About the Project Partners

Steering Committee

Dr. Margaret Bendroth is Executive Director of the American Congregational Association and a historian of American religion and culture. Her works include Fundamentalism and Gender, 1875 to the Present (Yale 1993), Growing Up Protestant: Parents, Children, and Mainline Churches (Rutgers 2002), and Fundamentalists in the City: Conflict and Division in Boston's Churches, 1885-1950 (Oxford 2005). Most recently she contributed the entry on "fundamentalism" for the Cambridge History of Religions in America (Cambridge Press 2012).

Dr. James Cooper, Professor of History, Oklahoma State University, and PPCR Director. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Dr. Cooper has been working with early Congregational church manuscripts for over thirty years, and is the nation's leading authority on these documents. He has written Tenacious of Their Liberties: The Congregationalists in Colonial Massachusetts (Oxford 1999) and has published edited volumes of church records in partnership with Dr. Kenneth Minkema of the Edwards Center.

Rev. Dr. Charles Hambrick-Stowe is senior pastor of the First Congregational Church in Ridgefield, CT, and a historian of American religion, best-known for his now classic book on New England spirituality, The Practice of Piety: Puritan Devotional Disciplines in Seventeenth-Century New England (North Carolina 1982). He has also edited and authored other works, including Charles G. Finney and the Spirit of American Evangelicalism (Eerdmans 1996).

Dave and Donna Irving, from the Congregational church of Rowley, MA, are experienced, college-level history instructors and Rowley's local church historians. They played a key role in the recent discovery of a seventeenth-century record book, one of the most valuable early American documents extant.

James McDonald, from the Middleboro, MA, Congregational church is one of the most dedicated and experienced church historians in New England, responsible for the recovery of the Middleboro transcription materials. Mr. McDonald serves with the Irvings as liaisons with local churches in the region.

Dr. Kenneth Minkema has served as Director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University for eighteen years. He has published widely on Edwards and religion in Colonial New England, including his role as Executive Editor and director of the Works of Jonathan Edwards.

Linda Smith Rhoads is Editor Emerita of The New England Quarterly: A Historical Review of New England Life and Letters. In the course of editing the journal, she worked with hundreds of established and rising scholars seeking to understand the origins and progress of New England Congregationalism.

Dr. Harry S. Stout, Professor of History, Yale University, is one of America's foremost historians. Dr. Stout has written path-breaking studies of early New England (The New England Soul 1986) and the American Civil War (Upon the Altar of the Nation, 2006).

Dr. Douglas Winiarski is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and American Studies at the University of Richmond. A leading expert on the use of church records, his forthcoming monograph, "Darkness Falls on the Land of Light", explores the transformation of New England Congregationalism during the eighteenth century.


Partner Institutions

Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale

The mission of the Jonathan Edwards Center is to support inquiry into the life, writings, and legacy of Jonathan Edwards by providing resources that encourage critical appraisal of the historical importance and contemporary relevance of America's premier theologian. The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University (JEC) came into being in October 2003, on the three-hundredth anniversary of Jonathan Edwards' birth. The JEC grew out of the offices of the Works of Jonathan Edwards, the contemporary critical print edition of selections from the Edwards papers.

The JEC is vital to this project for their technical and historical advice.

Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum

The origin of the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) dates to the 1799 founding of the East India Marine Society. Society members brought to Salem a diverse collection of objects from all over the world, including Asia, Africa, Oceania, India, and the northwest coast of America. The bylaws of the Society also stated the intent of the society to collect "books of history, voyages, travels and of navigation and new and correct charts", and "valuable and scarce publications in any language". These collections became the foundation of the Phillips Library.

The collections of the Phillips Library consist of manuscripts, books, pamphlets, maps, charts, photographs and documents created for all manner of uses. Materials in the library's print and manuscript collections relating to early America capture its material culture, foreign relations, and international trade and commerce. The maritime collections document five centuries of exploration and discovery. While the roots of the library are imbedded in the local, maritime history of Massachusetts, the global reach of the founders and early collectors built the library into a wide-ranging collection of extraordinary breadth and depth. Today, its holdings directly support PEM's mission to collect and interpret works of art and culture from all over the world.

The Phillips Library is our partner in a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources for 2016-18.

New England Historical Genealogical Society (NEHGS)

New England Historic Genealogical Society is America’s founding genealogical organization and the most respected name in family history. Established in 1845, NEHGS is the nation’s leading comprehensive resource for family history research and the largest Society of its kind in the world. We provide expert family history services through our staff, original scholarship, data-rich website, educational opportunities, and research center to help family historians of all levels explore their past and understand their families’ unique place in history.

The New England Historical Genealogical Society is our partner in a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources for 2016-18.


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