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Robert W. Searle Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Searle, Robert Wyckoff, 1894-
Title: Robert W. Searle Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1918-1967
Quantity: 9.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American clergyman; editor of Protestant world. Minister in the Reformed Church in America. Collection contains correspondence (1918-1965); records of the Protestant Council of the City of New York; articles, editorials, sermons, and speeches; appointment books (1935-1958); clippings (1934-1958); photographs; and scrapbooks.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Robert Searle (1894-1967) was an American clergyman and minister in the Reformed Church in America. He was also an author of several books and collections of sermons, and the editor of Protestant World.

Robert Wyckoff Searle was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1894. He graduated from Rutgers College in 1915, then went to the New Brunswick Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church of America, later receiving his doctorate from Rutgers in 1929. Mr. Searle was a pastor for thirteen years in three different churches: the Fort Washington Collegiate Church, New York City, the First Reformed Church, Albany, and finally the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York City.

Searle became General Secretary of the Greater New York Federation of Churches in 1934 and Director of Community Relations for the Protestant Council of New York City in 1941. Later he was appointed editor of the Protestant World newspaper. Searle was active in many civic and religious organizations that promoted social, legal, and political reforms.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Robert Searle Papers consist of seven series. The Biographical series gives an account of Dr. Searle's life from 1894 to 1945. Correspondence covers the years 1918 to 1965 and includes business letters as well as those of gratitude for his sermons and radio broadcasts. There are items in Professional career that cover practically every area Dr. Searle worked on, including bulletins and programs for speaking engagements. Writings consist of assorted forms: articles, speeches, sermons, editorials, and books, essentially on religious topics. In addition, Printed material has some addresses, etc. while Published material has newsclippings, pamphlets, and volumes-both series having assorted subjects, Finally the last section, Memorabilia, contains photographs, datebooks, and other personal items.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged alphabetically.

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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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Subject Headings


Searle, Robert Wyckoff, 1894-

Corporate Bodies

Protestant Council of the City of New York.
Reformed Church in America.


Christian sociology.
Christianity -- 20th century.
Christianity -- United States.
Christianity and politics.
Clergy -- United States.
Clergy as authors.
Sermons, American.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Speeches (documents)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Robert W. Searle Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Helen Searle, 1968.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: DW
Date: 15 Feb 1980
Revision history: 18 May 2010 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Box 1 Miscellaneous
Box 1 Business and thank-you letters 1918-1965, undated (5 folders)
Professional career
Controversial Issues
Box 1 Anti-Semitism
Box 1 Catholicism
Box 1 Material on atomic energy and Armenian appeal
Box 1 Florida Chain of Mission Assemblies 1941
Box 1 Invitations
National Conferences
Box 1 Chautaqua Denominational, Green Lake, Silver Bay
Positions Held
Box 1 Army (World War I) 1918-1919
Box 2 General Secretary of the Greater New York Federation of Churches 1934, 1936-1947, undated (2 folders)
Box 2 Home Term Court - miscellaneous (2 folders)
Box 2 National Conference of Christians and Jews 1939-1953 - speeches
Box 2 First Church in Albany 1929-1968
Box 2 Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church 1930-1961, undated
Protestant Council
Box 2 Annual Report 1946
Box 2 Correspondence with Bishop Charles Gilbert 1939-1950
Box 2 Luncheon Honoring Dr. Searle 1950
Box 3 Writings, invitations, etc.
Box 3 Church bulletins
Box 3 Individual churches 1938-1963, undated (3 folders)
Box 3 Union services 1938-1962, undated (2 folders)
Box 3 Spanish controversy
Speeches, sermons, etc. - bulletins, programs and letters
Box 3 Colleges and schools 1938-1949 (2 folders)
Box 3 Conferences and organizations 1938-1967, undated (3 folders)
Box 3 Rutgers College 1925-1966, undated
Box 4 World's Fair 1939-1940
Addresses - religious topics
Box 4 Handwritten 1925, 1928-1929, 1943, undated (2 folders)
Box 4 Typescripts 1928, 1933, 1935-1943, 1945-1947, 1949, 1953, undated (3 folders)
Articles, stories - assorted topics
Box 4 Handwritten copies
Box 4 Typescripts
Box 4 Published 1936-1947, undated (2 folders)
Box 4 "Religion and Power" - included in the book Best Sermons
Author of Liberty
Box 4 Published edition (2 volumes)
Box 4 Publicity
City Shadows
Box 5 Published edition (2 volumes)
Box 5 Publicity
Box 5 Miscellaneous publicity
Books edited by Robert W. Searle
Box 5 Contemporary Religious Thinking
Books, unpublished
"Science and Religion" - 3 chapters
Box 5 "Goals"
Box 5 "Individual"
Box 5 "Strategy"
Box 5 Notes and typescripts
Box 5 Metropolitan Church Life, etc. 1934-1952
Oversize 2 The Protestant World 1951-1952 (58 issues)
Newsclippings, pamphlets, poems
Box 5 Miscellaneous 1948-1949, 1955-1958
Radio broadcasts
Box 5 Publicity
Box 5 Typescripts, etc. 1924, 1938, 1940, 1942-1943, 1945-1946, 1950, undated
Box 5 Assorted topics undated (4 folders)
Box 6 Assorted topics 1928, 1930, 1932-1933, undated (2 folders)
Box 6 Assorted topics 1938, 1942-1943, 1945, undated - typescripts, etc.
Box 6 The Protestant World 1949, 1951-1952
Printed material
Box 6 Addresses and a presentation 1949, undated
Published material
Oversize 2 New York World's Fair 1939
Box 6 Newsclippings 1934-1958, undated (8 folders)
Reference material
Box 7 Newspaper clippings
Box 7 Pamphlets
Box 7 Pamphlets, studies, reports (11 volumes)
Box 7 Date books 1935-1950, 1953-1958 (17 volumes)
Oversize 1 Member of Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church 1921
Oversize 1 Certificate of Ordination, Reformed Church in America 1921
Oversize 1 Certificate of Appreciation, Kiwanis Club of Ossining, N.Y. Inc. 1952
Oversize 1 Certificate of Golf Prowess, Canada Dry Hole in One Club 1928
Oversize 1 Selective Service Medal, Congress of the United States 1940
Oversize 1 Member, Mayor's Commission on Displaced Persons, Mayor of City of New York 1949
Oversize 2 Basketball Letter Certificate (Rutgers College)
Oversize 2 Football Letter Certificate (Rutgers College)
Box 7 Miscellaneous
Box 7 Childhood and youth (Rutgers Preparatory)
Box 7 College and Army
Box 7 Searle family
Box 8 Rutgers College (1 folder + 10 volumes)
Box 8 Scrapbooks (3 volumes)

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