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Use Archives & Special Collections

About the University Archives & Special Collections

The Biola University Archives & Special Collections exists to collect, provide access to, and showcase the records of historical and educational value related directly to Biola, its affiliated schools, and its organizations. The Archives supports Biola's mission and the mission of the Biola Library in Service, Stewardship and Scholarship.

Biola’s Digital Commons provides access to many historical Biola materials. Highlights of the Digital Commons include The King’s Business (fully searchable), archival documents and photos relating to the Hunan Bible Institute, and recordings from the Biola Hour radio show.

Founders holding biola and rosecrans street sign

Access and Use

Permission is required in order to examine the materials housed in Archives. Access to the material is by appointment only. The department does not have regularly set hours of service, due to minimal staffing. Please use the contact form at the end of the page to inquire about research availability.

Materials may only be used in the office; they may not be checked out or removed from the Archives workroom or office. Researchers are welcome to take pictures (without flash) with their own cell phones, tablets, or cameras, provided that permission has been obtained. Materials may not be photocopied due to their delicate nature.

The regular collections of the Library sometimes include circulating or reference copies of items which are also in the Archives. Please consult the Library Catalog for regular Library copies before requesting an appointment to access in Archives.

Biola's original sign

Archives Collections

The Biola University Archives is the repository for the historical records of Biola University, Biola College, the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, and its associated organizations.

All materials placed in the Archives are subject to the rules of both the University department submitting them and the Archives Team concerning confidentiality, usage and loan availability.

The Archives retains the following:

  • Institutional and personal records related to Biola's overall institutional history. Significant collections include:
    • Lyman Stewart Papers
    • Mrs. Lyman (Lula) Stewart Papers
    • The Fundamental Papers
    • Sam Sutherland Papers
    • Clyde Cook Papers
    • Nursing Department Papers
  • Publications by full-time faculty
  • Print dissertations and theses from Biola’s graduate programs (stored off site)
  • Publications by student organizations, departments, and schools
  • Historical photographs and scrapbook collections
  • Records from Biola affiliated organizations, such as Hunan Bible Institute and Arizona Bible Institute
  • Works concerning the history of Biola
  • Other Biola records as determined by the Archives and Special Collections Team.

Special Collections

Special Collections preserves and provides access to unique, significant and rare materials that further the mission and vision of the Biola Library but are not related to the history of Biola.

Rare Books

The Library selectively collects rare materials at the discretion of the Archives and Special Collections Team. Examples of potential reasons to have material in Rare Books include but are not limited to:

  • pre-1700 publications
  • American imprints before 1820
  • fist and/or limited editions
  • fine binding
  • autographs and other important contextual oddities
  • Items may also be considered rare if they are held by few libraries, or if they are facsimiles of rare material.

Christian Comics

The Christian Comics Collection contains comics by Christian authors and mainstream comics that have Christian content. Our vision is that the Christian Comics Collection will be the premier collection of Christian comics in the world, providing access for researchers, students, staff, or faculty wanting to delve into the culturally rich and diverse subculture of Christian comic arts. The foundational collections are the Don Ensign (1948-2014, founder of the Christian Comic Arts Society) Collection and the COMIX35 Collection from Nate Butler. More information can be found in our Comics Collection Research Guide.

Biola's original downtown L A location

Contact the Archives

Have a question? Want to make an appointment to view material? If so, please complete and submit the form below.

Contact the Archives

librarian searching records