About the Collection

The Congregational Library holds some 225,000 items, both archival and published, covering Congregational Christian history and a broad array of related topics.

Our rare book section includes an unusually rich and complete representation of English and first-generation Puritan works, including an original copy of the Cambridge Platform of 1649. The Library’s archive of colonial-era church records is also extensive, containing many sets of seventeenth-century documents as well as full collections from large and historically significant modern churches like Boston’s Old South, established in 1669, and Park Street Church, formed in 1809. Many are available in digital form as part of our Hidden Histories collections, and accessible on our website.

The Congregational Library also has a large sermon collection, some 15,000 individual pieces, covering the period from the late 1600s to the twentieth century, in both manuscript and printed form.

As the designated archive of the Congregational Christian churches (up through 1957), the Library holds all the major institutional records of the denomination, as well as some 1500 different periodicals representing its longstanding interest in social reform, missionary work, and education. The Congregational Library also holds rare newspapers from the Christian Connection, a denomination that merged with the Congregational churches in 1931.