Scope and arrangement
The Henry C. Bunton Papers, 1871-1989, are divided into PERSONAL PAPERS, WRITINGS, CHAPLAINCY, CHRISTIAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH and GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE.
The Henry C. Bunton papers are arranged in five series:
The PERSONAL PAPERS, 1938-1979, series consists of papers relating to Henry C. Bunton as well as his family. It includes typewritten, printed, and handwritten biographical and autobiographical material, clippings, scattered school-related papers, and correspondence. The series also contains a folder of material on his campaign for membership on the Board of Education in Memphis, another on his trips to the “Holy Land” and papers relating to his teaching appointments at Howard University and the courses he taught there. In addition the series includes a historical sketch of Alfreda Gibbs Bunton, Bunton's second wife, an undated piece of writing by her, correspondence between Bunton and immediate as well as extended family, 1940-1977, and Hungerford School Records of his children, Mattye Lou, Marjorie and Henry Bunton, Jr., 1940-1943. Of interest in this series is an outline and introduction entitled, “The Bunton Era.” This may be the beginnings of Bunton's autobiography, A Dreamer of Dreams.
The WRITINGS, 1963-1979, n.d., series includes essays, eulogies, sermons, and speeches by Bunton as well as essays whose authorship and/or title is unidentified. The majority of these essays are undated. Of interest in this series is Bunton's booklet, The Challenge to Become Involved,the only published writing by Bunton in the series.
The CHAPLAINCY, UNITED STATES ARMED SERVICES, 1938-1978, series is composed of papers relating to Bunton, chaplains and prospective chaplains. The series contains correspondence and personal papers relating to Bunton's term as Chaplain. These are arranged chronologically. The series also contains the files of individuals requesting ecclesiastical endorsement for chaplaincy in the armed forces, and include applications with photographs and recommendations. These folders are arranged alphabetically. Other material included in this series are chaplain's reports and correspondence. Of interest is the file devoted to the correspondence of Edward Avery, a Methodist preacher whom Bunton met while in Wales and to whom he was grateful during his chaplaincy there.
The CHRISTIAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 1871-1989 series is the largest single series of the collection. The subseries within it are Bishopric, Churches, Affiliated Bodies and Activities, and Colleges.
The GENERAL series contains correspondence and printed matter arranged alphabetically by subject. The Letters of Appeal folder contains letters from individuals requesting scholarships and financial aid for education. If the person is a minister requesting such assistance, his/her correspondence will be found in the Ministers folder. The Letters of Appeal folder also contains requests for monetary assistance for churches and relief from disasters. Moreover, it contains correspondence from individuals asking that Bunton pray for them. The Ministers file contains correspondence between Bunton and individual ministers as well as letters about the them. The two largest subjects subdivisions in this series are Civic Organizations and Religious Organizations. These are arranged alphabetically. In the Southern Christian Leadership Conference folder is a letter from the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1957 to Bunton pertaining to the Reverend's schedule of arrival in Memphis to give a speech. The Transfers--Correspondence folder contains letters from, to, and about people who requested transfers between a C.M.E. church and a non-C.M.E. church and from one C.M.E. Church Conference to another.