Beacon Street Diary

August 2, 2006

Today we added the 30,000th record to our online catalog. Click on Online Catalog on our website. We are very excited to have reached this number in a little over a year since we started our catalog automation. We've been fortunate to have our staff who have worked on records daily as well as a part time cataloger and several student interns. Our archivist has cataloged all our manuscript collections and has included links to Finding Aids where electronic copies are available. She continues to add photos, sketches, post cards, and other pictorial items from our image collection. Many sermon and pamphlet records can be accessed. Most of the materials about Boston churches, Congregational and other, is now cataloged.

July 26, 2006

CFTS logoIn a couple of weeks we will again welcome the NACCC-CFTS Seminar to the Congregational Library. The Rev. Dr. Donald P. Olsen with his students will be in Boston from August 13-18. It is our pleasure to host this seminar each year and provide seminar space and library facilities to these students and faculty. Our friends and ACA Board members Rev. Arvel M. Steece and Rev. Steven A. Peay continue to teach and lead in this seminar. For additional information see: A Congregational History and Polity Seminar.

July 21, 2006

Here are a couple of new books just added to the collection: The Princeton Companion to Jonathan Edwards and A Looking-Glass for Ladies: American Protestant Women and the Orient in the Nineteenth Century. We've linked them to descriptions on Barnes and Noble for you. If you'd like to borrow one of these or another title found in our online catalog, call us at 617-523-0470 or email us:

Edwards Looking_glass

Happy Reading!

July 19, 2006

ordination of the first American Board missionariesStop in soon to see our new exhibits in honor of the upcoming Haystack Bicentennial Celebration in September. One of our Simmons student interns, Sandy Nawrocki, has created two displays featuring photos, articles, memorabilia, and books on the history of Haystack and the missions. For information on the Bicentennial Celebration see the Williams College website.

July 5, 2006

If you have a chance to see a copy, the Library is featured in the New England Archivists newsletter with a picture on the front cover of the Reading Room from 1898 and an article by Jess and Claudette on page 24. The article describes our catalog automation project.

June 9, 2006

This summer we are fortunate have three students from the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science volunteering at the library. They are cataloging, answering reference questions, covering the circulation desk, shelf reading, creating displays, word processing, assisting with programs, and working on assigned projects.Two of the students recently started the program. Pete is a former editorial assistant and has his undergraduate degree in Psychology. Pete also works part-time for the Boston Public Library.

Sandy is the co-owner of a back products store and an active member of the Acton Congregational Church. Sandy has also volunteered at her son's high school library.

Martha will be finishing her course work in December. She was a Classics major and currently works for an academic publishing company.  Martha previously worked at the Peabody Essex Museum and the Witch House in Salem.

We are blessed to have these talented and motivated students assisting us.

June 8, 2006

The archive recently acquired a new small collection from Peter D. Hanson of Vermont. Thank you to Peter for donating a fascinating set of letters that focus on the murder of a missionary, Justin W Parsons, stationed in Turkey in the 1870s until his untimely end in the summer of 1880. This collection was originally Isaac Jennings pastor at Old Bennington, Vermont.

The collection includes 13 letters, the earliest of which is from the lamented Justin Parsons. The letters continue on, sent to Jennings or his wife, Sophia. There are 3 missives from the Department of State, a few published documents from the American Board, and a newspaper story covering the circumstances.

To find out more, please visit us and study the sordid details.

June 5, 2006

It's now a few days away from our Research 101 registration deadline (June 9) and we only have one spot left. We are planning to have an encore seminar on June 28th if we do get more registrants beyond the cut off. Please contact us if you have any questions.

June 2, 2006

Our mailing for the Research 101 has reached our audience and within the past few days, we have gotten close to selling out all our spots. I expect by Monday we will have a full docket. Peggy, Claudette, and I planning for having a second one within the next month or two if we have as strong a demand as this week has indicated.

If you were interested in participating in this program, send your registration today: first come, first served.


May 16, 2006

If you missed the meeting in Concord, NH, here are the Fagley award winners for this year.

Established in 1965, this Society’s Frederick L. Fagley Awards are given each year to anniversary churches which, in the opinion of the awards committee, create superior programs, printed historical materials, and/or anniversary projects. Qualifying churches are divided into two classes: those with 350 or more members and those with under that number.