Monday, May 19, 2014

Searching for Bread for the World--and Finding a (gasp!) Cassette Tape!

Display, National Workshop on Christian Unity-Albuquerque
Our display table at the National Workshop on Christian Unity conference in Albuquerque at the end of April was overflowing with materials from Bread for the World. We got many compliments on the variety of topics that we had on display, including  The 1,000 Days Toolkit, the Biblical Basis for Advocacy, Offering of Letters 2014 bulletin inserts, Discussion Guide: How a Global Network of Farmers Can Help End Hunger, and much more. 

These are among the hundreds of great materials that Bread for the World and the Bread for the World Institute have published over the past 40 years. We've seen many brochures, books, reports, booklets and other informational items.  One of my favorites is this brochure from the 1980s.

Bread's Identity
To commemorate Bread for the World's 40th birthday, I decide to conduct a search of  materials that that helped shape the organization and its mission and gave the movement its identity. Would you believe those early materials are found a libraries around the country? Many of these libraries are located at universities and seminaries, but sometimes you can find Bread publications and cassette tapes (what are those???) at public or private libraries.

To assist me with the search I used the online library research site OCLC WorldCat, which connects you to the collections and services of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. WorldCat libraries are dedicated to providing access to their resources on the Web, where most people start their search for information.  To conduct an effective search, I created a free account

I started by conducting an Advanced search with the key word Bread for the World, for the period between 1974 and 2014. I found a lot of good material, but first I had to sift among more than 11,000 entries, and the overwhelming majority were not directly relevant to Bread for the World.  Since most of us are already familiar with the last decade of Bread's history, I focused this search on the first 20-30 years. The searches for the early years turned up items like Eat Less Bread, a poster used in a campaign by the Ministry of Food in Britain designed to encourage the populace to respect food rationing during World War I.

The first relevant entry  was not produced by Bread, but was a general resource guide entitled Who's involved with hunger : an organization guide, published by the American Freedom from Hunger Foundation and World Hunger Education Service, ©1976-

The next entry was  the very first edition of Bread for the World, the book that introduced people of faith around the country to the mission of our ourganization. The book was given to anyone who became a Bread for the World member and/or donated to the organization.  This particular copy is found at the Mennonite Historical Library in Goshen College (Goshen, IN)

Art Simon visits Kansas City in 1980s
A Sampling of Other Findings
I selected the items in this sampling at random.  There are many, many more entries. (I included some photos from my personal collection or from other long-time Bread members in this post)

 1. (1977) Feeding the Hungry, an audio cassette, featuring Bread for the World founder Art Simon. "Lecture describes the work of  Bread for the World and confronts Christians with their responsibility to the hungry people of the world. you're looking for a good way to celebrate the work of your beloved organization."  The session was recorded during the Christian Life Commission Seminar on "Priorities" held in Jackson, MS, on March 21-23, 1977.  The cassette is found at SBTS Library James P. Boyce Centennial Library (Louisville, KY) and Clear Creek Baptist Bible College Brooks Memorial Library (Pineville, KY)

2. (1978)  Lord, make us hungry -- : make us bread. by Bread for the World (Organization); Book Found at United Library (Evanston, IL), and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Goddard Library (South Hamilton, MA)

Bread banner at Indianapolis CROP Walk in 1980
3. (1980) When I Was Hungry. A Hunger Course for High School Students. Teacher's Manual [and] Action Packet. by Washington DC Bread for the World Educational Fund,

Designed to accompany a student activity packet on issues related to world hunger, this teacher's manual provides 12 units of study at the high school level. Materials are presented from a Christian perspective. Found at Baylor University Libraries Moody Memorial Library (Waco, TX)

 4. (no year provided)  Bread for the world in Louisiana Author: Bread for the World (Organization). New Orleans Chapter. Journal, magazine : Periodical : English Found at Wisconsin Historical Society ( Madison, WI)

5. (1982) The ministry of Bread for the World, Kathy Guy; Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education. Audiobook on Cassette
Stahlstown, PA : Thompson Media, 1982
Found at North Park University Brandel Library (Chicago)

6.  (1982) The Causes of world hunger,
Father Byron in Albuquerque
William J Byron (a Jesuit who collaborated with Art Simon to create Bread for the World)  Publisher: New York : Paulist Press, ©1982. Found at University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM), Eastern New Mexico University (Portales, NM), Wayland Baptist University (Plainview, TX) Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX), Denver Seminary Carey S. Thomas Library (Littleton, CO), Iliff School of Theology (Denver, CO).

7. Bread for the World newsletter.
(1989- ) Found at  Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary- Roberts Library (Ft Worth, TX), Fuller Theological Seminary Library (Pasadena, CA), University of California-Santa Barbara, Luther Seminary Library (St. Paul, MN), Bethel Seminary Library (St. Paul, MN), Wartburg Theological Seminary (Dubuque,IA)
Second entry (1994- )  Found at Fuller Theological Seminary Library (Pasadena, CA); Lutheran Theological Seminary (Gettysburg, PA), and University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT)

8.(1987) Lazarus : Bread for the world's musical on hunger and poverty Author: Joel Underwood; Samuel Vance Nickels; Louise F Carlson [Washington, D.C.] : Bread for the World Educational Fund, ©1987. Found at Messiah College-Murray Library (Mechanicsburg, PA) 

9. (1987) Hunger in a land of plenty : a study and action guide. Washington, D. C. : Bread for the World Educational Fund, ©1987. Found at United Library (Evanston, IL), and Columbia University Libraries (New York, NY)

10. Bread for the World Institute's Hunger Reports 

Author: Bread for the World (Organization). Institute on Hunger & Development.
Hunger 1990
Hunger 1992 : second annual report on the state of world hunger : ideas that work.  
Hunger 1993 : uprooted people : third annual report on the state of world hunger.
Hunger 1994 : transforming the politics of hunger : fourth annual report on the state of world hunger.

Some of the libraries where the report might be found:  Baylor University Libraries (Waco, TX) University of Texas Libraries (Austin, TX) Claremont School of Theology Library (Pasadena, CA), University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE) University of California-Los Angeles, Kansas City, Kansas, Community College, University of Colorado (Boulder, CO), Dixie State University (St. George, UT), University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK), Bethel College (North Newton, KS), University of Arizona Libraries (Tucson, AZ)

Social Media and Information Flows 

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, the early days of Bread for the World, there was almost no social media and the Internet was in its infancy  So printed materials were extremely important.  We used audio and video back then.  I remember having to make sure that the image on the film strip matched the audio on the cassette tape on a presentation about Bread for the World narrated by Steve Allen.  And yet, in these days of tweeting, blogging, instagramming, blogging and downloading from Web sites, we still rely significantly on printed materials and audio and video.

The difference is that we now get the information that we need now instantly, allowing us to take immediate actions. Even when we access information online for research or as a tool for our worship or other activities, we rely on something that is written and (semi-permanent).

Sometimes it's more useful to have a printed copy. It's still more useful to have a booklet and bulletin inserts for an Offering of Letters. A case in point is the Bread for the World Institute's Hunger Report. The report is available for downloading (in PDF format) on the Institute's Web pages. But it is a different and more complete experience to read a hard copy of the report.  There is a different appreciation of the interaction between the narrative, the pictures and the data tables. 

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