Budget Costs to the Baptist Historical Society Lead to Staff Cuts

( [email protected] ) Aug 10, 2004 09:34 PM EDT

A new announcement by Betsy Dunbar, interim director of the American Baptist Samuel Colgate Historical Library in Rochester, N.Y., announced that budget cuts forced the American Baptist Historical Society to lay off Nancy Blostein, a longtime member of the society.

"Nancy's management skills have been invaluable to ABHS during a period of transition here at the library," Dunbar said. "Her knowledge of such a diverse--and sometimes quirky--collection has helped hundreds of researchers. We will miss her greatly."

Founded in 1853, the Historical Society holds the largest collection of Baptist materials in the world. Its three major funding sources include fees contributed by the major mission boards of American Baptist Churches USA to provide archival management for their records, a portion of gifts to the denomination's United Mission funding, and donations from churches and individuals.

Dunbar added that the ABHS Board of Managers and Executive Director Deborah Van Broekhoven are considering consolidation of the two halves of the Historical Society collection to streamline operations and cut costs.

The cut in staff will leave the Rochester site with only one full-time staff member.