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Lisle Fellowship, Inc. Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS-138

Scope and Contents

The Lisle Fellowship, Inc. Records are divided into twenty different series, as follows:

Series 1: Administrative Files, contains financial materials, by-laws, minutes, reports, and other administrative information on the Fellowship. Series 2: Adult Education, contains information about the adult education program. Series 3: Alumni, contains alumni directories from 1936-2002. This series also contains information about reunions and alumni newsletters. Series 4: Artifacts, contains various Fellowship paraphernalia. Series 5: Audio Recordings contains oral history interviews with “Uncle Si” and a transcription of an oral history completed in 1984, as well as another transcription of an unknown date. The series also includes recordings of other interviews and conversations detailing the history of the Lisle Fellowship. There are also several recordings of Lisle/NAFSA conferences, including one titled Lisle Conference World Challenges described under subseries A, B, and C. Series 6: Basic Information on the Lisle Fellowship, contains files concerning the incorporation and purpose of the Fellowship, including files concerning work to make the Fellowship known. Games, songs, menus, and recordings of deputations also comprise this series. Series 7: Correspondence, contains correspondence of various personnel, students, and potential, interested members of the Fellowship. Series 8: Deputations Information, contains information about the annual deputations held around the world. Deputations were small missions that lasted four days. The deputation assignments, budgets, correspondence, contracts, evaluations, orientations, schedules and set up are included in this listing. Series 9: Fundraising, contains various files on how the Lisle Fellowship funded their projects and units as well as on foundations that Lisle applied to, contacted, and consulted with for help in raising money from year to year. Series 10: General Files, concerns the business aspect of Lisle along with information on conferences. The business files contain information about evaluations and the location or home of Lisle and files of a planning session held in 1985 concerning the future of Lisle. The conference files, described under a subseries, concern a conference that the Lisle Fellowship hosted in 1983 entitled Education Toward a World View. Series 11: Information on Units, includes basic information on the units in general, in addition to reports from specific units. There are two subseries, A and B. Series 12: Leadership Files, includes files about contacting and recruiting leaders for the deputations each summer. It also contains training seminar files and guidelines for the leaders. Series 13: Newsletters, contains copies of the newsletter published by the fellowship, in addition to some newsletters published before the name Lisle Fellowship was adopted, when the organization was called the Christian Service Fellowship Mission, as well as a couple of other newsletters. Series 14: Other Organizations, contains material on organizations similar to the Lisle Fellowship. Series 15: Personnel Files, is divided into two sub-series to describe general personnel files and student personnel files. Series 16: Photographic Materials, contains photographs that date from the early days of the Fellowship at various units. Included in this series are a number of slides and negatives, as well as two films, each described under a separate subseries, A, B, C, D, and E. Series 17: Publications and Proposals, includes materials written by past members of the Fellowship deputations or others about the Lisle Fellowship. These include theses, papers, articles, and various copies of the book A Tiger by the Tail, written by founder DeWitt Baldwin on the history of the Lisle Fellowship. Series 18: Publicity, contains files of different forms of publicity that the Fellowship used to make itself known. This series also contains brochures for the Lisle Fellowship explaining its summer units. Series 19: Recruitment Work, contains information on recruiting the Fellowship completed from year to year to inform students of the Fellowship’s purpose, divided into two subseries, A and B, that describes the contact work and then the universities visited by members of the Fellowship. Series 20: Student Records, contains students’ files, primarily membership applications.


  • 1928 - 2014

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials may be accessed by request at the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections on the fifth floor of the William S. Carlson Library on the main campus of the University of Toledo. Materials do not circulate

Conditions Governing Use

In most cases, the Canaday Center does not own the copyright and literary rights to items in its collections; it is the responsibility of the researcher to adhere to U.S. Copyright and Fair Use laws, including seeking permission from the copyright holder and payment of any royalty fees, in the reproduction and use of archival materials. Providing copies or scans does not constitute a license to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.

Biographical / Historical

Reverend DeWitt C. Baldwin and his wife Edna served as missionaries to Rangoon, Burma between 1923 and 1933. Upon their return to the United States in 1933, they met with the head of the Methodist Board of Missions to discuss their desire to teach students from college campuses around the nation the idea of a world community. They visited with students and professors from 1933 until 1935 to conduct a survey of their attitudes toward “the current isolationism of the United States, toward the Church and religion in general, and…the World Mission of the Church” (Baldwin, 1-11). What they discovered were students confused, critical, and uncertain about creating a peaceful world. Driven by the results of the survey, Reverend Baldwin proposed in a radio announcement in January 1935 a six-week summer gathering of students that would encourage discussion in an attempt to learn world-mindedness. The first gathering took place in upstate New York at Happy Valley Center on June 20, 1936, and the Lisle Fellowship was born. Originally dubbed the Christian Mission Service Fellowship, the organization was renamed shortly after that first gathering after the village of Lisle, where the Happy Valley Center was located. The change not only shortened the name of the organization, but it honored the first gathering that catapulted the Lisle Fellowship into more than seventy years of fostering the appreciation of all cultures around the world. The Baldwin’s’ method for fostering global understanding was established in that first gathering. Called a unit, the six-week summer camp brought together twenty-seven students from eleven states, the Philippines, China, and Japan. In addition to discussions on religion and world-mindedness, the students set out on four-day deputations, small missions to local homes, churches, or any other organization that could provide homes and transportation to the students as they experienced a new way of life. This method was utilized in future gatherings led by the Baldwins, who became known as Uncle Si and Aunt Edna to their students in an effort to close the generation gap and promote a more personal connection, that spread nationwide, from California to Washington D.C. Then, in 1952, Lisle’s reach spread overseas, with Denmark as the first international group. In addition to Germany, Japan, China, and India, Lisle also conducted units in the USSR during the Cold War, always maintaining the Fellowship goal to develop world-mindedness by bringing together a wide variety of students from multiple cultures and countries. The Baldwins were the driving force behind the Lisle Fellowship, especially after the Methodist Church turned over complete control of the organization to the Lisle Advisory Board in 1946. At that time, Lisle became incorporated as a non-profit, non-denominational organization. Uncle Si and Aunt Edna continued to direct the activities of Lisle until their retirement in 1978, but their model of intercultural education and work experience continues today, now as Lisle International, not only for college students, but for people of any age. In 2004, Lisle started mini-grant funding projects to assist Lisle members in accomplishing their intercultural goals. Dr. Mark Kinney continues as executive director and Bill Kinney serves as president. Additional information about Lisle is available at


96 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Lisle Fellowship, Inc. Records, 1928-2014
Janice Hackbush, Spring 2000; Carol Farris, Summer 2002; revised by Kim Brownlee, Fall 2006; updated by Tamara Jones, Spring 2007; updated by Brad Sommer, Spring 2010, updated by Arjun Sabharwal, March 2013, revised by Sara Mouch, August 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections Repository

2801 West Bancroft Street
William S. Carlson Library, Fifth Floor
Toledo Ohio 43606 United States