Research by Proxy: In the Manuscripts Reading Room with Chelsey Geisz

While Buswell Library Archives & Special Collections continually adds new digital content to our online archival photograph database and oral history interview collections, most of the thousands of pages of records in our collections can only be accessed in the Manuscripts Reading Room. We frequently receive inquiries from researchers who are unable to travel to use the collections, and so keep a list of local researchers who provide research and scanning services to distance patrons as “proxy researchers.” This week, we sat down with Chelsey Geisz for a behind-the-scenes look at proxy research in the Archives.

Chelsey Geisz is in her final semester of Wheaton College Graduate School’s MA in Systematic Theology. For the last year and a half, she has also served as a proxy researcher and a research assistant for a major College history project. Because of her work as a research assistant, she has the dubious distinction of likely being the only person alive who has read every Wheaton student publication from 1860-2000!

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A Good Stenographer, Spirit-Filled, Can Always Be Used

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Buswell Library Archives & Special Collections commemorates the many contributions from women whose unique voices and experiences are documented throughout our rich collections. This March, we highlight the life and missionary service of Hulda Stumpf, a missionary to Kenya from 1907-1930.

Hulda Jane Stumpf, ca. 1906. From Photo File: Stumpf, Hulda.

A native of Pennsylvania, Stumpf left the comforts of her middle-class, Midwestern life for the unknown challenges of missionary service as a single woman in British East Africa in 1907. During her two decades of service at the Kijabe Mission Station in Kenya, Stumpf became an outspoken advocate for the education and advancement of women and girls from the surrounding indigenous ethnic people groups. Her willingness to challenge the long-cherished cultural mores and religious rites resulted in her tragic murder at the age of 62.

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