32.5 linear feet — 1 film — 1 optical discs (DVDs) — 1 digital files (streaming video file) — 113 GB (audiofiles, online)
The files of clergy are often narrow in scope encompassing only the activities of an individual within the setting of his/her own church. Henry Hitt Crane was more than the pastor of Central Methodist Church in Detroit. He was a nationally known speaker, eloquent in his advocacy of pacifism and civil rights. The Crane collection reflects the scope of his activities both within the churches he pastored, within the city of Detroit as an influential church leader, and nationally within larger Methodist circles and among other advocates of liberal causes similar to his own. Through his correspondence, articles, and published messages, we see Crane as representative of that class of nationally known clergymen, respected for their opinions, champion of progressive causes, and willing participants in the often contentious debates that followed World War I on matters of morality, politics, and social justice.
The Crane papers, with some exceptions, cover the period when Henry Hitt Crane first entered the ministry during the years of World War I and continuing past his retirement, until approximately 1964. There is decidedly less material from the years before his coming to Central Methodist Church in 1938; by far the largest bulk of documents date from 1938 to 1958 when Crane pastored this metropolitan church. The exceptions to the basic span dates of 1917 to 1958 are files collected by Crane of sermons, published pamphlets, and other materials of his father and uncle, also Methodist clergymen. There are also materials that date after 1958, mainly copies of messages received from other clergy with some correspondence.
The Crane papers have been maintained in the order as created by Crane and his secretarial staff at Central Methodist Church. The series in the collection are Correspondence, Subject Reference Files, Name Files, Sermon Files, Scrapbooks, Church Bulletins and Newsletters, Visual Materials, and Retirement Files.