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Ken Henke, Curator of Special Collections and Archivist, retires

Oct 25, 2019

This year, fall has brought with it the retirement of Kenneth Woodrow Henke from his post as Curator of Special Collections and Archivist at Princeton Theological Seminary.

After completing college studies (and a year of volunteer service in India), Ken came to Princeton as a Seminary student, partially earning his way by running the Reigner Reading Room, then in the Christian Education Resource Center in Roberts Hall. He worked at the Quaker archives in Haverford, PA for a time after seminary and taught for a number of years at a Quaker school near Philadelphia. There, he was head of the Religion Department and coordinator of the Community Service program.

Princeton still held a strong pull, though, and Ken returned to take a job at the Princeton University store with encouragement from Dr. James Irvine, Associate and Reference Librarian at the time, that a position might open at the Seminary library "soon." Finally, something did open up, and Ken has been working at the library for the past 24 years - in Circulation and later Special Collections.

In 2004, Ken was serving as a Special Collections Assistant. Two years later, his title became Reference Archivist, and with the departure of Clifford Anderson in 2012, Ken became Curator of Special Collections and Archivist for the Seminary.

Over the years, he spent countless hours providing reference and other research assistance for students, faculty, scholars and other visitors from around the world; preparing and collaborating on exhibits of diaries, manuscripts, notebooks, hymnals, photographs, scrolls and tablets for classes and visitors; and giving many library and campus tours rich with Seminary history.

Wherever God takes him next, Ken's deepest desire is that in retirement he might serve in a place of need. We, who have known him and his work any of these many years, are certain he will indeed.

Thank you, Ken, and may God continue to bless you in that service.

The brief bibliography below gives just a taste of the thorough and thoughtful spirit Ken brings to everything he does.

Craig Barnes, President and Professor of Pastoral Ministry
Keri Day, Associate Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religion
Kenneth Henke
, Curator of Special Collections and Archivist
James Kay, Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Joe R. Engle Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics
Gordon Mikoski, Associate Professor of Christian Education
James Moorhead, Mary McIntosh Bridge Professor of American Church History Emeritus
Kermit Moss, Interim Director of the Center for Black Church Studies
Yolanda Pierce, Elmer G. Homrighausen Associate Professor of African American Religion and Literature
Anne Stewart, Associate Vice President for Communication and Deputy to the President

*Metzger, John Mackay. 2010. The Hand and the Road: The Life and Times of John A. Mackay. Louisville, Ky: Westminster John Knox Press.

Metzger's book
can be found here: BR1725.M24 M48 2010

Book reviews (not by Ken)

  1. Gros, Jeffrey. 2010. “The Hand and the Road: The Life and Times of John A. Mackay.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 45 (2): 332.
  2. Sinclair, John H. 2010. “The Hand and the Road: The Life and Times of John A. Mackay.” Theology Today 67 (2): 244.
Kenneth W. Henke, Curator of Special Collections and Archivist at Princeton Theological Seminary, shows visiting researchers some items from Special Collections, 2015