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Claud D. Nelson Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Nelson, Claud D.
Title: Claud D. Nelson Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1845-1968
Quantity: 3.8 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American Methodist minister, ecumenical leader (1889-1967). Collection contains correspondence (1907-1967); book manuscript, articles, book reviews, clippings, pamphlets; and memorabilia, including awards, photographs, and a scrapbook of sermons by Nelson's father and others.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Claud Dalton Nelson (1889-1967) was an American Methodist minister and ecumenical leader. Born July 13, 1889 in Jacksonville, Arkansas, to Charley Heston Nelson and Sandra See Nelson, he received his bachelor's degree (and later an honorary LLD.) from Hendrix College. He studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, receiving his M.A. from that institution. He was ordained a Methodist minister in the North Carolina Conference but never assumed a pastorate.

He worked for the YMCA from 1916-1951 and was Executive Director of the National Council of Churches' Department of Religious Liberty from 1953-1960, then worked as a reporter for the Religious News Service. He also served as editor of The Dialogue, a publication of the National Conference for Christians and Jews.

Nelson was married to the former Maud Sparks, with whom he had four sons.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Claud D. Nelson Papers contain correspondence, memorabilia, miscellanea, personal files, photographs, printed material, published material, and writings. Correspondence includes a letter from George Washington Carver (1932). Memorabilia contains a scrapbook of sermons by Nelson's father, as well as some he copied from other sources. The books in both published material and writings deal mainly with the Catholic Church and its concerns.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence and printed material are arranged chronologically. The remaining series are arranged alphabetically by type, author, or topic as appropriate.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has numerous collections relating to church and clergy, and to the Methodist Church in particular. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings


Nelson, Claud D. -- Archives.


Clergy -- United States.
Clergy as authors.
Ecumenical movement.
Ecumenists -- United States.
Methodist Church -- Clergy.
Methodists -- United States.
Sermons, American.

Genres and Forms

Book reviews.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Claud D. Nelson Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: CMV
Date: 29 Aug 1979
Revision history: 3 Feb 2009 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Box 1 1907-1946, 1950-1967, undated (7 folders)
Box 1 Awards 1907-1947
Box 1 Certificates 1913-1965
Box 1 Passports 1910-1949
Box 1 Poster 1930
Box 1 Scrapbook 1945
Box 1 Lecture for Sherwood Eddy Group 1935
Box 1 Films for lecture 1935 (4 reels)
Personal files
Box 1 Biographical material 1936-1965
Box 1 Miscellaneous
Printed material
Box 1 Miscellaneous 1930-1965
Published material
Box 1 Books (12 volumes)
Box 2 Books (28 volumes)
Box 3 Books (15 volumes)
Box 3 Clippings 1935-1968
Box 3 Magazines 1961-1968
Box 3 Newspaper clippings 1921-1967
Box 3 Pamphlets 1928-1968 (2 folders)
Box 3 Articles 1935-1966
Box 3 Book reviews 1927-1965
Box 3 Church and State 1953
Box 4 Implementing Vatican II in Your Community 1967
Box 4 Religion and Society 1966
Box 4 The Vatican Council and All Christians 1962
Box 4 Clippings 1939-1962
Box 4 The Dialogue 1961-1967 (2 folders)
Box 4 Magazines 1935-1966 (2 folders)
Box 5 Miscellaneous 1935-1961
Box 5 Notes
Box 5 Pamphlets 1937-1966
Box 5 Typescript, "Pilgrim of Rome"

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