Events

cover image for "Verily, Verily"
Monday, April 11, 2011
Speaker: Jon M. Sweeney

"Verily, Verily, I Say Unto You: Remember the Virtues of the King James Bible Lo These Last 400 Years"

Jon M. Sweeney, author of the just-published...

David Hall
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Speaker: David D. Hall

...
Karl Giberson
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Speaker: Karl Giberson

...
cover image for "Martyrs' Mirror"
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Speaker: Adrian Weimer

How did the New England Puritans think about themselves? Today many people remember them for intolerance -- for witch-burning and bloody conflicts with Native Americans. Yet, as Adrian Weimer...

cover image for "First Founders"
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Speaker: Francis J. Bremer

First Founders re-introduces us to the New England Puritans as surprisingly diverse and dynamic group of people. The keenly drawn portraits in Francis Bremer's new book include some...

Steve Courtney
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Speaker: Steve Courtney

...
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Speaker: Ken Minkema

Jonathan Edwards wrote some of the most brilliant books of his time — but the actual production of those books from start to finish was a huge achievement, too. How did an eighteenth-century...

cover image for "Mainline Christianity"
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Speaker: Jason Lantzer

Professor Jason Lantzer, author of "Mainline Christianity: The Past and Future of America's Majority Faith", will share his findings about the past, present, and future of Mainline Protestant...

Sunday, November 4, 2012
Speaker: Francis Bremer

The story of the controversy in Boston's First Church — and the formation of the Third (or Old South) Church in 1669 — is usually told as a clash of personalities, but noted historian Francis...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Speaker: Jessica Steytler

Our popular records management class is back! If you're in need of a little advice to help take care of your church's past, present, and future, we hope you'll be able to attend.

cover image for "The Indian Great Awakening"
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Speaker: Linford Fisher

Linford Fisher, Assistant Professor of History at Brown University, will talk about his research on colonial America, the Atlantic World, and American Indians done for his book, "The Indian Great...

cover image for "Towards World Heritage"
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Speaker: Melanie Hall

Professor Melanie Hall, Director of Museum Studies at Boston University, will speak on how her research at the Congregational Library contributes in her work and teaching. Her topic, Towards World...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Speaker: Richard Boles

"Early African Americans in Congregational, Reformed, and Presbyterian Churches" — Join scholar Richard Boles for a discussion of African American affiliation with northern churches during the...

Thursday, April 11, 2013
Speaker: Stephen Berry

"God and Eighteenth-Century Seafarers" — Join Dr. Stephen Berry for a look at the social and spiritual lives of trans-Atlantic travelers during the 1700s. Find out how they interacted, and how...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Speaker: Joy Howard

Join Joy Howard for a talk on the life story of Rebecca Kellogg, a young English girl who grew up to become an integral part of the Mohawk community in the early 18th century. She was an...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Speaker: Amy Voorhees

"Practice, Polity, Profession" — Join this year's ACA-Boston Athenaeum fellow, Dr. Amy Voorhees, for a discussion of her research about Mary Baker Eddy, her early life as a Congregationalist, and...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Speaker: Wilfred Holton

This summer, the much anticipated Puritan Path will be unveiled in the "other" Boston, that is, the U.K. town after which Boston, Massachusetts is named. Join Wilfred Holton, President of The...

portrait of Cotton Mather
Friday, October 18, 2013

Often caricatured or forgotten, Cotton Mather is one of the most misunderstood and fascinating figures in American history. To commemorate the 350th anniversary of his birth, the Congregational...

Michelle Marchetti Coughlin
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Speaker: Michelle Marchetti Coughlin

Join us for a discussion with Michelle Marchetti Coughlin, author of "One Colonial Woman's World". This book reconstructs the life of Mehetabel Chandler Coit, the author of what may be the...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Speaker: Peggy Bendroth

Join our resident historian, Peggy Bendroth, for a chat about the 1913 Kansas City Statement of Faith. It was adopted at the meeting of the National Council of Congregational Churches in that year...

cover image of "A Space for Faith" by Paul Wainwright
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Speaker: Paul Wainwright

Join award-winning photographer Paul Wainwright for a special presentation of his series of work examining New England's classic churches, the spiritual and secular centers of their communities....

portrait of Albert Luthuli
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Speaker: Scott Couper

"Bound by Faith" -- Albert Luthuli was an African freedom fighter, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and a Congregationalist. Join author Scott Couper to learn about the history of this courageous man and...

