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Roy H. Short papers, 1925-1984

Emory University

Pitts Theology Library

1531 Dickey Drive, Suite 560

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/f7v0h

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Short, Roy H. (Roy Hunter), 1902-
Title: Roy H. Short papers, 1925-1984
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 039
Extent: 8 cubic ft. (23 boxes and 2 volumes)
Abstract:Consists of correspondence, writings, biographical material about Methodist bishops, photographs, and other memorabilia from Short's work and travels.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


[after identification of item(s)], Roy H. Short Papers, Archives and Manuscript Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

American bishop and clergyman, Roy Hunter Short was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on October 19, 1902, the son of Jesse Peters and Minnie Badders Short. Bishop Short has earned eight academic degrees including a doctorate from Emory University. He married Louise Clay Baird, of Jeffersonville, Indiana, on 1 September 1926. They have three sons, Hunter Baird, Murray Malcolm, and Riley Phillips.

In 1921, Bishop Short was ordained and received into the Louisville Conference, where he served several pastorates. He was elected bishop in June, 1948 and assigned to the Jacksonville, Florida area. From 1952 to 1964, he served the Nashville, Tennessee area, and from 1964 to 1972, the Louisville, Kentucky area. Bishop Short, at the request of the Council of Bishops, provided episcopal supervision to the Philippines Central Conference in the interim between episcopal elections, 1972-1974. In addition, he has traveled extensively, including trips to Latin America, Africa, Fiji, Australia, Korea, Hong Kong, and Europe.

Bishop Short edited The Upper Room, an interdenominational devotional guide published by the Methodist General Board of Evangelism, from 1944 to 1948. Among the several books which he has written are Your Church and You, a membership manual for Methodist boys and girls, 1943; Evangelistic Preaching; Evangelism Through the Local Church, September, 1956; My Great Redeemer's Praise, 1957; One Witness in One World, the study book for the 1964-1968 quadrennium; United Methodism in Theory and Practice, 1974; Chosen To Be Consecrated: The Bishops of the Methodist Church, 1784-1968, 1976; The History of the Council of Bishops, 1939-1979; The Leadership Role of the Council of Bishops, 1984; and, Methodism in Kentucky.

Bishop Short also served in many administrative capacities as president of the College of Bishops of the Methodist Southeastern Jurisdiction, 1956-1964; secretary of the Council of Bishops of the Methodist Church, 1956-1968 chairman of the Joint Committee on Christian Education in Foreign Fields, 1956-1964; chairman of the Methodist Interboard Commission on the Local Church, 1956-1964; and member of several General Conferences, including the Uniting Conference of 1939.

Although officially retired in 1972, Bishop Short has remained active and ready to serve when called upon. He and Mrs. Short currently reside in Hermitage, Tennessee.

Scope and Content Note

The papers of Bishop Roy Hunter Short consist of correspondence, writings, his collection of biographical material about Methodist bishops, photographs, and other memorabilia from his work and travels. Approximately 11,000 items are included in this collection, spanning from 1929 to 1985, representing nearly his entire ministerial career.

The early manuscripts comprise a considerable number of letters to Bishop William Logan Harris from missionaries in northern India, written during the 1890s and the early 1900s. Most of these letters are written in Hindustani and Arabic. English translations accompany a few of these letters. Bishop Short's papers also include a handwritten manuscript entitled "The History of Methodism in America Considered in Its Legislative and Administrative Departments," by an unknown author from about the 1880s. This manuscript is accompanied by two letters from Frederick E. Maser, one dated March 16, 1972, and the other written about May 1, 1972, which offer some discussion of the possible origin of this manuscript.

Most of Bishop Short's papers relate to his administrative work in the Methodist church, especially as secretary of the Council of Bishops; as participant in the General Conferences; and as president of regional/annual conferences. The bulk of this material spans from 1948 to 1972, the year in which he officially retired, and concerns the Florida, Cuba, Holston-Tennessee, and Louisville-Kentucky conferences. The conference material also includes correspondence, reports, and other material relating to his special assignments and official trips to the Philippines and Korea. A considerable amount of material relates to Bishop Short's work in the Southeastern Jurisdictional and General Conferences, from 1950 to 1980. The researcher should be aware that some overlap occurs among the conference material, particularly between Southeastern Jurisdiction and the regional/annual conferences, and between the Council of Bishops and the General Conference material.

Arranged chronologically, the advisory correspondence spans from 1972 to 1983, and concerns the special assignments on which Bishop Short served after his official retirement in 1972. Bishop Short's "advisory correspondence" also offer to other Methodist bishops his advice, opinions, and ideas concerning church matters. Among the bishops represented in this correspondence are Jack M. Tuell, Robert M. Blackburn, and Ole E. Borgen. "Other organizations" consists of material relating to the commissions and organizations on which Bishop Short worked. Arranged alphabetically, most of this material relates to the Joint Commission on Church Union of the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren Churches, during the 1960s.

Drafts, notes, and copies of nearly two hundred essays, sermons, speeches, and other writings by Bishop Short are included in his papers. Among them are Chosen To Be Consecrated: The Bishops of the Methodist Church, 1784-1968 , 1976 and "One Witness in One World." Arranged in alphabetical order, most of Bishop Short's speeches and writings concern the work of Methodist bishops and ministers, and the issues and role of the Methodist Church. Many of these include discussions of social problems, such as the racial tensions in the United States during the 1960s and the 1970s, and practical and theological problems, such as the union of the Evangelical United Brethren and the Methodist Churches in 1968.

For many years, Bishop Short has collected biographies and related material about Methodist bishops and their wives. Included in these papers are articles, photographs, writings, and correspondence concerning the lives of nearly 250 Methodist bishops, who have served in the United States, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and other parts of the world. This material is arranged in alphabetical order by the bishops' last names. Photographs, which have been removed from these files, are indicated by references such as "(See also P-39/14)." Approximately 185 books, containing biographies of bishops, have been removed from Bishop Short's papers and placed with the Rare Books in the Special Collections.

Bishop Short's papers also include a great deal of memorabilia, including church bulletins, certificates and awards, commemorative badges and buttons, souvenir handbooks, pamphlets, itineraries, and photographs. His memorabilia represent nearly his entire career as a minister and bishop, his travels, and his conference work. The church bulletins, arranged chronologically from 1933 to 1972, represent nearly every occasion on which Bishop Short gave a sermon in those years. Most of the sixty-six pictures relate to Bishop Short's work and travels. Many of the pictures are of individual bishops and the Council of Bishops. The pictures are arranged as follows: 1. Bishop Short (and with others)--chronologically; 2. Other individuals--alphabetically; 3. Group portraits--alphabetically; 4. Places--alphabetically.

Arrangement Note

Organized into 9 series: (1) Early manuscripts, (2) Council of Bishops, (3) Conferences, (4) Advisory correspondence, (5) Other organizations, (6) Speeches and writings by Bishop Short, (7) Speeches and writings by Others, (8) Biographies of Bishops, and (9) Memorabilia.

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