This exhibition honors the work of Dr. Richard P. Heitzenrater, recipient of the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from Southern Methodist University in May 2014. Dr. Heitzenrater is the William Kellon Quick Professor Emeritus of Church History and Wesley Studies at Duke University Divinity School and was a member of the Perkins School of Theology faculty from 1977 to 1993 as the Albert Cook Outler Chair in Wesleyan Studies and the Director of the Center for Methodist Studies. He also had a close connection to Bridwell Library, twice serving as Acting Director (May-October 1980 and June 1992-May 1993).
Renowned for his research and writing in the area of Wesleyan studies, Dr. Heitzenrater has the distinction of being the person who broke the shorthand code of John Wesley’s diaries. Dr. Heitzenrater has utilized rare books and manuscripts held by Bridwell Library throughout his distinguished career. Pairing works written by Dr. Heitzenrater with items from Bridwell Library Special Collections, the exhibition highlights the long-term relationship between researcher and library.