Papers, 1902-1989.


EXTENT: 17 cubic ft. (4 legal size archive boxes, 3 letter size archive boxes, 1 half size letter archive box,  3 4x5 negative boxes, 2 5x7 card boxes, 1 4x6 card box, 2 5x7 glass negative boxes,  52 4x5 glass negative boxes, 3 9x11x3 boxes,  4 3-ring binder boxes, 2 small oversize boxes, and 1 large oversize box)

ACCESS: Unrestricted

REPRODUCTION: All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

COPYRIGHT: Information on copyright (literary rights) available from repository.

CITATION: Ira E. Gillet Papers, MSS 259, Archives and Manuscripts Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.

Biographical Note

Ira Edmond Gillet was born in Fulton County, Ohio, on October 10, 1889.  His family moved to Linn County, Oregon, in 1911.  Gillet studied at Denver University in Colorado and Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University) before receiving his bachelor's degree from Oberlin College in Ohio.  He received his seminary degree from Oberlin Graduate School of Theology.  Gillet married Edith Riggs at Oberlin on July 6, 1918 and the couple soon thereafter departed for Africa where they served as Methodist missionaries in Mozambique until their retirement and return to Oregon in 1959.  Ira taught carpentry and music and Edith taught kindergarten.  They served primarily in Kambini  and the Limpopo district of Mozambique with one year in Johannesburg, South Africa, where they ministered to the men working in the mines.

In 1915 Gillet was a charter member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, one of many organizations in which he was active during his ministry.  Other organizations included the Association for Research and Enlightenment, Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship, the Methodist Federation for Social Action and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon.  Gillet presented radio programs on numerous radio stations in Oregon for twenty years.

Ira and Edith Gillet moved to Rose Villa Retirement Center in Milwaukie, Oregon in 1963, where Ira remained until his death at the age of 100 on December 14, 1989.  Edith died in 1974, and Gillet later remarried.  His second wife, Ida Mae Gillet, also preceded him in death. 

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of the papers and image collections of Ira E. Gillet.  The papers consist of correspondence, which includes the newsletter the Gillets sent from 1918 to 1959 on their missionary activities.  The collection also includes newsletters Gillet received from other missionaries.  In addition to biographical information on Gillet, there are biographical sketches written by Gillet and other on missionaries Ruth E. Northcott, B. F. Ousley, Mary and Julian Rea, and Erwin H. Richards.  The collection also contains miscellaneous publications and material used by missionaries in southern Africa, Southeast Africa Conference reports, minutes and other material, and Missionary Committee minutes.  Gillet collected postcards documenting his travels in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the United States.  Artifacts from Gillet's time in Africa include a leopard skin, a bow, clay sculptured busts, and other small miscellaneous items.

A major component of the collection is Gillet's collection of photographic images taken from the early 1900s through the 1960s.  The image collection included prints, film negatives, glass negatives, glass lantern slides, and film slides including almost 400 stereo film slides.  Many of the images document the activities of the Methodist Church in south Africa.  The bulk of the Africa images were taken in Mozambique but there are also images documenting life and missionary activities in Angola, Belgian Congo, Rhodesia and South Africa.   The images document places, cultures, people, worship and social functions, plants, and animals as well as vacations, family, and friends in Europe, Asia and the United States.  A detailed listing of all of the individual slides and negatives is available in the repository.  The listing excludes prints and the rolls and strips of negatives that could not be sleeved or numbered individually. 

Also included in this collection are films taken by Ira Gillet. Three of these were transferred to videotape in spring 2005 through a preservation grant administered by the National Film Preservation Foundation and funded by the National Film Preservation Act. User copies in DVD and BetaCamSP tape format were created as part of the grant project. The original films and camera masters are stored off-site. All three films are undated. One is identified by titles as having been filmed in the Limpopo district of Mozambique. Locations for the other two films are not stated.

