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Stanford University, Memorial Church, Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Stanford University, Memorial Church, records
    creator: Stanford University. Memorial Church
    Identifier/Call Number: SC0290
    Physical Description: 25 Linear Feet (46 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1893-2014


    Collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least 24 hours in advance of intended use.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Stanford University, Memorial Church, Records (SC0290). Department of Special Collections and Univeristy Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Acquisition Information

    The records were received by the Stanford University Archives via numerous administrative transfers from Memorial Church.

    Historical Note

    Following the death of Leland Stanford in 1893, Jane Lathrop Stanford decided to build Stanford Memorial Church as a memorial to her husband. Mrs. Stanford wanted the church to be nondenominational and a place of peace, meditation, and prayer amid the turmoil and tasks of the university.
    Construction of Stanford Memorial Church began in 1899. The church was dedicated January 25, 1903. It was partially destroyed by the earthquake in 1906 and was rebuilt and opened again in 1913. The church was again damaged during the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 and was closed for repairs until 1993. Stanford Memorial Church is known for its stained-glass windows of the J. & R. Lamb Studios and the masterpieces of its art mosaics created by the Venetian studios of Salviati & Company.
    The first pastor of the church was Heber Newton. He preached at Stanford for four months but reluctantly resigned because he disagreed with Mrs. Stanford on some aspects of church management. After Newton's resignation, the trustees of the university engaged the Rev. David Charles Gardner as chaplain of the church. He served thirty-four years, from 1902 to 1936. Gardner was succeeded in 1936 by the Rev. D. Elton Trueblood who resigned in 1945. The Rev. George J. Hall was chaplain from 1946 to 1947 and he was succeeded by the Rev. Robert M. Minto who served from 1947 to 1948 and 1950 to 1973. The Rev. Paul C. Johnston served as chaplain from 1949 to 1950. Robert McAfee Brown was acting Dean from 1972 to 1973. The Rev. R. G. Hammerton-Kelly served from 1973 to 1986, when the Rev. Thomas Ambrogi was named Acting Dean. In 1987, the Rev. Dr. Robert C. Gregg became Dean, serving until 1998. The Rev. Kelly Denton-Borhaug served as interim Dean until January 1, 2001, when the Rev. William "Scotty" McLennan Jr. was appointed Dean of Religious Life.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The records of Stanford Memorial Church include marriage and baptismal records, church service programs, sermons and lectures, church newsletters and publications, and files from two chaplains.


    The collection is organized into the following nine series: Series 1: Church Services (programs), 1903-1988; Series 2: Sermons and Lectures, 1957-1978; Series 3: Organ Recitals, 1920-1985; Series 4: Chaplains' Records; Series 5: Baptismal and Marriage Records, 1902-2009; Series 6 - Bibles, Hymnals, and Songbooks, 1883-1912; Series 7: Publications about the Church; Series 8: General Miscellany; and Series 9: Church Building.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Programs, church.
    Lectures and lecturing.
    Church records and registers.
    Baptismal records.
    Sterling, J. E. Wallace (John Ewart Wallace)
    Trueblood, Elton
    Minto, Robert M
    Stanford University. Memorial Church
    Wilbur, Ray L. (Ray Lyman)
    Stanford, Jane Lathrop