Hutchins Library
Special Collections & Archives
Guide to the Hinton Rural Life Center Collection

Accession Number: 50
Hinton Rural Life Center Collection
Selected Records, 1958-1978
Selected Photographs, 1958-1985
1.2 linear ft.
Online Catalog Record (BANC)

Series Description
Part A - Selected Records

Series A. I - Operational and Vital Records, 1958-77
Series A. II - Correspondence, 1964-1978
Series A. III - Publications, 1965-78

Part B - Selected Photographs

Access and Use

Provenance: This collection was compiled by the Settlement Institutions of Appalachia / Berea College Research Resources Project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The project was developed in 1979 for the purpose of organizing and preserving the original records and photographs of the Settlement Institutions of Appalachia (SIA) and the copying of those of historical value to form a central research collection at Berea College. Hinton Rural Life Center records were collected and organized in 1983. Those possessing administrative, legal or historical value were microfilmed at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. The originals were then returned to the Hinton Rural Life Center.

Preferred Citation: Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, Ky.

Restrictions: The master negative of the microfilm is owned by Berea College and a used copy is available in Hutchins Library's Department of Archives and Special Collections. Berea College does not own the copyright for the manuscripts or printed documents included in this microfilm edition. It is therefore the responsibility of the researcher to secure permission to publish from the Hinton Rural Life Center or its successors and assigns.

Related Archives

Series Description
2 microfilm boxes, 1 photo box

Series A. I Operational and Vital Records, 1958-1977 Box 1

The records pertaining to the meetings of the Hinton Rural Life Center Board of Directors and the committees associated with the Board comprise the greater part of the extant operation and vital records. The remainder of the file consists of some financial statements from the earliest years of the Center (1958-1959); a copy of the certificate of incorporation establishing HRLC as a non-profit corporation (1961); copies of the revised by-laws (1961-1981); and a file on the 20th anniversary celebration in 1977.

The files of the Board of Directors meetings and extend from 1968 through 1977. During those years, the Board of Directors was a large group composed of members from many Methodist Conferences in the Southeast. The meetings were somewhat formal and lengthy, touching upon nearly every aspect of the HRLC program. Therefore this record is a detailed source of information regarding the activities and the development of Hinton Rural Life Center during those years. The business brought to the Board included reports from committees (executive, program, finance, management, and nomination committees) as well as reports from the director and other staff members on their work with youth and volunteer groups, program development, development of education materials, and their involvement in religious, ecumenical, and socioeconomic ministries. Since the center was an official mission project of the Methodist Church, a portion of the Board meetings were also devoted to description and approval of budgetary and program needs.

For a number of years, it was the practice of Center staff to forward reports to the Board for review prior to their meetings. Several volumes of the minutes include this type of material as well as copies of reports made during the course of the meeting.

Box 1, Reels 1-2

Reel 1

  1. Financial Statements, 1958-1959
  2. Certificate of Incorporation (copy), June, 7, 1961
  3. Organizational Meeting, Minutes, May 13, 1961
  4. Program, Policy, and Procedures, 1961, 1964
  5. Board of Directors, Minutes and Reports, 1968-1977

Reel 2

  1. By-Laws, 1961, c. 1964, 1964, 1965, 19671, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1981
  2. 20th Anniversary Celebration, November 17, 1977
Series A. II Correspondence, 1964-1978 Boxes 1 cont.

The correspondence files of the Hinton Rural Life Center consist of the daily correspondence of Harold McSwain and Doyce Gunter, and cover all years of each administration. Reverend McSwain's correspondence begins after his appointment to the directorship but before he was headquartered at Hinton, and ends in June, 1973. It includes both general correspondence and correspondence with specific individuals. Rev. McSwain corresponded with a number of other administrators, theologians, and academicians regarding his research, publications, professional activities, and the overall work of the HRLC; therefore this file is a good source of information regarding his philosophy and work during those years.

The general correspondence of Rev. Gunter addresses primarily administrative matters such as arranging meetings, making Center publications available to interested parties, and fundraising / public relations work. In addition, Rev. Gunter maintained files on his correspondence with the Board of Directors (1974-1977), and on correspondence pertaining to consultation and evaluation (1973-1977), conferences and workshops (1974-1977), parish staff training (1974-1977), and "Lord's Acre" material (1974-1977). (The "Lord's Acre" was a national fundraising program of the Methodist Church.)

Box 1, Reels 2-6

Reel 2, continued

  1. Correspondence, 1964-78
  2. Correspondence: A-H, 1964-73

Reel 3

  1. Correspondence: H-S, 1964-73

Reel 4

  1. Correspondence: S-Y, 1964-73
  2. Correspondence, General, 1964-68

Reel 5

  1. Correspondence, General, 1968-77

Reel 6

  1. Correspondence, General, 1977
  2. Correspondence, Board of Directors, 1974-77
  3. Correspondence, Conferences, Seminars and Workshops, 1974-77
  4. Correspondence, Consulting and Evaluation, 1974-77, n.d.
  5. Correspondence, Financial, 1976-78
  6. Correspondence, "Lord's Acre," 1974-77
  7. Correspondence, Parish Director Training, 1974
  8. Correspondence, Parish Staff Training, 1975-77

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