Questions and Answers
About the Ellen G. White® Estate, Inc.
of the White Estate
Organization of the Estate
Relationship to the General Conference
The Work of the White Estate
Ellen G. White Estate Branch Offices and Research Centers
Use of Ellen G. White Manuscript Materials
Officers of the White Estate Board
How to Contact the Ellen G. White Estate Main Office
How To Contact the Ellen G. White Estate Branch Offices
How to Contact the Ellen G. White Estate Worldwide Research Centers
[Material adapted slightly from the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, second revised edition (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996), vol. A-L, pp. 503-506.]
The Ellen G. White® Estate, Incorporated, is an organization created by the last will and testament of Ellen G. White to act as her agent in the custody of her writings, handling her properties, "conducting the business thereof," "securing the printing of new translations," and the "printing of compilations from my manuscripts." Her will, dated Feb. 9, 1912 (printed in its entirety as Appendix N in Messenger of the Lord, by Herbert E. Douglass) named five church leaders to serve as a board of trustees: Arthur G. Daniells, president of the General Conference; William C. White, her son; Clarence C. Crisler, a secretary; Charles H. Jones, manager of the Pacific Press; and Francis M. Wilcox, editor of the Review and Herald. Four of the five were members of the Executive Committee of the General Conference.
Appointment of the trustees was for life, Ellen White providing that "if a vacancy shall occur for any reason among said trustees, or their successors, a majority of the surviving or remaining trustees are hereby empowered and directed to fill such vacancy by the appointment of some other fit person"; or if this provision were to fail, the General Conference Executive Committee should appoint someone to fill such a vacancy. The will dedicated the major portion of the existing and potential royalty incomes from her books to the work of the trustees. (For additional information, see Appendix B, "The Settlement of Ellen G. White's Estate," in volume 6 of A. L. White's biography of Ellen White, Ellen G. White: The Later Elmshaven Years.)
At the death of Ellen White, July 16, 1915, this self-perpetuating board began to function. It soon sold Ellen White's real estate, consisting mainly of Elmshaven, her home property near St. Helena, California, then began the continued care of her literary properties. Under the terms of the will, such responsibilities fell into three areas: (1) possession of the copyrights to her writings and the care and promotion of her books in the English language; (2) preparation of manuscripts for, and the promotion of the translation and publication of her writings in other languages; and (3) custody of the files of manuscripts and other files, and the selection of matter from the Ellen G. White manuscript files for publication. The board now carries a fourth responsibility, which has developed naturally through the years--acquainting Seventh-day Adventists and others with Mrs. White and her work.
of the Estate.
During the 19 years they worked together, the original members, in addition to routine tasks, (1) published 10 posthumous compilations (for an annotated bibliography of the Ellen G. White books, see White, Ellen G., Writings of, and Appendix D in the Comprehensive Index to the Writings of Ellen G. White); (2) produced an 865-page Comprehensive Index to the Writings of Ellen G. White, published in 1926; (3) carried forward the thorough indexing of the Ellen G. White manuscript files; and (4) in counsel with the leading officers of the General Conference in 1933 and 1934, laid the foundation for continuing the trusteeship in perpetuity. The steps taken to ensure the perpetuation of the trusteeship were: (a) in 1933 the trustees, as the constituency, formed a corporation under the laws of the state of California "to carry out and perform the provisions of the charitable trust created by the last will and testament of Ellen G. White deceased"; (b) the General Conference agreed to provide adequate financial support for the work of the trustees in the form of an annual budget; the trustees, in turn, assigned to the General Conference all royalty incomes produced by the Ellen G. White books; (c) it was agreed to move the property and work of the trustees at some appropriate future time to Washington, D.C., thus placing it close to the world headquarters of the church.
Period of Transition: When three of the original trustees died--one in 1935 and two in 1936--the vacancies were filled in harmony with the provisions of the will and the bylaws of the 1933 corporation. The full-time secretary, W. C. White, died on Sept. 1, 1937. He was replaced by his son, Arthur L. White, who for nine years had served as his secretary and for four years as assistant secretary of the White Estate. The work of the White Estate was moved to the General Conference, Washington, D.C., in January, 1938.
Present Organization: With the demands upon them increasing steadily with the growth of the church and numerous constituencies to be represented, in 1950 the trustees increased the board's membership from five to seven, and in 1958 amended the bylaws of the corporation to provide for a constituency and board of nine, seven to be life members and two to be elected for a term corresponding to that of General Conference elected personnel (originally four years, but now five). In 1970 the board was increased to 11; in 1980, to 13; and, in 1985, to 15. The number of life members is currently five. At quinquennial meetings the board also elects the secretary and associate secretaries, as well as officers of the corporation, as provided for in the bylaws.
