Phillips, Ray E., 1889-1967, and Dora 1892-1967. Papers, 1934-1966 [bulk: 1957-1966]

Collection Information

Ray E. and Dora Phillips papers


Phillips, Ray E.

Phillips, Dora


1934-1966 [bulk: 1957-1966]


5.5 linear feet

Collection ID #:

MS 4632

Conditions Governing Access:


Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the Ray E. and Dora Phillips papers, MS 4632. The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.



Processing information:

Processed by Jessica Steytler, August 2000


Ray E. Phillips was born in Hawthorne, Wisconsin on September 3, 1889. His wife, Dora Phillips, was born in Clarkfield, Minnesota on January 28, 1892. Both went to Carleton College for a Bachelor of Science and graduated in 1914. They were married in 1915. Dr. Phillips continued with his education at Yale Divinity School, 1917. His final degree was from Yale again in 1937: a Ph.D. in sociology.

The Phillipses spent forty years as American Board missionaries in South Africa, 1918-1958. An opponent of apartheid, Dr. Phillips helped found the following organizations while in South Africa: Bantu Men's Social Center, South African Institute for Race Relations, and Johannesburg Coordinating Council for Non-European Welfare Organization. He was also director of the Jan H. Hofmeyr School of Social Work.

Both Dr. and Mrs. Phillips spent a great deal of time after they returned to the states traveling from state to state, speaking to various organizations about their experiences in South Africa. In 1958, the same year the Phillips returned to the States, Dr. Phillips was moderator for the general council of the Congregational Christian Churches, a post he held until 1961. He was also associate minister, 1959-1960, and then interim minister, 1962-1963, for the Pilgrim Congregational Church in St. Louis, Missouri. When they moved to Claremont, California in 1964, Dr. Phillips took over the directorship for personal relations for Pilgrim Place, the community in which they lived.

This collection does not cover the Phillips' years as missionaries, except for the "Phillips' News, 1918-1958," which is a pamphlet of the newsletters that Dr. and Mrs. Phillips sent to friends and relations while they were in South Africa. The bulk dates are from 1958 to 1966, the year before both Ray and Dora died.

Dr. Phillips wrote a few books on his experiences in South Africa. "African Youth and Sex Hygiene," 1925; "The Bantu are Coming," 1930; "The Bantu in the City," 1938; "The Crux of the Race Problem" 1947.

Mrs. Phillips's name has been included in the title of this collection because her work, while in the minority, is intermingled with her husband's. It is clear that she worked very closely with Dr. Phillips, therefore her name in the title.


Scope and Content

Series A: Correspondence 1934, 1944, 1952-1966
The letters in this series include ones to and from Dora Phillips as well as Ray. These are general correspondence files. The subseries cover (1) the files organized by Ray as mission-related and (2) the letters that had been kept separate and were to or from Dora Phillips. The files are in chronological order, but the order within the files themselves is not necessarily chronological. The Phillipses received a great deal of mail from fellow missionaries. There is a separate series (G) for Appointments, considering that the Phillipses spent most of their retirement at public speaking engagements.
Series B: Organizations, 1958-1966
These are arranged in alphabetical order. The organizations are either political or church-related.
Series C: Personal writings (includes some from D. P.), 1958-1966
Again, these are in alphabetical order. The files include sermons, newspaper articles, lectures and manuscripts.
Series D: Personal Information
This series includes a small amount of biographical information and legal documents (passports, immunization records, contracts).
Series E: Africa Files, 1957-1966
These folders contain records pertaining to African organizations or activities.
Series F: Special Interest Pamphlets, 1934, 1956, 1961
These are mostly published tracts that were on subjects that interested the Phillipses. Most have to do with African political or social policies.
Series G: Appointments, 1958-1966
These records have to do with Dr. and Mrs. Phillips's public speaking engagements. There are letters pertaining to upcoming engagements as well as event schedules and material collected while at events. These folders are arranged roughly in chronological order. The contents of this series were originally in binders. The original order was kept; therefore the chronology for some folders is not precise.
Series H: Church Files, 1950s-1966
Pilgrim Church and Pilgrim Place feature in this series, as well as a large binder from the General Council dating from 1958-1961.
Series I: Photographs
None of the photographs have dates or have any of the individuals identified.
Series J: Notes
Dr. Phillips kept subject files that he used for sermons and papers. There are hand-written notes and newspaper clippings and kept in approximately the same order in which Dr. Phillips kept them, given that the files had to be divided into four boxes.


