Beacon Street Diary

February 8, 2017

Due to the impending severe snowstorm, our reading room will be closed on Thursday, February 9th.

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 Friday, February 10th.

We hope all of our local patrons are safe and warm.

 


snowflake ornament image courtesy of Petr Kratochvil via Wikimedia Commons

February 1, 2017

We are pleased to announce the the availability of three new collections in our New England's Hidden Histories program. Although they come from some of the oldest churches in Massachusetts, their earliest records have been lost. Our hope is that this program and others like it will help prevent further such losses, as well as making the information contained in these manuscripts available and accessible to all who might want them.

 

Ipswich, Mass. First Parish

This collection contains the earliest surviving records from First Parish in Ipswich, Mass. The church was originally formed and built its first meetinghouse in 1634 after the town was incorporated. The three volumes available here include records pertaining to the church and its surrounding parish on subjects such as administrative and financial matters, membership information, and singing as part of worship.

Read more in the finding guide or go directly to the collection page.

 

Ipswich, Mass. South Parish

These are the records from the South Parish in Ipswich, Mass. The congregation separated from First Church in 1747 and remained its own entity for 175 years until 1922 when the two rejoined. The two volumes contain records concerning both the church and its surrounding parish, including matters of administration, finance, and membership, as well as a brief history of the church.

Take a look at the finding guide or go right to the digital collection page.

 

Newton, Mass. First Church (digitized)

First Church in Newton, Mass. was originally established as the First Church of Cambridge Village in 1664. The village seceded to become the city of Newton in 1688. The CLA received all of Newton First Church's historical records when the church closed in 1972, but now some of the earliest books in that collection are part of our New England's Hidden Histories program. These two volumes contain the earliest surviving records relating to church administration, membership, and finances.

See where these materials fit into the larger collection on the archival finding guide or go straight to the collection page and start reading.

 

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.

January 13, 2017

The Congregational Library & Archives will be closed on Monday, January 16th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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

 

January 4, 2017

The South Congregational Church was established in 1868; it was a formalization of what M. C. Andrews and J. B. Fairfield started in 1852 when they established a Sunday School. Over the years, the church went through many changes before closing in February 2015. This collection contains meeting minutes and reports; financials; membership ledgers including births, deaths, and marriages; social and auxiliary groups; newsletters; and orders of worship.

As we are transitioning to a new publication system for our finding aids, detailed information about this collection is temporarily only available in PDF format. Basic information can be found the collection's catalog record.

 


photograph of South Congregational Church in Lawrence, Mass. courtesy of Benoît Prieur via Wikimedia Commons

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

Free.
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.

November 29, 2016

As we approach the end of the year, we reflect on our blessings with our families and prepare for the upcoming holidays. Here at the Congregational Library & Archives, we hope that you will keep us in your thoughts, as well.

About #GivingTuesday:

#GivingTuesday is a movement, built by people around the world, to celebrate giving of all kinds. It is celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.), Black Friday and Cyber Monday; this year it falls on November 29, 2016. This movement is the result of the collective power of a unique blend of partners — nonprofits large and small; businesses and corporations; schools and universities; civic campaigns in cities, states and regions; and families and individuals — to inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities and contribute in countless ways to the causes they believe in. Everyone has something to give.

We encourage you to take the opportunity of Giving Tuesday to allocate your charitable giving, and we hope that you will make us a part of that. Our memberships are as little as $25 for students, and every donation is appreciated, no matter how small.

Your support allows us to provide services to researchers of all backgrounds, care for rare and unique historical materials, and increase public access to information that might otherwise be hidden from the world. Help us tell the stories of early New England and its people. Help us preserve our past for future generations. Be a part of our ongoing mission to ensure that history matters.

Whether you become a member or simply make a donation, we will put every contribution to good use.

Pages