VISIT THE CONGREGATIONAL LIBRARY & ARCHIVES
Our reading room, which features many original details from its 1898 construction, overlooks Boston's historic Granary Burying Ground and is a unique and peaceful spot for study, research, and contemplation.
We are pleased to welcome visitors and researchers to 14 Beacon by appointment, Monday-Friday. This includes a morning slot from 9-12 am and an afternoon slot from 1-4 pm. Visitors are welcome to schedule multiple slots over multiple days. Please note that appointments are only for yourself and any additional visitors will need to be cleared with the library. Please note that the library fully closes for lunch from 12-1 pm. Access to the library is free and open to the public.
If you wish to make a reading room appointment, please look at our public calendar (you will need to sign into a Microsoft account) for available dates and times and send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not have access to a Microsoft account, email email@example.com with your preferences for appointments, and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. We recommend that you allow at least one week advance notice for your appointment and search our catalog for items you want to look at during your visit. Please note that items that are listed as “Offsite – Please Email” may need up to one week to be made available.
For questions about borrowing, renewing, or returning materials, please contact us by phone (617.523.0470 x102) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you arrive, the entrance to 14 Beacon has a handy entry kiosk outside the front door. Open the brass door, tap the screen, and you will see a button for the Congregational Library. Tap the button, and someone will buzz you in. From there, take the elevator or the stairs to the second floor.
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We are easily accessible by public transportation and encourage visitors to use the MBTA.
If you are taking the Red or Green Lines:
The nearest subway stop is Park Street Station (less than a five-minute walk). Upon exiting Park Street Station, turn left and walk up Park Street, toward the Massachusetts State House. Turn right on Beacon Street. The library is located on the second floor of 14 Beacon Street.
If you are taking the Orange or Blue Lines:
The nearest subway stop is State Street Station (less than a ten-minute walk). Upon exiting the State Street Station, turn left and walk up Washington Street towards Downtown Crossing. At School Street, take a right and walk up the hill. Cross over Tremont Street and keep walking up the hill, the street has now become Beacon Street. The library is located on the second floor of 14 Beacon Street.
There is no parking at the library, although there are several nearby parking garages. The best options are the Boston Common Garage, which is a 10 to 15 minute walk from the library, and the Center Plaza Garage at 32 Tremont Street. There is also valet parking located at 17 Beacon Street, but availability is at a premium.
Library & Archives Tours
We are happy to offer an introductory tour of the library, its history, collections, and services for individuals and groups. We welcome youth groups and confirmation classes from our member churches, community groups, and educational field trips. We are happy to accommodate various schedules, ages, and interest levels, but reservations are required for all tours.
Tours are scheduled depending on staff availability, and we recommend contacting us at least two weeks in advance at email@example.com to request a tour for yourself or a group.
Puritan Boston Tests Democracy Walking App
Download our free walking tour app to access a comprehensive and interactive digital reference to the first 60 years of Boston's history. It is a time often overlooked by historians when the puritans grappled with the ideals that first brought them to America. Here they established the roots of participatory democracy leading to the rise of religious diversity in Boston. The app includes over forty formative events from 1629 to 1691, long before Boston became the cradle of the American Revolution.
The app also includes more than 30 sites as well as biographical information on over 30 individuals, from Governor John Winthrop who called upon his fellow colonists to create a society that would be as "a City upon a Hill" to dissenters such as Anne Hutchinson. The events are geo-referenced, so you can use it as a guide to trace activities and follow the story with special tours.
It is a visual database as well, showing current photos of the sites as well as historic sketches and portraits of individuals. You can use the guide to visit the events that transformed a close knit community of like-minded people into a busy commercial town. You will take away a new appreciation for the complex and diverse world of early Boston and Massachusetts, in person, or from the comfort of your home.
You can access original resources with links that take you to sources in the Congregational Library & Archives' manuscript collection and consult the bibliography. The app is backed by the rigorous research of Dr. Francis J. Bremer, a premier expert on Puritanism in the Atlantic world and prolific author. Working with Dr. Bremer, scholars Margaret Bendroth, Lori Rogers Stokes, and Emerson Baker referenced the collections of the Congregational Library & Archives and its partner historical institutions in Boston and relied on multiple resources.
The app has been created by the Congregational Library & Archives and funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.