"St. Francis" (1898) by Albert Chevallier Tayler
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Speaker: Patricia Appelbaum

"St. Francis of Assisi in American Spirituality" -- Join scholar Patricia Appelbaum for a discussion of how a Medieval Catholic saint became so popular among Protestants and in popular culture....

photographs scattered over a photo album and table
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Speakers: CLA archivists

The theme for this year's Preservation Week is "...

the restored Council Chamber in the Old State House
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Speaker: Nathaniel Sheidley

Join historian Nathaniel Sheidley for a look at the restoration of the most important room in Boston's Old State House.

portrait of Increase Mather (1688) by Joan van der Spriet
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Speaker: Linda Johnson

"The Portrait of Increase Mather" -- Join scholar Linda Johnson for a look at portraiture in early Puritan culture, with a focus on the imagery contained in a famous painting of theologian...

portait of Paul Revere (1768) by John Singleton Copley
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Speaker: Ellen Berkland

"Three Lives in Colonial Boston – Seamstress, Potter, and Pewtersmith" Join archaeologist Ellen Berkland for a look at artifacts discovered during the "Big Dig".

Pilgrims Landing by Edward Percy Moran
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Speaker: Peggy Bendroth

Join Peggy Bendroth, the library's Executive Director and author of "The Spiritual Practice of Remembering", in a conversation about the past and its importance for people today.

photo of Chuck Harper
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Speaker: Charles H. Harper

Join us for an hour of poetry and discussion with Charles H. Harper. Chuck is a local theologian, teacher, and widely published poet who "invite[s] the audience into the conversation."

Dr. Peggy Bendroth
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Speaker: Peggy Bendroth

What is Congregationalism and who are Congregationalists? To find these answers we look back into the history of this influential spiritual tradition whose roots so many Americans share. Join...

The Adoration of the Magi (ca. 1518) by Raphael
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Musicians: John Tyson, Miyuki Tsurtani, and ensemble

Join us for a live concert featuring recorder, harpsichord, and an ensemble from the New England Conservatory.

Catherine A. Brekus
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Speaker: Catherine Brekus

Sarah Osborn was led a remarkable revival in 1760s Rhode Island that brought hundreds of people, including many slaves, to her house each week. Her extensive written record — encompassing issues...

statue of Roger Williams in the National Statuary Hall Collection in the US Capitol Building
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Speaker: Linford Fisher

Near the end of his life, Roger Williams scrawled an encrypted essay in the margins of a colonial-era book. For more than 300 years those shorthand notes remained undecipherable until a team of...

The Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, CT
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Speaker: John Putnam Demos

During the wave of missionary conversion in the 19th century, many Protestant ministers in the United States pushed to educate and "civilize" the native peoples of North America and beyond. A...

portrait of Judith Sargent Murray
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Speaker: Bonnie Hurd Smith

An Eighteenth-Century Intellectual, Universalist, and Champion of Women's Rights

Judith Sargent Murray was an essayist, poet, and playwright. She was among America's...

shape-note musical notation
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Speaker: Stephen Marini

Sacred Song in Revolutionary Boston: William Billings and Oliver Holden

With names like Hatfield, Lynn, Walpole, and Woburn you would think that you'd be looking at a map...

illustration of Catharine Brown in bed from Rufus Anderson's 1825 biography
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Speaker: Theresa Gaul

Join us for a discussion of a young Cherokee woman at a mission school and the legacy of her personal writings.

photo of Dick Lehr
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Speaker: Dick Lehr

Join Pulitzer-nominated reporter, historian, and Boston University professor Dick Lehr for a discussion of the controversial 1915 film "The Birth of a Nation" and the debate it sparked.

