Title: William Bell Riley Collection
Riley, William Bell, 1861-1947.
731 pamphlets and sermons, 42 books; photos, 85 scrapbooks, 2 indexes, 8 folders correspondence, 7 folders biographical publications, plus 1 oversize; 41.26 linear feet
Collection material in English
Haburn Hovda Archives, University of Northwestern, Saint Paul Berntsen Library
Minister, author and Northwestern College founder and president. Sermons, pamphlets, debates, scrapbooks, speeches, clippings, books. The bulk of the collection consists of Riley’s church sermons and Biblical expositions.
The papers of William Bell Riley, minister, author, and founder of Northwestern College were given to the Haburn Hovda Archives by family members. Some of the collection was created in connection with the work of Northwestern College from its inception to 1947.
The papers of William Bell Riley were arranged and described between 2007 and 2009.
Materials may be used for educational, non-commercial purposes only. Please request permission for the use or reproduction of portion or item.
Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Container number, William Bell Riley Collection, Haburn Hovda Archives, Berntsen Library University of Northwestern, Saint Paul, Minnesota.
The collection is arranged in four series:
* Sermons, Pamphlets, and books 1896-1947, n.d.
Cabinet 9 Drawer 1
Cabinet 9 Drawer 2
Cabinet 9 Drawer 3
Cabinet 9 Drawer 4
Shelf 2 Row 3
Shelf 2 Row 4
Shelf 2 Row 5
Shelf 2 Row 6
Shelf 3 Row 1
Shelf 3 Row 2
Shelf 3 Row 3
Shelf 3 Row 4
Shelf 3 Row 5
Shelf 3 Row 6
* Correspondence, 1909-1947
Cabinet 8 Drawer 2
Shelf 1 Row 3
Shelf 1 Row 2
Cabinet 6 Drawer 4
* Oversize (includes memorials and obituaries)
The Christian Fundamentalist
Cabinet 9 Drawer 5
The Pilot up to 1947
Shelf 1 Side 2
Shelf 2 Side 2
Northwestern College Yearbooks up to 1947
Shelf 5 Side 1
Shelf 6 Side 1
Naomi Bloom Research
Cabinet 6 Drawer 1
NW Bible Conference
Riley, Dr William Bell
School Opens 1902
Riley, Dr. William Bell 1938-1947
Riley Dr. William Bell 1948
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of William Bell Riley (1861-1947) span the years ca. 189?- 1947, with the majority of the papers concerning his ministry.
The first and largest series in the Riley Collection (29.51 linear feet) consists of sermons and pamphlets representing the bulk of his pastoral career, 1890-1947. These sermons and expositions concern general Christian living and touch on monumental topics of that era, including; evolution, communism, and the World Wars. The format of these resources varies. Some are handwritten, some typed with handwritten notes, and some are published as pamphlets or in collected works.
The second series, the Correspondence series (.58 linear feet), 1909-1947, contains letters exchanged between Riley and professional friends and acquaintances. The materials concern, largely; speaking engagements, the Baptist Bible Union, the Northern Baptist Bible Union, the Christian Fundamentals Association and the First Baptist Church of Minneapolis.
The third series, the scrapbooks of William Bell Riley (10.75 linear feet), contain clippings of interest. Many articles saved became material for future sermons and debates. All 85 scrapbooks, in very poor condition, are indexed in 2 accompanying notebooks using Riley’s personal classification system.
The fourth series, the photos of William Bell riley (.42 linear feet) contains images of Riley from youth until adulthood and are both formal and candid. All items are in black and white. No negatives.
Biographical Notes on the life of William Bell Riley
1861 Born, Green County, Indiana on March 22nd
1878 Made a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ, August
1879 Began Valparasio Normal School in Valparasio, Indiana
1881 Began courses at Hanover College, Indiana
1883 Installed as pastor of the First Baptist Church at Carrolton, Kentucky
1885 Graduated with a degree of Artium Baccalaureatus on June 3, 1885
1888 Installed as pastor of the Tabernacle Church of New Albany, Indiana, June
1888 Graduated from Louisville Seminary
1890 Married Lillian Howard, December 31
1891 Installed as pastor in Bloomington, Illinois church
1892 First child Arthur Howard born, December 2
1893 Installed as pastor of Chicago’s Calvary Baptist Church, January 1
1894 Second child Mason Hewitt born, March 16
1895 Third child Herbert Wilde born (killed in hunting accident at 19)
1897 Installed as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Minneapolis, March 1
1901 Fourth child Eunice born October 14
1902 Northwestern Bible and Missionary School opens its doors
1904 Fifth child William B. born November 29
1906 Sixth child John Branson born December 26
1919 Founded World Christian Fundamentals Association, an interdenominational organization
1919 World Conference on Christian Fundamentals May 25 to June 1
1923 Co-founded the Anti-Evolution League and the Baptist Bible Union
1930 Resigns from World Christian Fundamentals Association
1931 Mrs. Lillian Riley, wife, passes away, August 10
1933 Married Marie Acomb, September 1
1935 Northwestern Theological Seminary opens its doors
1942 Retired as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Minneapolis
1944 Northwestern Schools becomes the single name for the institution, which now includes: the Bible School, the Theological Seminary and the four-year College of Liberal Arts.
1947 Dr. Riley passes away at age 86, December 5.