Congregational Library and Archives receives prestigious grant to digitize 28,000 pages of Colonial-era records

The Council on Library and information Resources has chosen the Congregational Library & Archives to receive one of its Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grants. The grant will enable the Congregational Library & Archives to digitize an estimated 28,000 pages of church records, personal papers of pastors and deacons, and conference records, ranging in date from 1641 to the mid-1800s.

The Phillips Library of the Peabody Essex Museum, New England Historic Genealogical Society, and the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ will contribute documents for digitization.

The grants were awarded to collections of "high scholarly value" at libraries with a commitment to digitization and wide public accessibility. The Congregational Library & Archives received the grant to expand its New England's Hidden Histories Program, and is one of just eighteen 2015 grant recipients.

"These documents cast more light on early New England life and culture than any other discrete set of sources," said James Cooper, director of New England's Hidden Histories. "We are pleased to make them available to scholars and the public, and we are delighted to establish a foundation for ongoing partnerships with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Phillips Library, and the Connecticut UCC Archive, with whom we share so many scholarly goals."

The New England's Hidden Histories project has already uncovered records from Stoneham.

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