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Louis H. Evans, Sr. Papers

 Collection — Container: Books/CDs
Identifier: SC-031

Scope and Contents

The papers of the late Dr. Louis H. Evans, Sr. were received by the Wheaton College Special Collections in 1987. Dating from 1915 to 1981, they were donated by his wife, Marie. The major portion of the collection consists of sermon notes and materials used by Dr. Evans from the 1930s to the 1970s. The collection also contains biographical information, photographs, audio recordings, correspondence, 16 mm. films, and writings by Dr. Evans.

The "sermon material" was received in the Special Collections in 7"x10" three ring binders which were labeled by Evans. A list of the titles of these binders is included later in this guide. Titles were supplied for those binders for which there was no label. Evans used a combination of topical and geographical arrangement, and this original order was maintained for material within the binders, although the binders themselves were arranged alphabetically by title. Within the binders, Evans often grouped pages with paperclips or index tabs. To retain as much of the original order of the papers as possible, container list entries were marked with a "P," "T," or "L" to indicate items "paperclipped," set apart by a "tab," or "loose" in the binder. Evans' sermon notes were often typed in an abbreviated form; words were shortened by leaving out vowels and other letters. In addition to sermon notes, items from the binders included outlines, agendas, audio recordings and statistics. One binder contained a collection of hymns, four held exclusively poetry, and another consisted entirely of prayers.

Distinct from "sermon material" are the "sermon notes." The "sermon notes" arrived in a separate shipment without binders. The order of the material in this series was entirely reconstructed. Sermons were arranged by the archivist, and titles supplied. Non sermon material, including magazine and newspaper clippings, prayers, poems, anecdotes, and business cards were categorized and stored under the heading "Collateral Material."

The remaining series of the collection are more limited in size, but varied in content. The collection contained little biographical data, aside from information on Evans' years as pastor of Hollywood Presbyterian Church. The photograph depict topics ranging from church activities and athletics to family portraits. There are two types of audio recordings: phonograph records of sermons, and a cassette tape of a play written by Dr. Evans. A collection of 16mm. films from a television series featuring Evans is also available for researcher use. Mrs. Evans has said that the film on the Gospel of John is "especially characteristic of Louis' teaching and preaching."

No personal correspondence was received with the collection. However, a few letters of a general nature are included. these include a copy of the letter Evans wrote to his Pittsburgh congregation explaining his reasons for accepting the Hollywood pastorate and a letter from the Tau Kappa Alpha Society naming him Speaker of the Year in the Field of Religion.


  • Created: 1915-1999
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1940-1970
  • Other: Date acquired: 1985


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Duplication may be restricted if copying could cause damage to items.


13 boxes

7 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged by series with folder level control.

Source of Acquisition


Method of Acquisition

The collection was the gift of Mrs. Louis H. Evans in May of 1985.

Other Descriptive Information

Material pertaining to Dr. Louis Hadley Evans (1897 1981), renowned preacher and Minister At Large for the United Presbyterian Church forms a collection occupying approximately 13 linear feet. The material dates from 1915 to 1981, with the majority of the material falling into the period from 1940 to 1970. Items include sermon notes, video and audio recordings of sermons, an audio recording of a play written by Evans, magazine articles, photographs, books, and secondary material.

Louis H. Evans, Sr. Papers
Buswell Library Special Collections Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

501 College Ave.
Wheaton IL 60187-5593 USA