Mabel K. Howell Papers

Identifier: 2017.003

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

Collection items include: alumni reports, student papers, college course materials, miscellaneous writings, Scarritt Rural Center documents, the “Mabel K. Howell: A Modern Apostle” article, and the “Service Motive: Survey of a Half-Century of Achievements,” “The Achievements of Scaritt Alumni,” and “Latin America” manuscripts, drafts, and resources.


  • Majority of material found within 1870 - 2017

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 24 hours is needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact: The Virginia Davis Laskey Library, Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville, TN. 37212

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact: The Virginia Davis Laskey Library, Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville, TN. 37212

Biographical / Historical

Mabel Howell was an early twentieth-century educator, church administrator, and foreign-mission leader in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, for sixty years. She was born in South Orange, New Jersey, on Nov. 23, 1873, and died on May 19, 1957. She obtained a PhD from Cornell and completed sociology courses at the Chicago University of Theology. In 1903-1904, she introduced Sociology as a legitimate course for Christian missionaries at a time when this course was considered by many to be too “unreligious” for missionary study. She travelled with Belle Bennett in 1910 to Edinburgh as a delegate to the World Missionary Conference, and she later accompanied Bennett to Asia and South America. In the 1940s, she was a leader of the Scarritt Rural Center, a training center for foreign missionaries. (Compiled from “Mabel K. Howell: A Modern Apostle” by Barbara E. Campbell, 2016 and 2017)


12 Volumes (12 full-size Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection contains reports, papers, course materials, writings, documents, correspondences, articles, and manuscripts, manuscript drafts, and manuscript resources from 1930-1960.


This collection is arranged by subject in single folders and the following groups of folders: “Rural Center”, “Manuscript for 'The Service Motive: A Half-Century of Achievements'", and Photographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection is property of The Virginia Davis Laskey Library, Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville, TN. 37212

Finding Aid for the Mabel K. Howell Papers
Jim Evilsizer
Dec. 2, 2019
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Scarritt Bennett Center - Laskey Library and Archives Repository

Virginia Davis Laskey Library and Archives
1027 18th Avenue South
Nashville TN 37212


About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

Requesting Materials

Each finding aid contains a link to request materials from the collections. Collections can also be requested by emailing the repository directly through the library website. Each repository has its own location, hours, and contact information. Please consult the repository with questions about using the materials. Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the repository’s reading room. In many cases, the collections are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval.