebooks on hymnals published in England from 1539 to 1795.