The Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library is a place of discovery. All are welcome to visit and explore our unique holdings, whether as a researcher or an observer. The breadth and depth of our collections are vast, and it is nearly impossible to investigate every nook and cranny. We invite you this year, through our blog, to tour some of those places you didn’t know existed, and get acquainted with collections you might not have previously explored. Check back in with us weekly over the course of 2013 as we offer you a delightful look into some of the favorite, but perhaps lesser-known, corners of our collections. These pieces are visually interesting, come attached with fascinating stories, and are often 3D objects you might not have realized are part of what makes up The Extraordinary World of MARBL.
As a missionary of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Young John Allen spent the majority of his life in China after graduating from Emory in 1858. Through his work as an educator and journalist, Allen built an extensive network of acquaintances throughout China. His work includes journalistic writings and more than one hundred volumes of translations and original works. MARBL houses the personal papers of Allen, including sermons, missionary reports and curriculum, financial records, architectural drawings, and other materials, including the unique fan pictured here, that detail the day-to-day operations of the missionary schools established by Young John Allen.