Beacon Street Diary

Archives: December 2016

December 28, 2016

Due to a local utility outage, the CLA has closed early today at 11:30 am.

We expect the problem to be resolved by tomorrow morning and will reopen then as usual.

All of our online resources will remain available. If you have a question you'd like to ask the staff, send an us email or leave a voicemail, and we'll get back to you when we return to the office. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

December 23, 2016

The Congregational Library & Archives will be closed this coming Monday, December 26th, to allow our staff to return from their Christmas weekend travels.

All of our online resources will be available as usual. If you have a question you'd like to ask the staff, send an us email or leave a voicemail, and we'll get back to you when we return to the office on Tuesday, December 27th.

We wish all of you a safe and happy holiday.


photograph of a red Christmas bauble on blurred golden background courtesy of Petr Kratochvil via Wikimedia Commons

December 9, 2016

We are pleased to announce the latest additions to our New England's Hidden Histories program. All three happen to be from churches that are now known by names that are different from the ones they chose when they were founded.

  • Boston, Mass. Old South Church
    Most people know the Third Church of Boston better as "Old South", either from the meetinghouse that is now a historical landmark or from the current home of the congregation in the Back Bay neighborhood. We have digitized some of their early records, which contain administrative information, as well as lists of members, marriages, and baptisms. One of the more prominent figures to appear in these records is Benjamin Franklin, who was baptized in 1706.
  • Northbridge, Mass. Centre Congregational Church
    Dating from when it was called the Congregational Church of Christ, the early records of this church span more than fifty years of church meetings, memberships, baptism and marriage records, and disciplinary matters.
  • Reading, Mass. Second Church of Christ
    This single volume covers more than eighty years of church history from before it became the First Church of North Reading when the new town was established. Included are vital records of membership, baptisms, marriages, and disciplinary matters, as well as meeting minutes and the church's covenants.


Special Thanks

These digital resources have been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

December 5, 2016

Join us for a concert by Renaissonics, accompanied by The Gropina Trio.

Renaissonics' newest program, Such Stuff As Dreams, is an enchanting voyage though the Renaissance imagination where the fantasies and genius of the age of Leonardo, Galileo and Shakespeare come alive through their music.

Such Stuff As Dreams features Renaissance and early Baroque chamber music, dance music, and improvisations. Music from Shakespeare, elegant Italian madrigals and dances, early Baroque sonatas, English masque music, and of course Renaissonics' acclaimed improvisations.

Renaissance music's expressive freedom derives partly from the music's being written completely without barlines. This allows each player the freedom to "speak" with their instruments like a storyteller; a true musical democracy where each voice is equal and free to tell their own individual story all the while intertwining with the other voices in a lush tapestry of sounds that are at once endlessly complex and stunningly beautiful. You can listen to samples of their music on their website.

Tuesday, December 6th
12:00 - 1:30 pm

Register through Eventbrite.


photograph of Renaissonics by Susan Wilson

December 2, 2016

Our reading room will be closed to the public on Monday, December 5th for our board's quarterly meeting.

All of our online resources will be available as usual, and staff members will be in the office to answer questions over the phone or by email.