Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Prescott Harrison Williams, Jr. papers, 1949-2002

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Williams, Prescott Harrison, Jr.
Title: Prescott Harrison Williams, Jr. papers
Dates: 1949-2002
Abstract Prescott Harrison Williams, Jr. (1924-2009) was a Presbyterian educator and administrator, primarily at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Handwritten notes, printed material, correspondence, photographic material, audiovisual material, and an artifact (1949-2002) document the career of Prescott Harrison Williams, Jr. as a professor and administrator primarily at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
Identification: 1997-028, 2008-005
Extent: 5 feet 5 inches manuscript material, one inch photographs, one audio cassette, one reel-to-reel audio tape, and one artifact
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Biographical note

Prescott Harrison Williams, Jr. (1924-2009) was a Presbyterian educator and administrator, primarily at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Williams was born in Detroit, Michigan on June 20, 1924. He attended Wheaton College in Illinois from 1943-1947, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Greek. He attended Western Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1947-1948, but moved to Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey and received his bachelor of divinity. In 1950, he graduated and was ordained. While attending Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland for graduate studies, Williams served as pastor at several churches in the area. He studied the Dead Sea Scrolls (or the Qumran) and earned a Ph.D. in Ancient Near Eastern Languages, History, and Archaeology in 1960.

Prior to his graduation, Williams’ long career at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary began. He became the Assistant Professor of Old Testament Languages and Archaeology in 1959. He held this position until 1962, when he was promoted to associate professor status. In 1965, he was promoted again and became a full professor. Also in 1965, he served as the Archaeological Advisor to the Jordanian Department of Antiquities in conjunction with the American Schools of Oriental Research as part of a project consolidating the ruins at Qumran. Throughout his career, Williams served as a visiting professor at the neighboring University of Texas at Austin in several areas including archaeology, classics, biblical studies, and fine art. In addition to teaching, Williams has published many works in his field. He has received numerous honors and awards for his scholarly pursuits.

In addition to his professorship, Williams served Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in an administrative capacity. In 1966, he was appointed Dean of Faculty, a position he held for 10 years. He served as Acting President from 1971-1972, and was asked to serve as President of the seminary. He held this position from 1972-1976, when he resigned in order to focus on teaching and continued research. Williams continued as Professor of Old Testament Languages and Archaeology until his retirement in 1990. Williams passed away in Austin, Texas on June 18, 2009.

Scope and Content Note

Handwritten notes, printed material, correspondence, photographic material, audiovisual material, and an artifact (1949-2002) document the career of Prescott Harrison Williams, Jr. as a professor and administrator primarily at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

The first series, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, consists of three subseries. “Administrative material” contains items that document the administrative nature of Williams’ work at the seminary, including faculty files containing various material types, noted next to the name of the faculty member. “Presidential inauguration” consists of items related to his inauguration and congratulatory correspondence. “Student art” consists of works that feature Williams and were created by seminary students.

The second series, Course materials, consists of handwritten lecture notes, Hebrew texts, syllabi, and printed material prepared and gathered by Williams to utilize in his classes. Some student work is present within these folders. Workshop and seminar materials consist of the same type of materials as in Course materials, but with accompanying correspondence and schedules.

The Correspondence series is primarily of a personal nature, including letters from former students, co-workers, and friends.

Other series include Brazos Presbytery committee work, Williams’ work as student, Biographical information, Williams’ writings, Writings by others, Class registers, Services, Photographic material, Audiovisual material, and Artifacts.

Williams’ original folder titles have been preserved. Information in brackets was added to facilitate access.


Access Restrictions

Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details.

Usage Restrictions

Student work with grade information and class registers are restricted for eighty years after the date of creation. Access to reel-to-reel tape is restricted due to lack of playback equipment.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Williams, Prescott H., 1924-
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary--Faculty.
Lecture notes.

