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Effie Victoria Nelson papers, 1920-1972

Identifier: MSS-BU-5

Scope and Contents

The Bethel material series includes the files and records involving Nelson's tenure as a professor at Bethel. These include professional correspondence, records from organizations in which Nelson was involved, and bulletins from various events held at the college. The appreciation book is a scrapbook compiling clippings and personal notes of appreciation for Nelson's work. The black binder contains handwritten notes about various years of Nelson's career. The Commencement and Baccalaureate Programs notebook is a composition notebook filled with various bulletins of events at Bethel.

The Inspiration Fine Hosiery box contains "History of the Personnel Department of Bethel College", greeting cards, and many handwritten notes.

The Alabaster by Whiting box contains writings about women in the denomination and at Bethel, including "A Challenge to the Twentieth Century Woman," "25th Anniversary Program: Bethel Institute Women's Federation", and "Bethel Girls' Dormitory." Other material is a pamphlet from Central Baptist Church and a pamphlet titled "Bethel Traditions."

The Eaton's Floral Ensemble box contains a handheld mini fan, several small notebooks, several handwritten notes, and a drawing. It also includes several pamphlets including "honor America" from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, "Looking Ahead After Thirty Years" from Bethel Academy, "Baptist Leadership" by Robert Torbet, "Variety Club Heart Hospital", "Bethel Institute: Bible and Missionary Training Course 1924-1925", "Olivia Johnson Memorial Missionary Movement."

The photographs series contains several folders of loose photographs, as well as a folder containing slides that were removed from their original box. The other box of slides are kept in their original box. Multiple scrapbooks and albums are included in this series; their photographs were removed and placed into corresponding folders after being labeled. Chronoligically, the albums would be ordered Black Album 2 (1937-1940), Black Album 3 (1939-1948), Black Album 1 (1951-1955), and Brown Album 2 (1964-1966).

Black Album 1 (1951-1955) includes photos from Baptist Conferences, her family and friends, homecoming, and a variety of Christmas Cards Black Album 2 (1935-1940) includes photos from her family (as a little girl and into her adulthood, other extended family relatives, and her namesake), graduations, church buildings, her father's memorial, missionaries, her Bethel College German classes several Christmas cards. Black Album 3 (1939-1948) includes photographs from missionaries and churches, weddings, family and friends, travels, Bethel college, and many Christmas cards. Brown Album 2 (1964-1966) includes photgraphs from weddings. missionaries, the Bethel Campuses, and many Christmas cards (including one from Billy Graham).

The Guestbooks series contains seven guestbooks listing visitors ranging from 1952 to 1977.

The Budgets and Recipes accordian folder contains collected clippings, mostly from newspapers. These clippings are photographs of people, graphic artwork pieces, and Christmas greetings.

The Scrapbooks series includes four scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, magazine clippings, greeting cards, personal notes, the memorial service bulletin for Reuben E. Nelson, and hymns.

There are four yearbooks in the Yearbooks series: Omaha Central High School, 1919; Sioux City High School, 1920; Des Moines University, 1926 and 1928.


  • Majority of material found within 1920 - 1972

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for researcher use.

Biographical / Historical

Effie Victoria Nelson was born in 1901 to Peter Gotthard Nelson and Mary Johnson. Nelson recieved her bachelor's degree from Des Moines University in 1925 and her master's degree from the University of Minnesota in German and English in 1940. She began teaching German at Bethel in 1925. She also taught various subjects such as history, physical education, and mathematics. She served as a librarian in the junior college library for seventeen years until 1947. In 1937 she became the first dean of women. Nelson retired from Bethel in 1966. In retirement, she suffered a paralyzing stroke. She passed away on November 3, 1977 at Grandview Christian Home in Cambridge, Minnesota.


6 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



The arrangement of this collection reflects the order in which materials were found in the History Center in 2022 prior to processing. It is unclear what the original order or donated order were.

Some of the scrapbooks are chronologically ordered backwards, starting in the potential present and moving into the past.

Custodial History

The custodial history of this collection is unknown.

Related Materials

See the Effie Nelson collection of books in the Special Collections.

See the Peter Gotthard Nelson file.

See the Reuben Nelson collection.

Rebekah Bain
July 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The History Center: Archives of Bethel University and Converge Repository

3900 Bethel Drive
Arden Hills MINNESOTA 55112 United States