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David Aikman Papers

 Collection — Container: Books
Identifier: SC-050

Scope and Contents

The series contain biographical information, education, correspondence, manuscripts, published material, and background research for writing.

Among the strengths of SC-50 are the Manuscripts Series, especially Aikman's news reports as a correspondent with Time magazine. These reports are arranged in three sub-series: article submissions (most from 1978-80), subject files (alphabetical), and news tours information (Far East 1985). The man-of-the-year information on Mikhail Gorbachev dates from 1984-1990. The telex files are from the years 1981 and 1982, during Aikman's stay in Jerusalem.

The book manuscripts series provides the researcher a glimpse into the long process of publishing a book as one scans the background information, many drafts and revisions, and finally the published versions of Aikman's books. The two main books are Pacific Rim and When the Almond Tree Blossoms. This material consists of some background information as well as several drafts and revisions of each book. The files are arranged by chapter. Also included in this section on books are a few files related to the TIME book Mikhail S Gorbachev: an intimate biography that Aikman co-authored.

Biographical material is divided into the categories of general information, business cards/passports, calendars/day books, memorabilia, financial, speaking engagements, radio appearances, theater/concert/museum programs, and scrapbook. These are from the year 1967 as well as from 1978-1981. The financial category includes expense reports related to Time magazine as well as some general financial information. A large part of Aikman's biographical information exists in the category of speaking engagements. This includes several topics and locations of Aikman's speaking appearances from 1987 to 1993. His radio appearances took place between 1979 and 1980. This category consists of notices of these appearances. The final two biography categories contain a few miscellaneous programs and articles related to programs Aikman saw or places he lived (namely China).

Aikman's educational material encompasses to some degree all his years as a student from grade school until he earned his Ph.D.  The information in this category is divided according to school.  The bulk of the material pertains to Aikman's time at the University of Washington.  Files are divided into four main areas--registration/grades, student organizations, classes, and dissertation.  Most of the class material is of class notes and assignments in classes on Far East Languages.  The dissertation category contains manuscripts and drafts of Aikman's Ph.D. Dissertation, The Role of Atheism in the Marxist Tradition.  The education section of the collection dates from 1957 to 1979.

Correspondence is arranged chronologically with the exception of the first and last boxes. Box III 1 contains individual files by author in alphabetical order. The earliest of these letters is 1968. The last box (Box III 6) pertains to Aikman's residency at the Beijing Bureau in China in 1983. The rest of the correspondence files are arranged alphabetically by date. Letters written to David Aikman make up the majority of this material with occasional responses accompanying some letters. This correspondence dates from files from 1977 to 1992. The bulk of the correspondence occurs in those files prior to 1984. Each file is also listed in the container list with names of frequent correspondents in that file. This is not a complete list of every letter in the file, but rather an overview of recurring names.

The two final categories in the manuscript section are personal unpublished and interviews. Both are rather small categories. The first contains a few files of miscellaneous writing by Aikman including journal entries from 12/68 and 12/83. The interview category contains the questions Aikman asked Archbishop George Carry on 7/4/91.

The published section of the collection includes TIME articles both written by and reported by David Aikman, articles, and books. There are only a few files in each category at this time. Three other small sections follow the published category. These sections include lectures/sermons, media, and ministries. The lectures/sermons category contains notes for several of Aikman's sermons at locations including Peking dating in the 1980's. The Media section, although small is divided into the categories of photographs and videos. Secondary-type information makes up most of the ministry category which is divided into the sections of ministry information, FACT, Spiritual Counterfeits Project, and Underground Evangelism. These files date from 1976 to 1985.

The final, rather large section of the Aikman collection is the secondary information category. There are seven parts to this section of the collection. This first part contains articles written about David Aikman filed chronologically between the dates of 1983 and 1991. The second section includes files containing newsclippings for news reports. These files are arranged alphabetically and encompass the dates from 1972 to 1984. The papers, journal articles, newsletters, and circulars category includes numerous files on various subjects. These items are filed for the most part alphabetically by box according to author or in the case of no author, subject. The fourth box in this section is a smaller box containing business cards from areas in the far east as well as Canada and the U.S. The cards are bundled according to country. The next section of secondary information involves the area of conferences and events. These files contain information concerning places Aikman went or events he was involved in, but that he did not speak at. These files range in date from 1971 to 1990.


  • Created: 1955-2017
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1962-1994
  • Other: Date acquired: 1992


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

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


72.00 boxes

39 linear feet other_unmapped

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged by series with folder level control.

Source of Acquisition


Method of Acquisition

David Aikman gave his papers to the Wheaton College Special Collections in 1992, with subsequent additions.

Other Descriptive Information

The papers of David Aikman reveals the work and varied experiences of an international journalist, including the many different people and events he witnessed. This collection also reveals Aikman's personal Christian faith and the perspective it provides in his work.

David Aikman Papers
Buswell Library Special Collections Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

501 College Ave.
Wheaton IL 60187-5593 USA