This collection consists of the research collection McQueen built and used to write Black Churches in Texas. A Guide to Historic Congregations (Texas A&M University Press, 2000).
The contents consist mainly of "Texas County Historical Black Church" information sheets, each listed as an "inventory" in the finding guide, accompanied by related church history materials including church worship service programs, also called orders of worship; church homecoming and anniversary publications; handwritten and typed letters mostly regarding church history; newspaper clippings about historic congregations and members; notes about the history and location of churches and contact persons in congregations; business cards for contacts; published church histories; photocopies from published books about related counties, cities, and congregations; Texas county maps; color slides, photographic prints and negatives of church cornerstones, existing church buildings, Texas Historical Markers, and congregation members.
Also present are photocopies of newspaper clippings covering African American religious issues and manuscript drafts for McQueen's book, many of which are heavily annotated by McQueen.
The inventories and related church history materials were amassed by data collection teams organized by McQueen and also collected by McQueen himself. Norris Braly, a member of the Burleson County Historical Committee, documented the first church history in February 1988. McQueen documented the last congregation on August 24, 1997.
Most of the church worship service programs are laser printed. However, there are a few earlier documents that are photocopies of mimeographed sheets, and a few that were professionally printed. When the word "typed" is used to describe a church history, it means that the history was not professionally printed.
Variant congregation names exist within the documents (for example, Macedonia First Baptist Church and Macedonia Baptist Church). For the purpose of this finding guide, we have chosen to use the form of the congregation name given in Black Churches in Texas. Files exist within the collection for congregations that do not appear in Black Churches in Texas because exact organization dates could not be determined at the time of publication. Conversely, not every church listed in McQueen's book has a folder in the collection (for example Colored Methodist Episcopal Church of Sweeny in Brazoria County).
McQueen used different versions of the inventory form to document the churches. Though the information requested is the same, the format may differ. McQueen also copyrighted many of his slides, and so most of them bear handwritten copyright information.