Relationship to General Conference. Through the years a close working relationship has obtained between the White Estate trustees and the General Conference. Most of the trustees are members of the General Conference Executive Committee. Various matters, such as promoting the overseas publication of the Ellen G. White material, appropriation of funds to assist in the foreign language publication of Ellen G. White books, and overall planning of Spirit of Prophecy promotion, including preparation of materials for the annual Spirit of Prophecy Sabbath, although intimately related to the work of the White trustees, are beyond the sphere of their direct responsibility. These are handled by the General Conference Committee through a sub-committee known as the Spirit of Prophecy Committee. This committee includes several of the White trustees. The duties of this subcommittee and the working relationship between the General Conference Committee and the White Estate are currently set forth in a joint agreement adopted by the General Conference Committee and the White Estate trustees on Oct. 10, 1957. There is an interlocking and at times overlapping of responsibilities; nevertheless, a smooth and efficient working relationship between the two organizations is maintained.
Work of the White Estate.
Productions of special value to the church include the four-volume Comprehensive Index to the Writings of Ellen G. White (1962, 1992); the six-volume facsimile reprints of the Ellen G. White Present Truth and Review and Herald articles; the four-volume Ellen G. White Signs of the Times articles; the Ellen G. White Youth's Instructor articles; the Periodical Resource Collection volumes; the six-volume biography of Ellen G. White, by A. L. White; and The Published Writings of Ellen G. White on Compact Disc (CD-ROM), a tool of inestimable value to users of computers.
Ellen G. White Estate Branch Offices and Research Centers. The White Estate maintains three branch office research centers--at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, at Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, and at Oakwood College, Huntsville, Alabama. These offices contain duplicates of the Ellen G. White documents and other historical materials housed in the main office at General Conference headquarters. Beginning in 1974, the White Estate also has set up Ellen G. White-SDA Research Centers on the campuses of 14 Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities outside North America, in the countries of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, England, France, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, and South Africa.
Use of Ellen G. WhiteManuscript Materials. During the later years of her life, Ellen G. White often drew upon her unique 50,000-page manuscript file in the preparation of published works. The White trustees have continued to draw upon this for the compilations made since her death. These manuscripts constitute an invaluable basic file of historical records and of counsel to the church. The copyright of these manuscripts resides solely with the White trustees.
While all of Ellen White's writings are available for research, the unpublished letters, manuscripts, and other materials in the Ellen G. White files do not constitute a public archive. The sacred nature of the files generally and the confidential nature of many of the communications in the files require that they be cared for and used responsibly. Even manuscripts whose primary value is historical in nature must not be used in a solely secular manner. "Spiritual things are spiritually discerned" (The Desire of Ages, p. 55; see also 1 Cor. 2:14). Because of this, during the first few decades following Ellen White's death, careful policies governing the use and release of unpublished materials were set up, ultimately resulting in the publication of 21 volumes known as Manuscript Releases. In recent years the earlier restrictive policies have been adapted to accommodate the needs of increased research.
Officers of the White Estate Board. The two chief officers of the board are the chair and the secretary. The secretary serves not only as secretary of the board but as president of the organization, and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the office and staff. Beginning in 1915, when the terms of Ellen G. White's will went into effect, the White Estate has had 10 chairs and six secretaries.
Chairs: A. G. Daniells, 1915; F. M. Wilcox, 1915-1922; A. G. Daniells, 1922-1935; J. E. Fulton, 1935-1936; J. L. Shaw, 1936-1937; F. M. Wilcox, 1938-1944; M. E. Kern, 1944-1951; D. E. Rebok, 1952; A. V. Olson, 1952-1963; F. D. Nichol 1963-1966; W. P. Bradley, 1966-1980; Kenneth H. Wood, 1980- .
Secretaries: Clarence C. Crisler, 1915-1917; William C. White, 1917-1937; Arthur L. White, 1937-1978; Robert W. Olson, 1978-1990; Paul A. Gordon, 1990-1995; Juan Carlos Viera, 1995-2000; James R. Nix, 2000- .
