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Dwight L. Moody

Dwight L. Moody

Dwight L. Moody was a 19th century evangelist and founder of the Moody Bible Institute. He is known for his campaigns in the United States and the British Isles with his singing partner Ira D. Sankey. Other organizations that he founded include Moody Church, the Bible Institute Colportage Association (now Moody Press), and the Northfield and Mount Hermon Schools near his home in Northfield, Massachusetts.

The D.L. Moody collection contains original and secondary resources including correspondence, sermon notes, and newspaper clippings from his campaigns. The collection also includes his published sermons and articles and books about his life and times.

More information about the D.L. Moody Collection including a finding aid and indexes can be found on the MBI Archive LibGuide



Over 1,000 of D.L. Moody’s handwritten letters dating between 1854 and 1899 have been collected along with photocopies of letters from other institutions’ collections. Moody wrote as he lived—with great haste, in bold strokes and without studied eloquence. Many of the letters have typewritten transcriptions filed with them as Moody's handwriting can be difficult to read.

The Archives holds a carefully compiled "Names-Place Index" to Moody's letters that will aid any researcher who is interested in the places from which Moody wrote and the persons to whom he wrote.


Sermon Envelopes

D.L. Moody's method of sermon preparation, while not keeping with standard homiletic practice, worked well for him. To prepare for a sermon he would gather all of his material on a particular text or subject and stuff it into a 'Sermon Envelope' which measured about six by nine inches. Since he regularly preached the same sermons as he traveled, with his Sermon Envelopes at his side, he could update the sermons by adding to the envelopes any new material that he had collected.

Also of great help was his practice of writing the place and date on the Sermon Envelope each time he would preach the sermon. It is not unusual to find an envelope with a dozen place-time notations written on it. This habit has provided a large set of documents that chronicle when, where, and what Mr. Moody preached. The Archives has 14 original envelopes and over 200 photocopies from the Yale University Archives.


Newspaper Clippings

Contemporary newspaper accounts of D.L. Moody's campaigns provide valuable information on his many revivals. The Moody Collection contains accounts of his 1873-1879 campaigns in the British Isles, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, and St. Louis.

Also collected over the years are various magazine and newspaper articles of a biographical and historical nature. While some of these are photocopies, many are clippings from the original newspaper articles. General articles have been categorized by periodical title and place of publication. Other articles have been put in chronological order or by subject, e.g. sermons and obituaries.



Click the link to listen to one of the few known recordings of D.L. Moody speaking.

D.L. Moody reads the Beatitudes.