ELLIOTT, LESLIE ROBINSON
ELLIOTT, LESLIE ROBINSON (1886–1966). Leslie Robinson Elliott, theological librarian, was born in Rosetta, Henderson County, Illinois, on September 30, 1886, the oldest son of Judson Andrew and Minnie Hortense (Robinson) Elliott. He moved with his family in 1897 to the Salt River valley of Arizona and attended high school in Phoenix. Following in his father's footsteps, he decided to become a Baptist minister and returned to the Midwest for his college and seminary education. He graduated from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri (B.A., 1910), and attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, from 1910 to 1912, when illness compelled him to withdraw. He later completed his education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth (Th.M., 1921; Th.D., 1925). After he was ordained by the Immanuel Baptist Church of Louisville, Kentucky, in 1911, he served as pastor of churches in Butler, Missouri (1912–15), Denver, Colorado (1915–17), and Del Rey, California (1917–19). He married Mary Ethelyn Shearer of Unionville, Missouri, on May 31, 1911.
In 1919, when Elliott resumed his studies at Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, he intended to complete the basic theological degree as quickly as possible and enter the full-time ministry. Circumstances changed his course, however, and he remained in Fort Worth the rest of his life. Shortly after enrolling, he began working as an assistant in the seminary library. In 1922 he was appointed librarian and thus became one of the first full-time Protestant theological librarians in Texas. He served until his retirement in 1957 and developed at Southwestern an important theological library. Furthermore, he promoted a theory of the educational function of the library as a true partner with the classroom and made the seminary library a heavily used resource. He also taught New Testament Greek at the seminary (1925–42) and served as registrar from 1937 through 1943. Elliott's published writings include A Comparative Lexicon of New Testament Greek (1945) and Syntax in Diagram (1950). He edited Centennial Story of Texas Baptists (1936) and contributed to the Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists (1958).
He often felt isolated from the major theological libraries in the eastern and midwestern sections of the nation. His need for a closer professional relationship with other theological librarians led him to help in the establishment of the American Theological Library Association (1947). He served as president of that organization for the first two terms (1947–49), and in 1955 he represented it in the formation of the International Association of Theological Libraries in Brussels, Belgium. In 1957–58 Elliott served as acting librarian for the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. Also in 1957, William Jewell College awarded him an honorary doctorate.
On March 29, 1963, Elliott received a special citation at the fiftieth annual meeting of the Texas Library Association in recognition of his contributions to professional librarianship and his work as a trustee of the Fort Worth Public Library. He died in Fort Worth on May 2, 1966.
Stanley H. Benson, Leslie Robinson Elliott: His Contributions to Theological Librarianship (M.L.S. thesis, University of Texas, 1965).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Stanley Hugh Benson, "ELLIOTT, LESLIE ROBINSON," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fel21), accessed April 24, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.