James W. May papers, 1929-1988

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link:

Descriptive Summary

Creator: May, James W. (James William), 1912-
Title: James W. May papers, 1929-1988
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 667
Extent: 7.75 linear ft. (16 boxes)
Abstract:Papers of James W. May, Methodist minister, WWII chaplain, and professor of church history, including correspondence, academic records, sermons, and other printed material.
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.


Gift, 1978, with subsequent additions.


[after identification of item(s)], James W. May papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Unprocessed collection.

This finding aid may include language that is offensive or harmful. Please refer to the Rose Library's harmful language statement for more information about why such language may appear and ongoing efforts to remediate racist, ableist, sexist, homophobic, euphemistic and other oppressive language. If you are concerned about language used in this finding aid, please contact us at

Collection Description

Biographical Note

James William May (1912- ), born in Union Springs, Alabama, was a Methodist minister, a World War II chaplain, and professor of church history at Emory University.

James William May (1912- ), born in Union Springs, Alabama, was a Methodist minister, a World War II chaplain, and professor of church history at Emory University.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of James W. May from 1929-1988. The papers include correspondence, academic records, sermons, printed material, and clippings. Materials document his activities as a student at Emory University (1929-1939) and the Union Theological Seminary (1938-1941), his service as a chaplain in the United States Army during World War II, and his career as a professor at Emory University. Of particular interest are letters from May's parents, Susie Eidson and Chester May, which document the onset of the Great Depression, as well as letters written and received by May while he served with the U.S. Army stationed in Germany during and following World War II (1944-1946). The collection also includes printed materials and memorabilia from church organizations relating to school integration (1955-1963); and materials of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (1947-1952) collected by executive secretary, Jack R. McMichael.

Arrangement Note

Unprocessed collection.

Selected Search Terms

Corporate Names

Topical Terms

Form/Genre Terms


Container List

Box Folder Content
1 - Correspondence, 1942-1945, first manuscript of May’s Glenn Memorial Story
2 - Correspondence, 1929-1933, bound copy of May’s Lovingly, Mother: Letters to a College Boy 1929-1933
3 - Condolence letters, 1945-1946, bound copy of Chester Arthur May: Some Records of His Life 1881-1971
4 - Correspondence, 1945-1946, memos on desegregation, 1950s
5 - Records from time as Emory undergraduate, 1929-1933
6 - Union Theological Seminary [UTS] records, 1938-1941
7 - Pastorate correspondence, 1938-1965
8 - Records of military services performed
9 - Candler School of Theology administrative and teaching records, 1970s
10 - Annual reports, conference and seminar presentations
11 - Emory University worship and Durham Chapel records
12 - Curriculum materials, published articles and presentations
13 - Articles and lectures, published
14 - Liturgical materials and unpublished sermons
15 - Book reviews, typescripts of sermons and articles
16 - Articles, printed material on integration, 1988 edition of Lovingly, Mother