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RG 30/327 - Barbara B. Zikmund (1939-)
Scope and Content

The papers of Barbara B. Zikmund consist of materials and notes compiled for the writing of her Ph.D. dissertation Asa Mahan and Oberlin Perfectionism (Department of Religion, Duke University, 1969). While a good bulk of the material consists of photocopies or photostats of published writings or primary documents, the collection provides a corpus of documentation concerning Asa Mahan, Oberlin Perfectionsim, and other related topics. In addition, the collection provides evidence of the process of the research and the writing of a Ph.D. dissertation paper.

The Barbara B. Zikmund Papers are divided into four series: Series I. Files Relating to the Dissertation Prospectus and Research Process; II. Research Notes and Supporting Documents; III. Writings; and, IV. Non-Textual.

Series Descriptions

Series I. Files Relating to the Dissertation Prospectus and Research Process, 1964-1969 (5 folders, 0.2 l.f.)

This series consists of correspondence, 1964-1969, concerning Barbara Zikmund’s research visits and queries to archival institutions and libraries for materials related to Asa Mahan’s life, her Ph.D. review committee, and the compiling of her final manuscript of her dissertation. Also included is a rough draft of her dissertation prospectus, 3 March 1965, a bibliography for articles and books, and a research paper by Zikmund titled “Asa Mahan and Perfectionism at Oberlin, Chapter V, The Idea: Christian Perfection,” Duke University, 1965.

Series II. Research Notes and Supporting Documents (copies) c. 1830s-1969 (53 folders, 4 containers of index cards, 0.6 l.f.)

Consists of biographical information concerning Asa Mahan, and materials related to the history of early Oberlin, Ohio, 1830s and 1840s, Oberlin Perfectionism, and the Lane Seminary. Other files contain information about subjects such as adventism, abolitionism, moral reform, and revivalism. The materials consist of handwritten notes and citations and photocopies and photostats of archival holdings from Oberlin College, newspapers, libraries, and churches. Index cards, housed in Box 4, contain bibliographic citations organized by author and subject, and a chronology of Asa Mahan’s life and writings. The materials were compiled by Barbara Zikmund during the research and writing of her dissertation.

Series III. Writings (copies), 1835-1977, n.d. (100 folders, 0.95 l.f.)

The writings series is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1. Writings by Asa Mahan; and, 2. Writings by other authors (A-Z). Subseries 1 contains photostats and photocopies of published writings of Asa Mahan, 1830-1850, and includes topics such as science and natural theology, physical and moral law, perfection, and imperfection. Mahan’s writings are arranged chronologically. Subseries 2 contains photostats and photocopies of published writings of other authors and includes topics such as Oberlin history, Charles G. Finney, perfectionism, and Asa Mahan. Also included is a copy of the Asbury Seminarian (Oct. 1977) containing the article, “Asa Mahan and Oberlin Perfectionism,” by Barbara Zikmund. These writings are arranged alphabetically by author’s last name.

Series IV. Non-Textual, 1966, n.d. (3 folders, 0.05 l.f.)

Consists of a photograph and illustrations of photographs (copies) of Asa Mahan, copies of drawings of Oberlin Memorial Arch and Art Museum by Walt Knapp, postcards with photographs and an illustration of Finney Chapel and the First Church of Oberlin, and color photographs of Asa Mahan’s tombstone and buildings in Eastborne, England.


These papers were given to the Archives by Barbara B. Zikmund in 2000.

Related Materials

The papers of Asa Mahan (2/1) contain more on the subject of Barbara B. Zikmund's research.

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