Related collections:

The David L. Stitt and Prescott H. Williams, Jr. correspondence collection, and the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary records at the Austin Seminary Archives, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Prescott Harrison Williams, Jr. papers, 1949-2002, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Detailed Description of the Collection

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary:

D026 Administrative material:
Faculty Seminar papers, 1959-1965, and undated
Presidency – Study of, [contains material from Williams’ inauguration and the search for an APTS president to replace him],1963-1976, and undated
[Stuart] Currie Memorial,1968-1980
EDJ & PHWj 3-8 --- 1976 [Edward Dixon Junkin and Prescott Harrison Williams; includes administrative correspondence], 1975-1976, and undated
Commencement [includes documentation of commencements from 1979, 1986, 1989, and 1990],1986, 1979-1990
Ritschl Books [collected reminiscences for festschrift honoring Dietrich Ritschl], 1983, 1993-1994
Bob Shelton, 1986-1997, and undated
[Houston Extension Program], 1991
1970s Reunion [for alumni of APTS], 1992, and undated
Dean’s Office, 1998-1999
Faculty files:
Alsup, John E. [course syllabi, correspondence],1975-1998, and undated
D027 Dearman, [John Andrew] Andy [course syllabi, correspondence, publications, faculty review]1984-1996, and undated
Dietrich Ritschl’s 65th, Letters, Lists [correspondence],1980-2006
Dunn, Ross [memorial service material, course syllabi],1978-1980, and undated
Fogleman, William J. [correspondence],1964-1981, and undated
Heyer, George S. [correspondence, inauguration materials],1979-1988, 2002, and undated
Jansen, John F. [course syllabi, correspondence],1976-1987, 2000
Klemt, Cal C. [details on memorial service],1976-1979, 1988-1993
March, W. Eugene [writings, correspondence],1976-1995, and undated
D029 McIntosh, Ian F. [correspondence with Ian and wife, Jenny],1966-1980, 1993-1995
Underwood, Ralph L. [course syllabi, correspondence],1978-1998, and undated
Presidential inauguration:
Inauguration, P.H.W., Jr. [includes memos],1972
Congratulations – Friends,1968-1973, and undated
Congratulations – Others,1972 and undated
Student art:
Faculty spoof yearbook page by Ian and Jenny McIntosh,1960
FF7 “Good Ol’ P.W.” [Peanuts cartoon spoof by Mary E. Gaines],undated

Course materials:

D029 Binders:
Genesis 1:1-2:3 & P,1949-1981, and undated
Jonah,1972-1992, and undated
D030 Isaiah 1-39, Fall ’88,1953-1954, 1980-1998, and undated
Micah DSP Jan 1990,1978-1996, and undated
Isa[iah] 40-66 1995,1974-1995, and undated
Servant [Isaiah],1949-1955, 1968-1984, and undated
Habbakkuk,1979-1992, and undated
Isa[iah] 49-55,1955-1959, 1969-1975, and undated
D031 Isaiah 40-66,1955, 1977-1993, and undated
Genesis,1949, 1962-1993, and undated
Gen[esis] 1-11,1954, 1978-1993, and undated
O[ld] T[estament] Introd[uctio]n Fall 1989,1949, 1962-1990, and undated
Gen[esis] 10-12,1949, 1962-1989, and undated
D032 Ruth MT/LXX,1976-1983, 1994, and undated
Gn [Genesis] 2:4-4:26 & J,1949, 1970-1982, and undated
[Text of Ancient Scrolls],1978-2001, and undated
[Bi] 118,1989-1996, and undated
Bi 171 Fall ’88 1 K[ings] 17-22,1960, 1976, 1988, and undated
Jeremiah 34-45,undated
1 Samuel,1978-1997, and undated
D033 2 Samuel,1963, 1980-1997, and undated
Deuteronomy,1968-2000, and undated
Hist[ory]-Arch[aeolog]y,1961-1981, and undated
Bi 118 1988 – Jeremiah Lectures,1975-1988, and undated
History,1954-1965, and undated
Arch[aeology],1951-1967, and undated
[Bi 112 – Introduction to Exegetical Skills],1967-1982, and undated
D034 Bi 118 1986,1979-1991, and undated
Jeremiah 1-33,1968-1990, and undated
Jeremiah 46-52,1981-1988, and undated
Jer[emiah] 1, 7, 36,1968, 1979-1998, and undated
Jeremiah & Davidic Messianism,1981, and undated
Jeremiah “C”,1968, 1981, and undated
Kings,1960-1976, and undated
Psalms,1960-1990, and undated
D036 Isa[iah] 56-66,1971-1993, and undated
Jeremiah,1960-1981, and undated
Jeremiah 2,1966, 1977-1981, and undated
Eschatologies Isa[iah] 1-66, Jer[emiah], Ezek[iel], O[ld] T[estament],1983-1984, and undated
I. 316 S[enio]r Reflections: Chr[istia]n Ministry Fall ’92-‘93,1988-1993, and undated
I. 316 Readings – Masters 1988 Fall,1988, and undated
I. 316 Refl[ectio]ns Fall ’88,1980-1988, and undated
I. 316 Spring 1988,1980-1988, and undated
D037 I. 316 Credos (Past 87 & Earlier),1981-1991
I. 316 Reflections, Spring 1986?,1974-1986, and undated
I. 319 Refl[ectio]ns. Spring ’89,1989 and undated
Bi. 218 – Data of Bible ’77,1973-1977
Bi. 309 Formation of Scripture Fall 1978,1978-1979
“Formation” Handouts,undated
“Formation” Bibliogs,1978-1980, and undated
Formation of Scripture Syllabi – Copies,1978 and undated
Hebrew 302, 60-61—63,1960-1963, and undated
Greek, New Testament, Teaching-Summer 1961,1961, and undated
Greek 317-318,1961, and undated
Summer Hebrew 1963, 1960, 60-61, UTS 64,1960-1964, and undated
Hebrew 301, 60-61-64/65-66,1960-1966, and undated
Hebrew 306a-b, Summer 1968,1967-1968
D038 University of Texas at Austin Archaeology 305 course packet,undated
[Assorted syllabi],1960, 1988-1990, and undated
[Assorted course materials],1966, 1980-1991, and undated
[Assorted material about archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls; includes several book reviews],1959-2000, and undated