Folder List

Box 1

Series A: Correspondence, 1934, 1944, 1952-1966

(there is one file of correspondence in the oversize box)

  Subseries 1: Mission Correspondence, 1958-1961
  Subseries 2: Dora Phillips's Correspondence
    From Ray 1960s
    General 1960s
    General n.d.

Series B: Organizations, 1958 - 1966

    Carleton College 1961-1966
    Midolo Ecumenical Foundation 1963
    National Council, USA 1958-1964
    Speakers Bureau, Waery 1958-1964
    Stevenson, Adli Campaign 1960
    UCBWM 1962-1966
    World Council 1950-1961
    YMCA 1962-1965
Box 2

Series C: Personal writings (includes some from D. P.), 1958-1966

    "The American Board Among the Bantu of South Africa" n.d.
    "Bantu are Coming" 1931
    "Bantu in the City" n.d.
    Completed Sermons 1958-1965
    Essays / Sermons n.d.
    Family Problems (D. P.) ca. 1960s
    "An Intimate Account of Forty Years With South Africans," correspondence 1958-1963
    Lectures / Articles 1958-1963
    "My Friends Are South Africans" 1966
    "Let My People Go," by Albert Luthuli; forward by R. P. n.d.
    Newspaper Articles ca. 1960s
    Newspaper Articles 1961
    Note Books n.d.
    Notes and Articles (D. P.) ca. 1960s
    Papers and Notes (D. P.) n.d.
    Preface ca. 1961
    "Simple Faith for the Space Age" ca. 1960s
    "Talks In Africa" n.d.

Series D: Personal Information

    Biographical Information ca. 1960s
    Insurance, Contracts n.d.
    News clippings n.d.
    Travel Documents 1957-1958
    Financial and Bureaucratic: Missionary Related 1958-1961
    Retirement 1961
    see Box 4 for further materials in this series  

Series E: Africa Files, 1957-1966

    Christian Council Of South Africa 1965-1966
    Johannesburg and Hoffmeyr School 1962-1966
    Rotary Club of Johannesburg Resignation 1954
    South African Institute of Race Relations 1961-1966
    South African Mission 1960-1965
    US - South Africa Leader Exchange Program 1965-1966
    Visiting South Africans 1961-1966
    X-Ray Report 1957-1959

Series F: Special Interest Pamphlets, 1934, 1956, 1961

    Africa And the United States 1961
    Background Information for Church and Society 1961
    Diary of a Travel Through Africa 1956
    The Education of a South African Tribe 1934
    Interpreters' Manual, National Council of Churches 1961
    The Liquidation of Adams College n. d.
    South Africa's Apartheid Policy... 1956
Box 3

Series G: Appointments, 1958-1966


Series H: Church Files, 1950s-1966

    Congregational Merger 1960
    Advanced Discussion Group 1964
    Film, Filmstrips 1961
    Fund Raising, Los Alamos 1960-1966
    General Council (bound) 1958-1961
    New Task of Church 1961
    Pilgrim Church 1950s-1966
    Pilgrim Place 1959-1964
    Pilgrim Place, Get Well Wishes 1966
    Visitors to Claremont 1961, 1965-1966

Series I: Photographs

    Hoffmeyr School n.d.
    Ray and Dora n.d., 1958
    Photos, unidentified n.d.
    3 Oversize: - separate file  
Box 4

Series D: Personal Information (cont.)

    pocket diaries  
Boxes 5-9

Series J: Notes

    Notes compiled by R. P. for sermons, lectures and books.  
Box 10: Oversize Material
    Phillips' News (Series A) 1918-1958
    Clippings (Series F)  
    Correspondence (Series A) 1956-1958
    "The Bantu Are Coming" (Series C) n.d.
    Pathfinders (Series B) 1931
    South Africa Social Action Groups (Series E) 1957
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