Emerson "Tad" Baker
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Speaker: Emerson W. Baker

Join archaeologist and author Emerson "Tad" Baker for a discussion of his latest book, "A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience".

woodcut of "wicked Ranters" from the book "Hell Broke Loose..." (1651)
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Speaker: Lori Stokes

Join historian Lori Stokes for a look at the physical hardships of colonial Massachusetts and the ways they informed religious practices.

Portrait of an Old Woman Reading (ca. 1630-1635) by Gerrit Dou
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Presenter: Francis J. Bremer

Laypeople were vital to the development of puritan Congregational belief and practice. Come discuss this and more with noted historian Frank Bremer.

missionary Gertrude Pye (wife of Rev. Watts O. Pye) drives a cart in China
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Speaker: Virginia Pye

Inspired by her own grandparents' story, Virginia Pye's latest novel weaves a tale of American missionaries in early 20th-century China.

research materials
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Speaker: Sari Mauro

Are you a genealogist with a Congregational ancestor? A historian interested in a Congregational church's history? A researcher with a burning question about Congregationalism? Have you always...

excerpt from "Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way" (1861) by Emanuel Leuteze
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Speaker: Christopher C. Child

Since the first settlers arrived in New England in the 17th century, there has been movement and migration — first within New England, then to New York, the mid-west, and beyond. Understanding...

construction workers on a lunch break
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Speaker: Heath W. Carter

The Social Gospel is often associated with well-known reforming ministers such as Washington Gladden and Walter Rauschenbusch. But in this talk, based on his newly-published book,...

"The men and women of 1630. Prospect Church, Cambridge, 1930."
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Speaker: Peggy Bendroth

...
engraving of George Whitefield by Frederick Halpin (ca. 1870) based on a painting by John Greenwood (ca. 1768)
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Speaker: Jessica Parr

On a fall day in 1838, a cortege wound through the streets of Newburyport, Massachusetts, headed for Old South Presbyterian Church. A box contained the humerus bone of eighteenth-century English...

the burning of William Pynchon's book
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Speaker: David Powers

David M. Powers will speak about William Pynchon, the founder of Springfield, MA. Two things stand out about Pynchon's life: he enjoyed uniquely positive relationships with Native peoples....

"Prayer for USA" by Harley Pebley
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Speaker: David Mislin

David Mislin is a historian of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States, with a focus on American intellectual and religious history.

...

statue of Anne Hutchinson at the Massachusetts state house
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Co-host: Anne Marbury Hutchinson Foundation

This year marks the 425th anniversary of the birth of Anne Hutchinson (1591–1643), a prominent figure in Puritan New England due to her role in the ...

Eve LaPlante
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Speaker: Eve LaPlante

This year marks the 425th anniversary of the birth of Anne Hutchinson (1591–1643), a prominent figure in Puritan New England due to her role in the...

Resurrection of Henry Box Brown, from "The Underground Railroad" by William Still (1872)
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Speaker: Sentidra Joseph

After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850, Boston became a hunting ground. The city, once a safe haven in the north and the home of many famous abolitionists, was suddenly fair game for...

cover of "The Liberty Bell" (1856 ed.) published by the American Anti-Slavery Society
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Speaker: Shawn Quigley

In 1638, a ship named The Desire arrived in Boston Harbor carrying tobacco, cotton, and enslaved Africans. Thus began the history of slavery in Massachusetts, a practice that continued for nearly...

gravestones in the Granary Burial Ground
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Speaker: Nicholas E. Bonneau

Epidemics and Awakenings in the First Congregational Church of Haverhill, Massachusetts, 1735-1740

In May of 1736, John Boynton of Haverhill, Massachusetts, proclaimed to...

"Giving evidence before the Committee of the House of Commons"
Monday, October 17, 2016
Speaker: Jessica Parr

This year's joint ACA-Athenaeum Fellow, Jessica Parr, will be presenting on her research. Her...