Workshop and seminar materials:

D038 Worship & Music Workshop Mo-Ranch 1975,1968-1983, and undated
Formation/Canon for Laity ‘79,1978-1979
COSTS [Council of Southwestern Theological Schools] Planning Seminar Fall ’78,1977-1978, and undated
Feb. 9, 1979 – Sanders, COSTS – “Canon” [COSTS Seminar with James A. Sanders on the Biblical Canon],1977-1979
[Mission Presbytery: Commissioned Lay Minister Program],1992
D039 What the Qumran Scrolls Teach Us about the Hebrew Bible, Early Judaism and Early Christianity [includes unidentified student? notes],2001-2003, and undated

Brazos Presbytery committee work:

D039 Brazos Charismatic Committee [Ad Hoc Committee on the Charismatic Movement],1974-1976, and undated


D039 [Personal],1976-1996, 2002, and undated
[Administrative],1975-1991, and undated
Congratulations [includes material regarding Williams’ resignation as APTS President],1964-1976
“Brack[enridge Hospital]” Chaplaincy,1980-1981, and undated
C111 Photographs, separated from correspondence

Williams’ work as student:

D039 Course notes:
Wheaton College,1943-1944
D040 Johns Hopkins University:
Comparative Semitic Grammar,1956-1957
Hebrew Grammar,1958-1959
Bible Doctrines/Ethnology,undated
Dissertation: Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs:
TTP [Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs],1959-1960
Dissertation (copy),1960

Biographical information:

D040 General [includes essay describing Williams’ arrival at APTS and his work through 1968], 1976, and undated
Clippings, 1972, and undated

Williams’ writings:

D040 Writings, 1984-1985, and undated

Writings by others:

D040 Austin Seminary Bulletin, God’s Steadfast Love, A Festschrift in Honor of Prescott Harrison Williams, Jr., 1990
[Assorted writings by others], 1962-1990, and undated

Class registers [restricted; contain student grade information]:

B110 1960-1962


D036 [General],1972
St. Francis’ Prayer,1982, 2001, and undated

Photographic material:

D025 Photographs:
[APTS campus after snow], 1963
[People, includes Walter Crofton, Jack Maxwell, Prescott Williams, William McLean, R. Hollingsworth, Edward Junkin, B. W. Trull, and David Stitt], 1976
[Ordination exam workshop],1988
[Faculty retreat], 1988
[McCord Community Center groundbreaking], 1994
C111 Slides:
[Architects’ drawing of Stitt Library expansion], 1975
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary campus in snow, 1973
Christmas party, 1973
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary football,1973
Ida Forbes’ 50th birthday party, 1973

Audiovisual material:

C016 Video cassettes:
Prescott H. Williams, Jr., Interviewed by Austin Faith Dialogue; July 22, 1990
Interview of Prescott H. Williams, Jr.; July 27, 2001 [for APTS Centennial]
D016b Audio Cassette:
Inauguration PHWilliams as Pres[ident] at APTS, 1972
C161c Unidentified reel-to-reel


I002 CL Patron stole ca. 1972