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Archives and Special Collections

Description and policies of TIU's Archer Archives, which includes various holdings and special collections

Making a Donation

The Archer Archives accepts donations that are relevant to the scope of its collection.  The staff who oversee the archives will use their best discretion in determining whether or not a donation does meet the scope.  If they conclude that it does not, they will do their best to suggest other institutions that may be interested in accepting your donation.  By making a donation to the Archer Archives, you grant us the right to do whatever we deem appropriate with it, whether that mean permanently keeping it, eventually disposing of it, displaying it, or giving it to another institution.  If you would like to make a donation, or have further inquiries, you can contact us at: or (847) 317-4001.

TIU buildings history


Archer Archives                                                                                          Hours

Rolfing Library at Trinity International University                                                            Mon-Fri | 9 AM - 4 PM

2065 Half Day Rd. | Deerfield, IL 60015                                                                         See Hours to make sure that the Library is open. | (847) 317-4001

Unfortunately, the Archives is not wheelchair accessible.

Since we do not currently have an archivist, a large portion of our Archives remains unprocessed. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the success of locating every item.


This page displays collections relevant to Trinity International University (TIU) and its historical predecessors. The material digitized comes from Rolfing Library's stacks and the Gleason A. Archer Archives.

Both the Swedish and Norwegian-Danish Free Churches had established themselves as loose entities towards the end of the 19th century. As the Scandinavian Free Church denominations settled themselves across the United States in the 20th century, many felt the need for their own schools to teach and train ministers, missionaries, teachers, and good Christian men and women. A call was made and funds were raised by both groups to create schools that would serve their growing populations.

The Swedish Free Church, still in its early organization, established a 10-week Bible course in 1897. This eventually grew into the Free Church Bible Institute and Academy. Despite suffering the effects of lower enrollment during the war and great Depression, it would continue as an institution until 1949. The Norwegian-Danish Free Church Association began its own Seminary and Bible Institute (later Trinity Seminary and Bible Institute) in 1910 in Rushford (later Minneapolis), Minnesota. It would continue between periods of financial difficulty until 1949. In 1945, both Swedish and Norwegian-Danish schools agreed to merge, operating as separate campuses until a new location was procured. The two schools settled on a site in Chicago, which became home of the newly-christened Trinity Seminary and Bible College. Its inaugural year was 1950, which was the year the two Free Church denominations merged to form the Evangelical Free Church of America.

Physical Collections

Trinity International University History

The TIU and TEDS collections consists of catalogs, yearbooks, newspapers, and various other publications, pamphlets, and materials pertaining to the university. The archives also contains some yearbooks, catalogs, and books relating to the EFCA.

Carl F. H. Henry Papers

The Carl F. H. Henry papers are currently undergoing processing and, while not complete, are available for scholars by appointment. It consists of Dr. Henry's correspondence, and other related paperwork. Dr. Henry served as the first editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, and was a visiting professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS).

Wilbur Smith Collection

The papers of Wilbur Smith were processed in the 1960s and include a finding guide as well. Dr. Smith served as a professor at TEDS from 1963-1971.

Rare Books

The Rare Books Collection contains a variety of rare and old books, primarily theology books written in Latin dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Fundamentals Collection

Dr. John Woodbridge, a church history professor at Trinity International University, generously donated The Fundamentals (published between 1910-1915) to the archives. The collection also contains books related to this multivolume work.

Swedish Holdings

The Swedish Collection has been organized by Dr. David M. Gustafson. It contains periodicals and books in Swedish, generally pertaining to the Swedish Evangelical Free Church of America (previously the Swedish Free Mission). It also contains texts from Trinity's predecessor, the Swedish Bible Institute, as well as books published by Chicago-Bladet and John Martenson Publishing. Additionally, it contains the J. G. Princell collection, with Swedish and English texts from his personal library. Finally, there are Swedish editions of D.L. Moody's works, and several works by C.O. Rosensius, P.P. Waldestrom, Fredrik Franson, Josephine Princell, and Frank Mangs.

To access this collection, contact Dr. Gustafson: 

Unprocessed Collections

The Kenneth A. Kantzer Papers and the D.A. Carson Papers are currently unprocessed and thus unavailable for use. Dr. Kantzer served as a professor and academic dean at TEDS. He also served as a president of Trinity College and helped found the Ph.D. program at TEDS. D.A. Carson was a research professor at TEDS for 40 years from 1978-2018.

Digital Collections


Trinity Yearbooks                                                          Trinity Videos

Collection of digitized yearbooks from Trinity                Digitized videos from Trinity's history.

over the years.


Trinity Digest                                 

Trinity Digest                                               

Trinity College student newspaper                

History of the Archives

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Gleason Archer Archives is to provide access for research scholars and TIU faculty, staff, and students who want to learn more about the school's history, or its founding denomination, the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA).


The Gleason Archer Archives was founded in 2005, with a gift from the Gleason Archer estate, for the renovation of the Archives area.  Dr. Archer had maintained an office space in the former archives room.  That room housed the Rare Book Collection, Wilbur Smith Collection, TEDS Archives (including the Trinity Authors Collection), Swedish Book Collection, EFCA Archives, and various parts of Administrative archives material.  The outer rooms contained Serials Collections, TIU Advancement (pictures and slides), and other miscellaneous items.  Most of this material still remains in an unprocessed state in the Archives Stack Room.

The Archer gift provided for an entire renovation and furnishing of the existing space with research tables and an Archival stack room.  This allowed for a complete resorting of all Archival and Special Collections material. During this time, the Norwegian Collection was donated to TIU by interested persons.  This collection was processed and is available for scholars to use.

The initial sorting of the bulk of the special collections and archives took place in the summer of 2006, the second occurred in the summer of 2011. The processing of the Special Collection material started with the Carl F. H. Henry collection and is still on-going.  In 2014, David M. Gustfason sorted the Swedish collection.  At this time, the decision was made to move the EFCA church files to the EFCA Headquarters archives in Minneapolis.