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A tribute to Emma Walsh 



The Revd Emma Walsh has overseen the Angus Library and Archive - the leading collection of Baptist history and heritage worldwide - for ten years, but is now returning to her native Australia. She will be missed, writes Andy Goodliff


 
Emma WalshMany readers may not know who Emma Walsh is. So let me tell you. Emma is an Australian Baptist who has been the Angus Librarian at Regent’s Park College, Oxford for the last ten years. Emma has spent much of that ten years underground among the thousands of books, pamphlets, letters, portraits that the Angus library looks after.
 
In that ten years she has transformed the Angus Library. The Angus Library is the premier collection of Baptist history in the world and has become even more so through Emma’s period as librarian. In 2013 she oversaw the Angus getting £488,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Baptist Union (monies from the Newington Court fund) which have seen every item in the Angus collection catalogued and so making the contents searchable and more accessible to historians and others.

Emma has helped churches think about writing their histories and how to look after their archive. She has overseen making Baptist history interesting for education purposes. Emma has helped Baptists see the value of our history and looking after it. She has shown a special concern that we remember and hear the stories of women who have shaped our past.
 
Emma, you will be missed by all those in college, staff, students, but also by those you greeted and helped who made their visit down the stairs into the Angus looking for that book or that letter or that picture of some figure from our Baptist past. 
 
Emma, we thank you for making the Angus Library what it is today - your passion, your skill and your tenacity - will leave a legacy for many years to come, which will be appreciated by many future researchers. The Angus Library is a gift (perhaps not always appreciated) to those of us who are Baptists. It is a reminder that our story is more than 400 years old. In it are many of our saints, whose stories and lives we do not know as well as we ought, but through your work are now more accessible to us than before.



Image | BMS World Mission



The Revd Andy Goodliff is minister of Belle Vue Baptist Church, Southend-on-Sea 

 



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