New England’s Hidden Histories Receives Atla Digitization Grant

14 May 2024 in

The Congregational Library & Archives (CLA) is pleased to announce that its New England’s Hidden Histories project (NEHH) has been awarded a digitization grant from Atla, a membership organization committed to advancing the study of religion and theology.

Beginning this summer, NEHH will use this grant to digitize a selection of their extensive collection of manuscript sermons from the period of the American Revolution. These sermons represent works by ministers from over 35 New England towns and villages, mostly drawn from the years of the Revolutionary War (1775-1783).

“With the support of this generous grant from Atla, the New England's Hidden Histories project continues to grow. I am excited to be able to make the CLA's extensive collection of manuscript sermons from the period of the American Revolution more widely accessible,” says Dr. Tricia Peone, Project Director for New England’s Hidden Histories.

These sermons are a valuable resource for studying the history of American religion and the period of the American Revolution, illuminating how ministers responded to the onset of tensions with Great Britain, the outbreak of war, and the creation of a new nation.

“Digitization of these manuscript sermons will make new primary sources from the period of the American Revolution available for free on our digital archive,” notes Dr. Kyle Roberts, Executive Director of the Congregational Library & Archives. “I am proud to be collaborating with Atla, a leader in scholarly religion and theology content, to make these sermons accessible to students, scholars, and anyone interested in our nation’s history.”

Once digitized, this collection will be available online through the NEHH digital archive and the Atla digital library.


About the Congregational Library & Archives: The Congregational Library began in 1853 when eight ministers, a lawyer, a doctor, and a widow donated 56 books from their personal collections. Over more than a century and a half, those collections have grown to encompass a library of 225,000 books, pamphlets, periodicals, and manuscripts and a digital archive with more than 110,000 images, many drawn from the New England’s Hidden Histories Project. Today the Congregational Library & Archives is a thriving, internationally recognized center for researchers of all kinds, bringing old and new together and carrying forward a tradition of care for the world's future by preserving and interpreting the 400+ year Congregational story.

About New England’s Hidden Histories: New England's Hidden Histories is a digital project of the Congregational Library & Archives that works in partnership with libraries, archives, and churches to digitize and provide access to early New England Congregational church records. The project comprises an online collection of manuscript Congregational records from approximately 1620-1850, including letters, sermons, diaries, relations of faith, disciplinary cases, account books, as well as lists of baptisms, marriages, memberships, and deaths.

About Atla: Established in 1946 as the American Theological Library Association, Atla is a membership association of librarians and information professionals, and a producer of research tools, committed to advancing the study of religion and theology. Atla’s membership includes more than 800 individuals and libraries at academic institutions from diverse religious traditions and backgrounds. As a community of collectors and connectors, Atla works to promote worldwide scholarly communication in religion and theology by advancing the work of libraries and related information providers.