At different times and in different parts of the world, Pentecostal and charismatic expressions of Christianity have followed very different trajectories. In Soviet-era Romania, for example, some Pentecostal groups were favored by the Ceausescu regime. But in Ukraine during the same period, Christian renewal movements were subject to harsh repression.
A full contemporary account of Pentecostalism and charismatic movements must be grounded in a better historical understanding of the variations in renewalist religion from one time and place to another.
To address this challenge, the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative (PCRI) collaborated with the USC Digital Library to build an online digital archive of primary historical materials—correspondence, organizational records, tracts, sermons, diaries, photographs, oral histories—from different regions of the world. In order to build this resource, PCRI provided funding to selected seminary and university libraries so that they could digitize and catalog the most important materials from their collections.
The wide range of cultural artifacts in the collection—including Stalinist propaganda posters as well as invaluable documents related to the lives of American Pentecostal women—makes the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Archive (PCRA) a useful resource for cultural historians, religion scholars and anyone interested in the material history of 20th-century Christianity.
Click here to explore PCRA on the USC Digital Library website.
Coordinators for this project include Jon Miller of CRCC and Deborah Holmes-Wong and Matt Gainer of the USC Digital Library. Participating libraries include:
- The Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary in Kiev, which has amassed material on Soviet history as well as Russian and Ukrainian Pentecostalism from the revolution until the 1960s.
- The Donald Gee Centre at Mattersey Hall in England, repository for rich materials concerning religious developments in the UK.
- The Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek, Croatia, whose historical collections cover much of the region defined by the former Yugoslavia.
- The Hollenweger Center at the Free University in Amsterdam, which houses the very extensive collection of materials assembled by Pentecostal historian Walter Hollenweger.
- The D.J. Young Heritage Foundation in Kansas City, Kansas. Established in 2008, the collection aims to advance the Holiness-Pentecostal tradition through preservation of heritage documents and other artifacts of the Church of God in Christ.
- The Dr. Mattie McGlothen Library and Museum. Located in the McGlothen Temple Church of God in Christ complex in Richmond, California, the major focus of the collection is women’s work in the Church of God in Christ.
- The DuPree Holiness and Pentecostal Center in Gainesville, Florida, a collection that contains scholarly works as well as primary and secondary source materials that include articles, journalistic accounts, tracts, photographs, church literatures, church periodicals, academic theses and more from 1906 to the present.