By Steven Armour
The Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library is pleased to announce the opening of the Habitat for Humanity International records. These records, now available for research, document the formation, growth, and operation of one of the world’s most recognized non-profit organizations as they have worked toward the mission of ending substandard housing around the globe. The collection consists of correspondence and files relating to events, administrative activities, affiliates, media projects, and public relations, as well as photographs, newsletters, and artifacts. Much of the collection relates to the work of founder and former president Millard Fuller, including over three decades of speeches and sermons he delivered around the world outlining his philosophy of partnership housing.
Some materials, such as early newsletters, date back to the early 1940s and chronicle the activities of Koinonia Farm, a Christian intentional farming community that would become the catalyst for Habitat for Humanity’s establishment. The collection encompasses Habitat for Humanity’s work up through recent years, addressing the planning, outreach, and implementation of thousands of building projects. Some recurring events covered include the annual Jimmy Carter Work Project, Women Build, and the Global Village Program. Gifts of gratitude from homeowner partners, including sculptures, paintings, textiles, and other artwork also form part of the collection.
The Habitat for Humanity International records are the latest and largest addition to a growing body of related collections in the Hargrett Library that revolve around the topics of housing, philanthropy and social change. Others include the Millard and Linda Fuller papers, the Fuller Center for Housing records, and the Clarence L. Jordan papers.