James P. Boyce (1827-1888) was one of the founders of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, serving as chairman of the faculty from 1859 to 1888 and as the first president in 1888. Boyce not only served as the first professor of theology at the seminary, but also as the first librarian. He had a great love of books, and his library served as the core of the institution’s collection for many years. Near the end of his life, Boyce gave five thousand volumes to the seminary library; one of his last triumphs was the receipt of a gift from Mrs. J. Lawrence Smith that enabled the seminary to build its first library building in downtown Louisville.
The Boyce Papers include eleven boxes of correspondence from his service on behalf of the seminary. In addition to the papers, the seminary houses items that were donated from the estate of Miss Lucy G. Boyce. These items include furniture as well as photos and papers from Dr. Boyce. One of the chief treasures received from Miss Boyce was several manuscript sermons by Dr. Boyce, the only extant sermons known to survive from the seminary’s founder.
The archives has prepared an inventory for this collection, and an item calendar for this collection is also available upon request.
Location: Archives (Manuscript collection in Rare Book Room, 2nd floor;
Desk: Honeycutt Campus Center exhibits case)