|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
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Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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At a Glance
This collection is organized in one series in rough chronological order.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains sermons, correspondence, newspaper clippings, ephemera, and diaries of Scherer. Sermons are both in bound volume format and loose; the bound volumes contain the sermons by original date given, but also show when the sermon was given on other dates past the original. There are additions, notes and re-writes throughout the volumes. The loose materials also include correspondence, newspaper clippings and pamphlets throughout the sermons. The material is organized by date, however it was more difficult to tell whether the dates were when the sermon was originally written, or a later date. The travel diary is from 1926 and the pages are mostly empty. Within the diary is a list of places visited in Naples, a postcard, and a ticket on the ship Majestic on the White Star Line. The correspondence is from various universities, organizations and churches with which Scherer was involved. These include Vanderbilt University, Princeton Theological Seminary, the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, the publisher Hodder and Stoughton Limited, and Southern Methodist University. The topics covered within the letters are both personal and professional. Also included are programs, mailings, and newspaper clippings.
Burke Library record group:
Union Theological Seminary Archives: UTS 1, papers of faculty and students
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
The following boxes are located offsite: Box 1-8. Please note that requests for use of boxes held in offsite storage must be made three business days in advance.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item description, UTS1: Paul Ehrman Scherer papers, 1923-1968, box #, and folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
The James Iley McCord Manuscript Collection, SCM 065. Princeton Theological Seminary. Library. Special Collections.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The exact provenance of this collection is unknown.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Materials were cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-07-13. Metal clips and staples were removed from materials and folded items were flattened. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. In 2015 the collection was fully processed for the first time as part of the Henry Luce Foundation grant. At this time, boxes were condensed and loose materials were taken out of binders. The finding aid was created by Brigette C. Kamsler in 2015 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2022.
2022-03-28 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Paul Ehrman Scherer was born on June 22, 1892 in Mount Holly Springs, Pennsylvania to mother Alice Melvina Catherine (Ehrman) Scherer (1864-1941) and father Melancthon Gideon Groseclose Scherer (1861-1931), who was also a Lutheran preacher. The family moved to South Carolina was Paul was young, and he attended the College of Charleston, South Carolina, graduating in 1911 and again in 1913 with an MA. Paul received a BD from the Mount Airy Theological Seminary in 1916. Paul Scherer was appointed Assistant Pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Buffalo New York, serving there from 1916-1918, and then Assistant Professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Mount Airy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1918-1920. During this time frame, Paul married Lillie Fry Benbow in Buffalo on September 4, 1919; together they would have two daughters. Paul's reputation as one of America's best-known preachers came from his position as Pastor at the Holy Trinity Church in New York City, a post he held from 1920-1945. Paul left his position at Holy Trinity Church to focus on teaching, leaving his post on the Board to become Associate Professor of Homiletics at Union Theological Seminary (UTS) from 1945-1947, and being promoted to Brown Professor of Homiletics at UTS from 1947-1960. The high quality of Scherer's biblically and theologically oriented preaching and teaching made significant contributions to his students and colleagues during his 15 years at Union. Scherer also worked at Union during its "golden age," when Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, James Muilenburg, Wilhelm Pauck and Cyril Richardson were all professors. Paul Scherer left Union Theological Seminary in New York City to be a Visiting Professor at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia from 1960-1961, followed by Visiting Professor in Homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary from 1961-1967. Paul Scherer died on March 16, 1969. Throughout his life, Paul Scherer earned a number of honorary degrees, including a DD from Roanoke College, 1923; LL.D. from the College of Charleston, 1935; Litt.D. from Wittenberg College, 1936; Heidelberg College, 1955; and L.H.D. Gettysburg College from 1939. He also published eight books during his lifetime, including: When God Hides, 1934; Facts that Undergird Life, 1938; The Place Where Thou Standest, 1942; For We Have This Treasure, 1944; Event in Eternity, 1945; The Plight of Freedom, 1948; Love Is a Spendthrift, 1961; and The Word of God, 1965.