Robert Asher Preston papers, 1923-1996

Emory University

Pitts Theology Library

1531 Dickey Drive, Suite 560

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Preston, Robert Asher, 1912-1996.
Title: Robert Asher Preston papers, 1923-1996
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 282
Extent: 0.50 cubic ft. (2 boxes)
Abstract:Contains Robert Preston's personal papers along with a collection of works regarding Anton T. Boisen, a dissertation on Boisen by Glenn H. Asquith, Jr., and autobiographical information on Robert Preston.
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)], Robert Asher Preston Papers, Archives and Manuscript Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.


Processed by Courtney Williams, 2004.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Robert Asher Preston was born on July 16, 1912 in Corydon, Iowa. He graduated magna cum laude from Texas Christian University at the age of twenty and was asked to stay on for a year and teach Greek. In 1935 he received a Masters degree from the University of Chicago and in 1936 he became the educational assistant to the Clinical Director of the New Jersey State Hospital at Greystone Park. Preston served as a Chaplain in the Air Force during World War II. Immediately after the war he was associated with the Menninger School of Psychiatry in Topeka, Kansas, and during this time many of his articles were published in professional magazines.

In 1955 Preston relocated to Bethany College to be the Dean of Students and went on to earn a Ph.D. in 1960 from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1961 he was named Professor and Chair of the Department of Religion at Bethany College. In 1970 Preston was invited to cap his career at Lexington Theological Seminary. His special ministry was as a counselor, and he was a counselor to the counselors. He practiced his clinical pastoral skills in varied situations throughout his life.

Robert Asher Preston died on May 26, 1996.

Scope and Content Note

This is a collection of papers dating from 1923 until his death in 1996. Topics such as mental health and religion, pastoral care, and religious education are included in his papers. There is also a collection of works regarding Anton T. Boisen, including works by him and about his work on mental disorders. One such item is a dissertation on Boisen by Glenn H. Asquith, Jr. Biographical information by Virgil David Cooper and autobiographical information on Robert Preston are also included.

Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 Attitude therapy and pastoral care, 1971-1974
Anton T. Boisen
1 8 Articles by Anton T. Boisen, 1948-1952
1 9 Boisen materials belonging to Dr. Preston, 1934-1938
1 10 Glenn H. Asquith, Jr.’s dissertation on Anton Boisen, 1976
2 1 “The Problem of Mental Disorder: Collected Papers” by A. T. Boisen, 1937
Biographical information
2 2 Autobiography, 1912-1996
2 3 Funeral service, 1996
2 4 “The Human Document: a biography of Robert A. Preston” by Virgil David Cooper, 1978, 1995
1 2 Clinical training at Greystone Park, 1923-1975
1 3 Journal articles, 1943-1978
1 4 Journal articles – [photocopies], 1943-1978
1 5 [Loose materials], 1952-1960
1 6 Mental health and religion, 1940
1 7 Religious education, 1943