BOX/FOLDER      DESCRIPTION                                	DATES
1/1 Articles 1920, 1925
1/2 Articles - fragments 1930, n.d.
1/3 Articles on Archeology/Anthropology n.d.
1/4 [Artifact description sheets] n.d.
1/5 Bibliographies n.d.
Biographical information:
1/6 1st draft of Ira Gillet's autobiography n.d.
1/7 Gillet's memorial service 1989
1/8 Press release 1963
1/9 This I recall: my growing up
by Ira E. Gillet 1985
[Conference/committee material]:
1/10 Assembleia Consultativa 1953
1/11 Christian Council of South Africa 1954-1958
1/12 Missionary Committee - Minutes 1949-1952
1/13 Missionary Committee - Minutes 1953
1/14 Missionary Committee - Minutes 1954
1/15 Missionary Committee - Minutes 1955-1956
1/16 Missionary Committee - Minutes 1958-1960
2/1 Southeast Africa Conference n.d.
2/2 Southeast Africa Conference reports 1956-1964, n.d.
2/3 Southeast Africa Conference Coordination
Committee minutes 1961
2/4 Southeast Africa Conference Coordination
Committee minutes 1962
2/5 Southeast Africa Conference Coordination
Committee minutes 1963
2/6 Southeast Africa Conference Field Committee 1951-1956, n.d.
2/7 Southeast Africa Conference Field Committee
minutes 1953-1956
2/8 Fragments n.d.
2/9 From Gillet 1944, 1956-1958
2/10 From Gillet 1964-1966, 1982, n.d.
2/11 To Gillet 1957
2/12 To Gillet 1963
2/13 To Gillet 1964
2/14 To Gillet 1965
2/15 To Gillet 1966
2/16 To Gillet 1967
2/17 To Gillet 1971-1983, n.d.
2/18 Missionaries 1942-1943
2/19 Missionary 1951-1958
2/20 Newsletters from Gillets 1918-1919
2/21 Newsletters from Gillets 1920-1928
2/22 Newsletters from Gillets 1930-1939
2/23 Newsletters from Gillets 1940-1948
2/24 Newsletters from Gillets 1951-1959
2/25 Newsletters from Gillet 1964-1987
2/26 Newsletters from other missionaries 1938, 1940s
2/27 Newsletters from other missionaries 1950s
2/28 Newsletters from other missionaries 1960s
2/29 Newsletters from other missionaries 1970s
2/30 Newsletters from other missionaries 1980s
2/31 Newsletters from other missionaries -
undated or fragments n.d.
2/32 Map of Delagoa Bay 1953
Missionary biographies:
2/33 Ruth E. Northcott 1981
2/34 B. F. Ousley n.d.
3/1 Mrs. Mary Rea's memoirs [Julian Rea] n.d.
3/2 Erwin Richards n.d.
3/3 Erwin H. Richards - Elementary principles of
the Sheetswe language 1902
3/4 W. C. Wilcox n.d.
3/5 [Miscellaneous notes] n.d.
[Missionary material]:
3/6 [Missionary material] 1956-1961, n.d.
3/7 Lesson books n.d.
3/8 Xitshwa, Sunday school paper for use by
miners in the Transvaal 1959, n.d.
3/9 UMYF Handbook n.d.
3/10 When we miners pray n.d.
3/11 Newsletters 1958-1961
3/12 Papers on Africa 1956-1984
3/13 Papers on Africa - Mandelbaum, JonnaLynn.
The Missionary as a cultural interpreter:
a prospectus n.d.
3/14 Printed material 1919-1965
3/15 Printed material - Bilingual pamphlet on
maternity 1961
3/16 Radio program, KLIQ Portland 1971
3/17 Reports by Gillet n.d.
3/18 Transvaal Good Friday services 1959
3/19 Writings by Gillet - Miscellaneous n.d.
4/1 Miscellaneous items 1930, n.d.
[Visual material]:
4/2 Old slide lecture - "Fathers and mothers
with their children" n.d.
4/3 SA Xu Council - Tambaram 1938-1939
4/4 Slide presentations n.d.
4/5 List of 2" x 2" slides [I-1-23] n.d.
4/6 Miscellaneous photographs and images n.d.
4/7 Unidentified lists of lantern slides or
negatives n.d.
[Lantern slide scripts]:
4/8 The Captive Boy n.d.
4/9 The Other Wise Man n.d.
4/10 Back to God by Anderson Crain n.d.
4/11 The Prince of Peace by Anderson Crain n.d.
4/12 Blowing art from Angola 1934

5/1 Africa n.d.
5/2 Africa - Egypt n.d.
5/3 Arabia n.d.
5/4 Asia n.d.
5/5 Europe n.d.
5/6 Europe - Portugal n.d.
5/7 Israel n.d.
5/8 United States - C-D n.d.
6/1 United States - I-W n.d.
6/2 United States - Shoshone Dam n.d.
6/3 Unidentified n.d.

