Billy Graham archives moving in June from Wheaton College to library in North Carolina

His son Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evan­gelistic Association, said moving the materials “is part of our continuing consolidation in Billy Graham’s hometown.”
May 16, 2019

The archives of the evangelist Billy Graham, who died last year, will be moved from their location at Wheaton College in Illinois to the library named after him in North Carolina.

Materials that will be moved in June include sermon transcripts, personal correspondence, and radio and TV recordings.

“This is part of our continuing consolidation in Billy Graham’s hometown,” said his son Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evan­gelistic Association, upon an­nouncing the move. “Some 214,000 people visited the Billy Graham Library here in Charlotte last year alone, and it makes sense for my father’s archives to be housed and maintained here for visiting scholars to conduct research, and for our guests to see when they come visit our ministry headquarters, the Library, and my parents’ gravesites.”

The Billy Graham Center at Wheaton, his alma mater, was dedicated in 1980. The archives housed there include additional materials on evangelism and missions, such as those related to evangelist Billy Sunday, InterVarsity Chris­tian Fellowship, and the Lausanne Movement.

The college noted that nearly 20,000 scholars, journalists, and other researchers had produced hundreds of books, articles, and papers after spending time at the archives since it opened.

John Fea, a history professor at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, ex­pressed concern about the move.

“By taking the papers away from Wheaton, where access is open, Franklin Graham and the BGEA can now control access and can thus control the narrative of his father’s life in terms of who gets to read them,” Fea said. “Evangelicals must come face to face with both the good side and bad side of their history by taking an honest look at people like Billy Graham. I am not sure this will happen in Charlotte.” —Religion News Service

A version of this article appears in the print edition under the title “People: Franklin Graham.”