The documentation of Kenneth E. Bailey’s life and work available in this collection is extensive and complex. The papers have been sorted according to general format and subject matter, but the archivists have made no attempt to rearrange papers within the folders, choosing instead to leave the material essentially how Bailey had it in his own files. Dates and content types within folders and volumes are overlapping and not always relevant to their labels.
Series I, Bound Volumes of Personal Papers, contains twenty-nine volumes of papers that Bailey gathered and had bound together while he was living in the Middle East. Each volume contains a variety of types of documents and though the volumes are in general chronological order, there is no strict order within them. Bailey worked on organizing the volumes while in retirement, adding indexes and page numbers. The scope and content notes for these volumes in the finding aid were provided by Bailey’s colleague David Dawson. These notes are not intended to be comprehensive but rather to give a sense of the topics and activities documented.
The Correspondence of Series II consists of documents received in folders and it dates primarily from after 1995 when Bailey retired in the U.S. There is also correspondence in the bound volumes of Series I. Notable correspondents include Lesslie Newbigin, N. T. Wright, Raymond Brown, Gary Burge, Markus Barth, George Carey, Sam and Eileen Moffett, Paul Pierson, Ralph Winter, Atef Gendy, Michael Nazir-Ali, Eugene Nida, Roland Bainton, James Dunn, Mary Mikael, Karl Barth, Richard Hays, Bruce Metzger, Jim Walther, David Hugh Kelsey, John Stott, Andrew Walls, Lamin Sanneh, Howard Marshall, and others. The series is divided into four subseries: a) Academic and with Publishers; b) Regarding Theological Education in the Middle East; c) General and Miscellaneous Correspondence, and d) Family Correspondence and Papers. The first three categories are overlapping and have been established only to give a general sense of the content of the correspondence. The contents of the folders in the General and Miscellaneous Correspondence subseries are overlapping in dates and topics; they have been maintained in the order received. According to David Dawson, Bailey had a type of dyslexia that affected his spelling and sense of organizational order. Much additional work could be done to index these files. Researchers who seek to decipher the files may find it helpful to read David Dawson’s notes on the collection that are contained in box 56. These notes give a sense of the range and complexity of Bailey's files. The Family Correspondence and Papers subseries contains correspondence in general chronological order as well as biographical material, personal items, and memorabilia.
Series III, Biblical Scholarship Resources, is arranged by biblical book. The folders are ordered according to the labels that were on them; they contain a wide variety of types and dates of material. Series IV, Writings is divided into three subseries: a) Articles, sermons, and lectures; b) Miscellaneous writings and papers; c) Books. The folders in this series are as labeled when they were received; much work could be done to rationalize their order. Contained in the last box of the Articles, sermons, and lecture subseries (box 49) are printouts of articles by Bailey that were compiled by New Testament scholar Dale Bowne; these copies provide a comprehensive overview of Bailey’s article length writings. Additional books by Bailey are available in the Library’s cataloged collection.
Series IV, Audio-Visual/Digital Material, contains both computer files on floppy disks and DVDs. As time permits, the computer files will be preserved in another format. Transcriptions of audio and video files that were done by Dale Berne are available in box 62.