Image collection:
[Numbered prints correspond with negative number]
6/4 Prints, numbered 39227-58385 ca. 1919-1920
6/5 Prints, numbered 58386-62247 ca. 1919-1920
6/6 Prints, numbered 71398a-71437 ca. 1919-1920
6/7 Prints, numbered 71438-71522 ca. 1920
6/8 Prints, numbered 71523-71556 ca. 1920
6/9 Prints, numbered 71557-71877 ca. 1920
6/10 Prints, numbered 71878-92362 ca. 1920
6/11 Prints, numbered C9676, C9727 n.d.
6/12 Prints, numbered S27565-S29366 n.d.
6/13 Prints, numbered G001-G030, G076 n.d
[Unnumbered prints, no corresponding Gillet negative]
7/1 Africa n.d.
7/2 Africa n.d.
7/3 Africa negative envelopes n.d.
7/4 Africa negative strips n.d.
7/5 Ira and Edith Gillet n.d.
7/6 Ira and Edith Gillet - cardboard relief blocks n.d.
7/7 Ira Gillet negative n.d.
7/8 Luncheon at Rose Villa 1964
7/9 Luncheon at Rose Villa 1964
7/10 [Retirement home?] ca. 1960s
7/11 Travel 1965
7/12 Travel n.d.
7/13 Travel n.d.
7/14 Travel n.d.
7/15 Travel - Israel n.d.
7/16 Travel - NY Worlds Fair 1965
71 Rolls of negatives 1960s, n.d.
7/17 Unidentified n.d.

Eben Johnson photo collection:
Places - Africa:
7/18 Angola ca. 1900-1930
7/19 Belgian Congo ca. 1900-1930
7/20 Liberia ca. 1900-1930
7/21 Mozambique ca. 1900-1930
8/1 Rhodesia ca. 1900-1930
8/2 Unidentified countries - with captions ca. 1900-1930
8/3 Unidentified countries - no captions ca. 1900-1930
8/4 Places - United States n.d.
8/5 Friends and family - Captions ca. 1910-1930
8/6 Friends and family - Unidentified ca. 1910-1930

Negatives, film:
9 G001-G076; J001-J105; 39227-71427 1919-1935, n.d.
10 71431-71898 1918-1920
11 71900-93403; S17300-S29370; no numbers 1920-1940
12 62315-62320 [3 1/2" x 5 1/2"] 1919

Negatives, glass:
12 39182-71384 [3 1/4" x 5 1/2"] 1920
13 S26249-S26269, no number [5" x 7"] 1932
14 39183-62251 1919
15 62252-62285 1919
16 62286-71389 1919-1920
17 71389-71544 1920
18 71554-71623 1920
19 71624-71844 1920
20 71845-71932 1920
21 71933-74612 1920
22 74613-87651 1920-1922
23 87652-98385 1922-1928
24 C9676, S17238-S26185 1920-1940
25 S26186-S27754 1932-1940
26 S27756-S27801 1935-1940
27 S27801a-S29334, no number 1919-1940
28 no number n.d.
64 Broken negatives 1919-1920
65 Broken negatives 1919-1920

