|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is organized in one unarranged series.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains correspondence, reports, and teaching materials of Frank C. Laubach, Christian missionary and educator, including news clippings of published letters, notes, maps, pamphlets, alphabet charts and lesson primers, and other materials from the period of 1930-1938 when Laubach began his literacy work in Dansalan, Lake Lanao, Philippines. This collection also contains letters written, transcribed, and donated by Minnie K. Schultz (a colleague of Laubach), describing their work in Dansalan. Reports include an early manuscript of Laubach's theology of religion and science; descriptions of his visit to Latin America from 1942-1943 and his tour of the Near East, northern Africa, and the British Isles in 1947; reports entitled "Where the Lanao Literacy Campaign began and where it may end," "Key System of Teaching Illiterates," and "A Miracle in Lanao;" and reports related to the FMCNA/NCC Committee on World Literacy and Christian Literature, including the committee's 1943 financial statement, The Commonwealth of Australia's 1933 annual report on the Territory of Papau, and "A Digest of Christian Statistics of Protestant Missions: Educational and Medical Work," based on the World Christian Handbook of 1952. Finally, this collection also contains Laubach's translation work including an early English-Maranow [Maranao] dictionary, and a translation of the Lanao Moro epic story, "How Bantugan Died in the Land Between Two Seas."
Burke Library record group:
Missionary Research Library Archives: MRL4, Southeast Asia
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
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, MRL4: Frank C. Laubach papers, 1924-1952, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Frank C. Laubach Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries.
MRL 12: Foreign Missions Conference of North America (FMCNA) records, 1894 – 1968, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Formerly part of the independent Missionary Research Library (MRL), these records were accessioned by the Burke Library at the time of the MRL's closure in 1976.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Materials were cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-07-19. Metal clips and staples were removed from materials and folded items were flattened. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. Acidic items were separated from one another by interleaving with acid-free paper as needed. Any items in an advanced state of deterioration were placed in Mylar envelopes. The finding aid was created by Kristen Leigh Southworth in 2013 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2021.
2021-09-09 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Frank Charles Laubach was born in Benton, Pennsylvania on September 2, 1884. He graduated from Princeton University in 1909 and Union Theological Seminary in 1913. He married Effa Seely in 1912. After receiving his PhD from Columbia University in 1915, he and Effa traveled to the Philippines to serve as Congregational missionaries with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in Cagayan and Manila. In 1930, Laubach began literacy work on the island of Mindanao and developed an alphabet for the Maranaws in their own Maranow language. Over the next forty years he traveled to more than one hundred countries and developed literacy primers for 312 languages, working with missions, private agencies, governments, USAID, the Peace Corps, and UNESCO. He developed a concept called "Each One Teach One" that encouraged every adult who learned the language to volunteer their time to teach others. Laubach organized the World Literacy Committee in 1935 and helped to found the Committee on World Literacy and Christian Literature of the National Council of Churches in 1941. He also founded World Literacy, Inc. (now World Education) and Laubach Literacy, Inc. Laubach received honorary degrees from Princeton, Columbia, Syracuse, and Temple universities, and from Lafayette, Wooster, Muskingam, Marietta, Findlay, and Baldwin Wallace colleges. Laubach was recognized as the founder of the world-wide literacy movement and was honored in 1984 with a commemorative stamp by the United States Postal Service, as part of their "Great Americans" series. Laubach died on June 11, 1970.