How to Contact the Ellen G. White Estate Main Office:
Ellen G. White Estate
United States of America Michigan Ellen G. White Estate Branch Office Center for Adventist Research Andrews University Berrien Springs, MI 49104-1400 Director: Merlin Burt Phone: 269 471-3209 FAX: 269 471-2646 E-mail: email@example.com California Ellen G. White Estate Branch Office Loma Linda University Library Loma Linda, CA 92350 Assoc. Director: Michael Campbell Phone: 909 558-4942 FAX: 909 558-0381 E-mail: WhiteEstate@llu.edu Alabama Ellen G. White Estate Branch Office Oakwood College 7000 Adventist Boulevard Huntsville, AL 35896 Director: Jonathan Thompson Phone: 256 726-8423 FAX: 256 726-8424 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Argentina Ellen G. White Research Center Universidad Adventista del Plata 3103 Villa Libertador San Martin Entre Rios, Argentina Director: Dr. Daniel Plenc Phone: (54) 343-491-0010 ext. 1450 or 1452 FAX: (54) 343-491-0300 E-mail: email@example.com Web site: http://centrowhite.uapar.edu Australia Ellen G. White Research Center Avondale College, Box 19 Cooranbong, NSW 2265 Australia Director: John Skrzypaszek Phone: 61 2 4980 2138 FAX: 61 2 4980 2137 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Brazil Ellen G. White Research Center Centro Universitário Adventista - Campus 2 Caixa Postal 11 13165-970 Engenheiro Coelho, SP Brazil Director: Dr. Alberto R. Timm Phone: 55 (19) 3858-9033 FAX: 55 (19) 3858-9025 E-mail: email@example.com Web site: http://www.centrowhite.org.br/ England Ellen G. White Research Center Newbold College Bracknell, Berks. RG42 4AN England Director: Radisa Antic Phone: 44 (1344) 407448 FAX: 44 (1344) 484993 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org France Ellen G. White Research Center Campus Adventiste du Saleve BP 74 74165 Collonges-sous-Saleve France Director: Jean-Luc Rolland Phone: 33 450 876809 Fax: 33 450 436580 E-mail: email@example.com Web site: http://crew.hautetfort.com/ India Ellen G. White Research Center Spicer Memorial College Aundh Road, Ganeshkhind Post Poone 411007 India Director: Mohanraj Israel Phone: 91 (20) 5690381 FAX: 91 (20) 5698418 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Jamaica Ellen G. White Research Center Northern Caribbean University Mandeville, Jamaica Director: Basil A. Reid Phone: 876 523-2446 E-mail: email@example.com Web site: http://egw-sdaresearch.ncu.edu.jm Kenya Ellen G. White Research Center University of Eastern Africa, Baraton P. O. Box 2500 Eldoret Kenya, East Africa Director: Phone: (254) 053 52625 FAX: (254) 053 52263 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Korea Ellen G. White Research Center Korean Sahmyook University Chung Ryang P.O. Box 118 Seoul 139-742 Korea Director: HanBong Hohn Phone: 82 (2) 3399 3136 or 82 (2) 3399 3436 FAX: N/A E-mail: email@example.com Web site: http://www.egw.or.kr Mexico Ellen G. White Research Center University of Montemorelos Apartado 16 Montemorelos, NL 67500 Mexico Director: Isidro Lopez Yanez Phone: 52 (826) 263 0900 FAX: 52 (826) 263 0901 Website: http://www.centrowhiteum.org.mx/ Nigeria Ellen G. White Research Center Babcock University Private Mail Bag 21244 Ikeja, Lagos State Nigeria, West Africa Director: Philemon O. Amanze Phone: 234-037-630148 or 149 or 432799 FAX: 234-037-630532 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Philippines Ellen G. White Research Center Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies P.O. Box 038, Silang 4118 Cavite Manila International Airport Philippines Director: Reuel U. Almocera Phone:  (46) 414-4314; 4315; 4300 FAX:  (46) 414-4310; 4320 E-mail: email@example.com Russia Ellen G. White Research Center Zaokski Theological Seminary Rudneva, 43-A, ZDA p. Zaokski, Tula Region 301000 Russian Federation Director: Vsevolod Andrusiak Phone: (7) 08734-22269 FAX: (7) 095-468-7463 (c/o Division office) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org South Africa Ellen G. White Research Center Helderberg College P.O. Box 22 Somerset West 7129, Cape South Africa Director: Dr. David Birkenstock Phone: 27 (021) 8551210 FAX: 27 (021) 8552917 E-mail: email@example.com United States Ellen G. White Research Center
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