Title and statement of responsibility area
John Gordon Spaulding fonds
General material designation
- Textual record
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: The title is based on the contents of the fonds.
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Spaulding, John Gordon
Physical description area
1.55 m of textual records.
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
John Gordon Spaulding earned a B.A. at Pomona College, California, and a Ph.D. from California, Berkeley. After teaching at Stockton Junior College in California, he joined the UBC Department of English in 1946, where he remained on faculty until his retirement in 1972. His areas of scholarly interest included the history of literary criticism, Romantic poetry and prose, semantics, and the relationships between literary criticism and philosophy, science, and psychology.
While researching at the British Museum in 1961, Spaulding used The Preacher's Assistant, a catalogue of sermons presented and published in Great Britain, Ireland, and the American colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, compiled by the Rev. John Cooke and published in 1783. Spaulding saw the possibility of gaining new insights into the political, social, and literary history of the period covered by the catalogue by correlating the entries in the first volume (the sermons) with the entries in the second volume (the authors), using then-new computer technology. By 1966 he had both volumes encoded on punch cards and then spent the next 25 years correlating the two sets of records. An early print-out version was deposited at the Huntington Library in California in 1988. In six volumes, the final version was published in 1996, shortly after Spaulding's death, as Pulpit Publications 1660-1782. As he wrote in the preface:
"By translating the data from Cooke's two volumes into six volumes, it lays out the data in ways that make them accessible for purposes that Cooke did not have in mind. His catalogue of sermons is herein transformed from an Assistant to Preachers into an Assistant for Historians who wish to search out the vital relations between religion and literature, philosophy, science and politics in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries or, more generally, are making bibliographical, philological and economic studies concerning the period. The usefulness of the sermon catalogue in historical studies is enhanced by the fact that the data within the catalogue come close to being exhaustive in regard to certain aspects of the period and, in the form presented within the present edition, make some novel statistical studies quite possible."
After Spaulding's death his papers were stored in filing cabinets and transferred to a Vancouver storage locker. They were acquired by the University Archives in June 1997. The data files for "Pulpit Publications" were transferred to the UBC Data Library by Spaulding himself in 1992.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of materials documenting John Gordon Spaulding's academic scholarship and career, in particular his Pulpit Publications project, and includes notes, correspondence, published articles, drafts (both handwritten and typescript), computer codes, computer printouts (bound and unbound), and related records. The fonds is organized in three series: College And University Papers (including the sub-series Pomona/Stockton Numbered Files, Other College Files, Toward Dissertation & Dissertation I, and Lectures and Other Professional Papers), Personal Papers, and Cooke / Pulpit Publications (including the sub-series Correspondence, Provenance Studies, General Notes, Drafts, and Printouts, and Bound Computer Printouts). Where Spaulding's original arrangements were still apparent and considered practical, they have been retained – otherwise the files are arranged in chronological order.
Immediate source of acquisition
Acquired by the University Archives in June 1997. Kept in remote storage until substantially re-appraised and re-organized in May-June 2018.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Researchers are strongly advised to check with the University Archives regarding permission to publish or otherwise use materials from this fonds.
Online finding aid
Please see the finding aid for an inventory of files.
Uploaded finding aid
The original data files for "Pulpit Publications" were transferred by John Spaulding to the UBC Data Library in 1992. Originally stored on magnetic tape, the files were transferred to disk at a later date. They are still held at Data Services, Koerner Library.
Biographical and other information largely derived from Ross Publishing LLC's Pulpit Publications website: http://rosspub.com/pulpit.htm.