Visiting the Billy Graham Library

Billy Graham Library 1While recently in Charlotte, North Carolina for the annual American Theological Library Association meetings, I had the delightful opportunity to visit the nearby Billy Graham Library. I do realize that visiting libraries while traveling is not something that all of my readers think of doing …but this isn’t an average library (although really, are any?) and my wish at the end of the visit was simply that I had allowed more time to view the many items that not only represent Dr. Graham’s life but a significant part of the history of evangelicalism in the last seventy years, as well.

If you have visited any presidential libraries across the country (yes, something else I enjoy doing), you will see similarities. I was told that as the team charged with creating the library space was in the planning stages, that they visited some of the presidential libraries for inspiration. If you have yet to visit any of these national treasures, you might be interested in a post I wrote about the presidential library program and the Gerald Ford Museum after my visit two years ago. (I plan to revisit the Reagan Library next week for their exhibit on Lincoln …a likely post coming soon).

The Billy Graham Library and Homeplace was built a few miles from where Billy Graham Billy Graham Library 2grew up and his home was moved to the property in 2006. The property includes museum exhibits (inside the building pictured here which looks like a large barn) on Billy Graham’s life, parts of his personal library (although not a research archives), his restored home, and a memorial garden where his wife Ruth andĀ  where Billie Barrows (Cliff Barrows first wife) are buried. The offices of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association are also on the property. As I had the opportunity to travel with other research librarians, we were given a lovely tour through the offices and to learn more about the various media ministries as well.

For those who might be interested in viewing some of the archival resources gathered here, the Library maintains a blog and updates it monthly with photographs and stories. You can access the blog here. A virtual tour of the facilities is also available online.

The Stamps Library has nearly 200 books written by or about Billy Graham. If you would like to know more about him and his ministry, here are a few suggestions:

PollockPollock, John Charles. The Billy Graham Story: The Authorized Biography. Zondervan, 2003.
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GrahamGraham, Billy. Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Well. Thomas Nelson, 2011.
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RosellRosell, Garth. The Surprising Work of God: Harold John Ockenga, Billy Graham, and the Rebirth of Evangelicalism. Baker Academic, 2008.

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