John Kaag
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Speaker: John Kaag

John Kaag is a professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chronicle of Higher...

Calvin Coolidge
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Speaker: Stephen R. Silver

Taciturn New Englander, avatar of small government, Amherst alumnus, Governor of Massachusetts, and President of the United States. Calvin Coolidge is remembered for being all of these things but...

Renaissonics - Miyuki Tsurutani (harpsichord, recorders) ; John Tyson (recorders, crumhorn, pipe & tabor) ; Laura Gulley (violin, viola) ; Daniel Rowe (cello)
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Performers: Renaissonics

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

Renaissonics' newest...

excerpt from a poster for an American Committee for Relief in the Near East fundraising campaign
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Speaker: Owen Miller

It is difficult to underestimate the effect of the missionary experience, either for the Middle East or for the United States. American missionaries founded the top universities in Turkey, Egypt...

image of Kailua Church, an excerpt from "The King's Country Seat, and Church at Kailua", frontispiece of "Scenes in the Hawaiian Islands and California" (1865) by Mary Evarts Anderson
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Speaker: Owen Miller

In 1818, William Goodell (the missionary) introduced his relative, Lucy Goodale to his college friend Asa Thurston. Lucy Goodale and Asa Thurston were two of the earliest American Board of...

Robert Briscoe, Lord Mayor of Dublin, 1962
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Speaker: Rachel Gordan

In the spring of 1957, the Jewish Lord Mayor of Dublin, Robert Briscoe, paid a visit to Boston, while on tour of the United States. A religious, Jewish, Irish mayor was an unexpected presence who...

M. L'Instant, abolitionist from Haiti, an excerpt from "The Anti-Slavery Society Convention, 1840" by Benjamin Robert Haydon
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Speaker: Owen Miller

William Goodell (the abolitionist) was a distant relative of William Goodell (the missionary to the Ottoman Empire) and Lucy Goodale. Like his relatives, William Goodell (the abolitionist) was...

electric guitar
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Speaker: Randall J. Stephens

Alongside the headlines, radio sermons, about the Beatle scare in the mid-1960s there was another story emerging. The so-called generation gap and the trouble with wayward youth riled conservative...

cover illustration from the 1849 edition of "Pilgrims Progress" by John Bunyan published by the American Tract Society
Monday, April 24, 2017
Speaker: Sonia Hazard

Join Sonia Hazard, who holds a joint research fellowship with the Congregational Library & Archives and the Boston Athenaeum, for a report on her current research at both institutions. Hazard...

illustration of a piper from the title page of "The Psalm Singer's Amusement" (1781) by William BIllings
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Performers: Norumbega Harmony

Join choral ensemble Norumbega Harmony for a noontime concert exploring the musical and cultural transformation of Congregational sacred music from the Revolutionary Era's stark psalm tunes and...

David A. Hollinger, UC Berkeley
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Speaker: David A. Hollinger

We will be hosting historian David A. Hollinger to talk about his upcoming book,...

Christmas tree decorations
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Performers: Concordia Consort

'Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the stacks
Not a soul was not wanting a time to relax;
The staff chose books from the collection with care,
In hopes that good...

The Anti-Saloon League newspaper, The American Issue, with headline, "U.S. Is Voted Dry," published January 25, 1919. Public Domain.
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Cheers to the 21st Amendment!

Join the Congregational Library & Archives for an evening of trivia, mingling, food, and drink (non-alcoholic Prohibition-era cocktails available) for our...

Congregational Library & Archives Executive Director Dr. Margaret Bendroth
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Speaker: Dr. Margaret Bendroth

RESCHEDULED:

Due to impending inclement weather, this talk has been rescheduled to Tuesday, April 3rd.

During the 1940s and 1950s, an era usually associated with bobby sox and happy...

Thursday, October 25, 2018
Public commemorations have become a difficult business in recent years, often provoking sharp
...
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Explore the history of the Congregational tradition and learn how to keep old church

...
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Explore the history of the Congregational tradition and learn how to keep old church

...