Glass lantern slides:
29 Advertisements n.d.
30 Africa, 3558-30271 n.d.
31 Africa, 32040-62271 n.d.
32 Africa, 62272-92301, D174- D590 n.d.
33 Africa, R7; S15404-S15513, UU11060,
no numbers with captions, unidentified n.d.
34 Africa, unidentified n.d.
35 Africa, unidentified n.d.
35 Hymns and songs, Ab-Am 17 n.d.
36 Hymns and songs, Am 18-B n.d.
37 Hymns and songs, B-G n.d.
38 Hymns and songs, G-I n.d.
39 Hymns and songs, I-L n.d.
40 Hymns and songs, L-O n.d.
41 Hymns and songs, O-T n.d.
42 Hymns and songs, T-Y n.d.
42 Illustrations, Identified with captions n.d.
43 Illustrations, Identified with captions and
unidentified, 232-390 n.d.
44 Illustrations, Unidentified 2150-19080 n.d.
45 Illustrations, Unidentified 19588-23815 n.d.
46 Illustrations, Unidentified 23818-26349;
no numbers n.d.
46 India n.d.
47 Japan n.d.
47 Photographs, California and 1777-10445 n.d.
48 Photographs, 10652-24962, no numbers n.d.
49 Photographs, no numbers n.d.
49 Prayers, by author A-R n.d.
50 Prayers, by author R-W and unknown n.d.
50 Quotes n.d.
50 Responsive readings n.d.
50 Scripture, Acts-Deuteronomy n.d.
51 Scripture, Deuteronomy-Psalm 127 n.d.
52 Scripture, Psalms 146-157 n.d.
Stories: n.d.
52 The Captive Boy
53 The Captive Boy and The Other Wise Man,
Slide 1-24
54 The Other Wise Man, Slide 25-49
55 The Other Wise Man, Slide 50-The End;
Casey at the Bat; Back to God
56 Back to God and Prince of Peace
57 Prince of Peace, A Christmas Story and
other incomplete stories
58 Color coded series - Green, Slide 2-27
59 Color coded series - Green, Slide 28-52
60 Color coded series - Green, Slide 53-64
60 Color coded series - Gold
61 Color coded series - Yellow, Silver, Orange
62 Color coded series - Blue, Red
63 Broken lantern slides

66 Stereo slides, SFS1-80 ca. 1950s, n.d.
67 Stereo slides, SFS81-170 ca. 1950s, n.d.
68 Stereo slides, SFS171-270 ca. 1950s, n.d.
69 Stereo slides, SFS271-366 ca. 1950s, n.d.
70 Slides ca. 1950s -1960s

72 Clay sculpture, woman [broken]
73 Clay sculpture, man
74 Leather bag, divining bones, a belt, and
a wood carving
75 Leopard skin, a bow
                Moving images:
85		"Beauty for Ashes," n.d. 16mm film. Item #F0330.

87		"Limpopo District," n.d. BetaCamSP and DVD user copies made
		from original 8mm film.  Item #M0130.  Color.  Running time: 00:13:35.
		Title cards appear throughout the film as follows:

			"Around the Limpopo District"
			"County Mozambique.  Actors: Tawa and Chepi people.  Photographer
			Ira Gillet"
			"A Wayside Stop with Friends"
			"We Deliver a Loom to Kambini Graduate"
			"Sunday School Rally Parade of Classes"
			"Preparing the Wedding Feast"
			"Rhoda Married David"
			"The Firy Chariot Moves a Pastor"
			"A Sugar Plantation - An Oasis"
			"Road Making - Limpopo Flats"
			"Running Water"
			"Flowers at the Native Labor Recruiting Station"
			"Crosses the Limpopo River"
			"Pastor Unloads at Lourenco Marques"
			"Lourenco Marques Airport"
			"At the Christian Social Center in Lourenco Marques"
			"We're Off Toward Kambini"
			"At Chicuque Bishop Booth Films Clara Bartling and Her Nurses"
			"Pioneers at the Annual Conference"
			"Transvaal Missionaries Visit the Spot of the First Missionary
			Residence on Inhambana Bay"
			"The Kambini Dispensary"
			"The Rea Family and Nurse Ruth Meet Us at Kambini"
			"The Baby Clinic"
			"A Screen Bed for Baby"
			"Village Mother Calls - Midwife Renna Answers"
			"Crowds Visit the Kambini Fair"
			"Log Pulling Contest"
			"Drama of the Good and Bad Farmers"
			"The Months of the Year Answer the Call of the Judge"
			"Annual Bank Offering by the Whole Community"
			"A Pal Leaves for Rhodesia"
			"Kambini Pastor Training Graduates Enter the Church"
			"Stamping Corn for the Graduation Feast"
			"Good Night!"

87		"Ten Days Vacation," n.d.  BetaCamSP  and DVD user copies made
		from original 16mm film.  Item #B0310.  Black and white. Running time:

87		Untitled, n.d.  BetaCamSP and DVD user copies made from original
		16mm film. Item #F0280. Black and white / color. Running time:
		00:12:30.  Title at the end of the film with text "Yours sincerely, Ira

Last Modified: 08/25/2005