Scarritt-Bennett Center Laskey Research Library (SBCLRL)


The Scarritt-Bennett Center Laskey Research Library (SBCLRL) is an established library in the Scarritt-Bennett Center that is approximately 1,500 square feet in facility size, and contains approximately 64,500 items in all formats. It also possesses one February 1, 1611 A. D. edition of the King James Bible which recently achieved its 400th anniversary. The collections contain: 10,000+ monographic works on the above topics; 5,000+ photographs; 1,000+ SBC student files; 13,000+ scholar and teaching files of distinguished professors; 25,000 +archived personal papers of distinctive scholars, activists, and major public leaders in the above fields; 5,000+ video and audio recordings of conference presentations, speeches, and interviews; 1,000+ rare and unique books in the above topics; 3,000+ letters and correspondence to alumni and distinguished speakers to the College and the Center; 500+ rare and unique journals and periodicals in the above topics; 1,000+ rare international artefacts collected by foreign missionaries; and 1 King James Bible, Newly Translated Version dated February 1, 1611 (400 years old). Total of 64,501+ of un-catalogued items in inventory. These items are rare and mostly unique materials that are housed in a secure, monitored environment. The archival materials are unique collections associated with specific individuals and the Scarritt-Bennett Center current and organizations of the past. The Laskey Research Library (LRL), due to its historic nature, possesses the broadest possible range of media, artefacts, and print formats on topics that parallel the long history of the predecessors to the Scarritt-Bennett Center. These topics and material resources are unique evidence to local, international, and American historical, scientific, intellectual, and cultural heritage. Since the 1880s, the resources of the LRL have touched the major topics of American social and cultural development. For example, the papers, journals, and publications of Dr Ina Corine Brown, an early foreign missionary and anthropologist, offer a unique perspective of a woman's struggle in African culture and her efforts to record those experiences. A complete set of documents in the form of a journal, letters, and handwritten observations currently exist in the LRL that once cataloged will open a new vista on those foreign societies and demonstrate the resolve of this unique and heroic woman. The Laskey Research Library as contained in the above quantitative material resources is organized into four historic periods and four dedicated focus and research areas. The United Methodist Church's Pioneering Missionary Movement, 1888-1923: This movement was pioneering in nature in that it was the first time in Christian history that women served exclusively as missionaries throughout the world. Their experiences, and thus the knowledge of their experiences and fortitude, are recorded in their papers, journals, accounts of momentous events, and written published works and articles that are located the LRL. Truly, these materials possessions are treasures that not only account for individual lives; the information is original documentation and forerunner to major American movements, such as, the Women's, Civil Rights, Race Relations, and Social Justice Movements. These missionary women accumulated documents, artefacts, books, and personal and published accounts that are original information resources that stand out as fundamental documentation for these early American movements. Because these items have not been catalogued, and also because they are only accessible by a personal visit to the LRL, they have been lost to most scholars and activists involved in these causes. Scarritt College for Christian Workers, 1924-1981: This college was first located in Kansas City, Missouri and it was named the Scarritt Bible and Training School. It relocated to Nashville, Tennessee in 1924, and changed its name to the Scarritt College for Christian Workers. During this period, Scarritt College was known for teaching real life experiences, and it began a progressive and liberal approach to teaching Christian workers. The material and information resources that today remain from this era, chronologue the history of Scarritt College, and its educational and training impact upon the world. These resources are available in material formats. Students were educated in different cultures, languages, and traditions. Staff and fellow students were often from other countries serving to further enrich the learning experience. The skills and knowledge acquired during; this time equipped men and women to function in the midst of wars, famine, and severe poverty as they served in countries needing assistance, as well as in domestic situations. These documented and well recorded publications began a legacy that is continued in the work of the Scarritt-Bennett Center today. Keeping in stride with the changes in the country and the world, Scarritt College hosted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who spoke in Wightman Chapel during the civil rights movement. Instruction on peaceful demonstration was also held on the campus. Again, because of the lack of cataloging, this precious information is only available to a select few that visit the Laskey Research Library. Scarritt Graduate School, 1981-1988: In 1981, Scarritt College became Scarritt Graduate School, providing educational degrees in Church Music and Christian Education. It closed in 1988. The Women's Division of the United Methodist Church purchased the building and grounds, and the 10 acres became Scarritt-Bennett Center under the direction of the Scarritt-Bennett Board. Scarritt-Bennett Center, 1988-. From the legacy of the Women's Missionary Movement and the Scarritt College for Christian Workers, the Scarritt-Bennett Center's current mission was founded. It stands for: Social Justice, Multi-cultural understanding, Diversity awareness, Eliminating racial prejudice, and the Empowerment of Women. Today, conferences, meetings, and social events characterize the current legacy of the Scarritt-Bennett Center. The Scarritt-Bennett Center has opened its doors, welcomed and embraced without discrimination based on racial, social, or faith issues. Today, Scarritt-Bennett Center remains dedicated to the legacy of Scarritt College and its missionaries and educators who were here, by providing a haven for those seeking to gather in an environment that is nurturing, conducive to open dialogue, and available to all faiths and cultures. Today, each of these events are being recorded in media and information formats, and those and future formats will continue to produce original and unique materials that will contribute to the great social themes and events that will drive America forward into the 21st Century. The Laskey Research Library plays an important role in the purpose of the Scarritt-Bennett Center. Not only has it organized the materials resources of the past into the general categories cited above, it is now participating in the conferencing events by enhancing the participants experience based upon the themes of the conferences meetings through the provision of historical backgrounds, reference resources, and applied readings for participants' effective involvement into the topics of the conferences and meetings. Now, the need for cataloging these important resources form the past or the current compilation of resource materials is more critical than ever. Each of these resources, whether past or present, is vital to our nation's success in the future. The Scarritt-Bennett Center is a place of hospitality, education for Christian ministries of justice and equality, reconciliation and renewal, cooperation and interaction within the ecumenical and global context. Rooted in mission, the Center has a strong commitment to the eradication of racism, empowerment of women, education of laity, and spiritual formation.


Cataloging Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded

Year Added



Scarritt-Bennett Center Laskey Research Library


  • David Price

Collection Size

64501 objects

Date Range

1888 - 2011

Geographic Scope

The geographic scope to the project is international with special emphasis on persons, events,and educational activities that occurred in Nashville, TN.