(Used with permission from East-West Church Ministry Report)
Jenkins, Philip, "The Bounty of Keston," The Anxious Bench (blog), Patheos: Hosting the Conversation on Faith, January 11, 2015.
Keston Archive and Library
Electronic Access to the Keston Collection:
All of the books donated to Baylor University by the Keston Institute are being entered into the university library catalog and placed in appropriate libraries across campus. All books can be located through Bearcat by using a keyword search for "Keston Collection".
Search Keston Collection
The Keston Digital Archive:
Archival material, including rare documents and photos, have been digitized and are stored in a digital archive.
About the Archive & Library:
Housed in the Michael Bourdeaux Research Center on the third floor of the historic Carroll Library, the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society library and archives contains materials related to religious persecution under Communist and other totalitarian regimes. The collection includes paintings, artifacts, photos, books, journals, transcripts, rare documents, and underground publications (samizdat).
The library houses approximately 10,000 books in English, Russian, German, French, Polish, Italian and other European languages. The religion in Russia section contains arguably the world's most extensive collection of atheist and anti-religious books published in the Soviet Union. While Russian and East European church history since World War II forms the core, other items relate to religious persecution under non-European communist regimes, including those in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The periodical section encompasses more than 100 titles, including some in Romanian, Lithuanian, Polish and Dutch that cannot be found elsewhere.
The archives primarily consist of samizdat and the Keston Press Archive. Samizdat is defined as “the clandestine copying and distribution of literature banned by the state, especially formerly in the communist countries of Eastern Europe.” The exceptionally rich Russian religious samizdat contains more than 4,000 items including correspondence, petitions, newssheets, symposia and memoirs. Among those represented are Adventists, Baptists, Jews, Pentecostals, Roman Catholics and Russian Orthodox. Items of special note include the transcript of the trial of Baptist Aida Skripnikova handwritten on cloth; Chronicles of the Lithuanian Catholic Church; Bulletins of Evangelical Christians and Baptists in the USSR; correspondence of the Vashchenko and Chmykhalov Pentecostal families regarding their campaign to emigrate from the USSR; and bound volumes of Moskovskii sbornik, a collection of articles on religion and the nation compiled by L. Borodin in 1974. A select bibliography of documents of religious samizdat in the archive has been published in the journal Religion in Communist Lands and includes listings of Czech, Polish and Romanian samizdat.
The Keston Press Archive consists of press clippings, pamphlets, reports, and references to periodical articles. Arranged thematically by country, by subject, by religion and by denomination, the press archives emphasizes religious belief and practice. Sources include newspapers from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; official Soviet and East European religious press materials; religious publications from East European emigre sources; religious and secular newspapers in English and other European languages; magazines and newsletters from missionary societies; academic journals; and religious news agencies.
Additional holdings include 500 documents related to religious policy from Soviet archives such as documents from the Archives of the KGB, the State Archives of Russia, regional archives of the Council for Religious Affairs, and 50 original Soviet anti-religious propaganda posters. Of special interest are documents relating to the controversy over the confiscation of church valuables in 1922 and documents relating to the closure of churches during the 1960s. Besides printed and manuscript material, the archive holds around 150 videotapes, 500 sound recordings and 3,000 rare and one-of-a-kind photographs.