Reverend Dr. Edward M. Haymaker and his missionary collection: a material culture study



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Texas Tech University


Are missionary collections relevant to material culture study, or are they curiosity collections formed by religious zealots? This thesis will demonstrate the importance of material culture methodologies to the study of missionary collections, using the Edward Haymaker Collection as an example. Material culture study will help reconstmct the story ofthe Haymaker Collection and its collector, and demonstrate the importance of the Haymaker Collection museologically and historically. Reverend Dr. Edward M. Haymaker was the second Presbyterian missionary in Guatemala, where he served for almost fifty years. Throughout his career, Haymaker collected material related to his missionary experience. Haymaker was also a follower of Social Gospel, an evangelical movement ofthe Progressive Era (1880-1920) that embraced the idea of social and cultural "church works." Before his death in 1947, Haymaker donated his collection to the Central Missouri State Teacher's College Museum (now Central Missouri State University Archives/Museum). His collection includes Central American textiles and objects, as well as Haymaker's photographs, written records and published works. Only through a social historical analysis, a discipline that uses material culture study as an interpretive tool, can the Haymaker Collection be fully understood. Haymaker and his collection are relevant to material culture study as evidence of the uniqueness of missionaries and their work. The Haymaker Collection is not only the objects and archives; it is the story of Dr. Haymaker as well.