Beacon Street Diary

January 7, 2009

The library will be closed to the public from Noon until 2 PM on January 14.

The Massachusetts Bible Society is holding a luncheon at the library with our Director Peggy Bendroth as the featured speaker. Her topic is "The People and the Book: A History of the Bible in American Culture".

Reservations are required. For details and to make reservations please see

December 29, 2008

The Library will close at noon on December 31. We will be closed on January 1, 2009. We will reopen at 9 AM on Friday, January 2.

Have a great holiday.

December 24, 2008

Press Release:

December 23, 2008
Press contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302,
                     David Taylor (202) 707-1737,



Over many decades, the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress has documented everyday citizens reactions to major historic events in our collective American experience. For instance, man-on-the-street interviews were recorded on the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941; Italian-Americans were documented to celebrate the Columbus Quincentenary in 1992; interviews were conducted with Americans across the nation in the weeks following the tragedy of September 11, 2001; and the Veterans History Project is preserving the personal experience stories of Americans who served the nation in wartime. These voices of ordinary Americans responding to extraordinary events exist as valuable research collections for the scholars of today and they are a cultural legacy preserved for future generations.

On January 20, 2009, the United States will inaugurate Barack Obama, the countrys first African-American president. In anticipation of citizens efforts to mark this historic time around the country, the AFC will be collecting audio and video recordings of sermons and orations that comment on the significance of the inauguration of 2009. It is expected that such sermons and orations will be delivered at churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship, as well as before humanist congregations and other secular gatherings. The AFC is seeking as wide a representation of orations as possible. This collection is one of many oral history and spoken word collections at the AFC that preserve American emotions and memories of important cultural events.

Congregations and groups interested in contributing to this once-in-a-lifetime documentary project are asked to record sermons and orations delivered during Inauguration Week 2009 and donate them to the Library of Congress. The donated recordings will be preserved at the AFC in order to enhance the nations historical record and preserve the voices of religious leaders and other orators for researchers and scholars of the future. After being processed by archivists, the collection will be made available to scholars, students and the general public.

Individuals and groups interested in contributing to the Inauguration 2009 Sermons and Orations Project are asked to submit audio and video recordings made in digital or other approved formats. To be accepted into the collection, the recordings must be of sermons and orations that were delivered to congregations and other audiences between Friday, Jan. 16 and Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009.

In addition to audio and video recordings, the AFC is collecting written texts of sermons and orations (submitted in the form of print or electronic media), as well as printed programs from the events during which the sermons and orations were delivered. All submissions must be postmarked by Feb. 27, 2009, and must be accompanied by a signed release form and completed data form, found on the AFC website,

For additional information about the Inauguration 2009 Sermons and Orations Project, including the technical specifications of the recordings that can be accepted, downloadable copies of the required forms, and instructions for submitting collections, please visit, or call the Center at (202) 707-5510 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, Eastern Standard Time.

The Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library's rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library's Web site and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized Web site at

The American Folklife Center was created by Congress in 1976 and placed at the Library of Congress to preserve and present American Folklife through programs of research, documentation, archival preservation, reference service, live performance, exhibition, public programs and training.

PR 08-234

December 19, 2008

The staff of the Congregational Library wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

The Library is closing at noon on December 24. We will be closed on December 25 and 26. We will reopen on December 29 at 9:00 AM.

Enjoy your holidays.

December 2, 2008

We will be closing the Library on Monday, December 8 at 1:00 PM to host the tenants Holiday Party in the Library. The party will be followed by the quarterly Board of Directors meeting.

The Library will be open normal hours the remainder of the week.

October 28, 2008

The Library is open Monday-Friday 9:00AM--5:00PM and evenings by appointment.

Tours of the library are available by appointment only during the months of November, December and January. The Tuesday tours are suspended.

October 24, 2008

What's Green and Read All Over?
The Great American Book Drive.

Ever wondered what to do with all those books collecting dust on your shelves, piling up in your closet, or hiding under your bed? On Saturday, November 8th, put them to work for the Prison Book Program and City Mission Society by participating in the launch of The Great American Book Drive. Choose to support reuse, help open doors for prisoners, and promote social justice by donating your gently used books.

Saturday, November 8th
10 am - 3 pm
Brighton-Allston Congregational Church
404 Washington Street
Brighton, MA

Better World Books will sell them to people all over the world who will cherish them...and the Prison Book Program and the City Mission Society will benefit with every sale. It's about literacy, not landfill.

For complete information visit


Help the Prison Book Program and City Mission Society by forwarding this email near and far...

October 22, 2008

Welcome to Susan Thomas, our new administrative assistant. Today's her first day and I think we can promise her that she will not be idle. Her work behind the scenes is critical to keep us running smoothly, so we are grateful to have her part of our small group.

October 1, 2008

The Administrative Assistant works under the direction and in collaboration with the Executive Director and Librarian of the American Congregational Association with responsibilities for general office and library administration.



  • Performs all secretarial and administrative functions (filing, correspondence, event, meeting and travel arrangements, etc.) to assist Executive Director
  • Manages fundraising database and e-newsletter
  • Prepares bank deposits of donations
  • Charts registrations for all classes and library events
  • Maintains all mailing lists
  • Writes thank you letters for donations
  • Creates and circulates quarterly meeting minutes and reports for Board of Directors
  • Carries out related duties as required (bulk mailings)
  • Processes and tracks requests for travel grants
  • Provides Archivist with necessary records for ACA archive
  • Maintains general library record keeping and correspondence
  • Assists Executive Director and/ or Librarian with special projects as assigned
  • Provides general office assistance to Associate Librarian and Archivist as needed



  • Two or four year degree or equivalent work experience
  • One-three years experience working in a church, religious organization, or nonprofit setting
  • Excellent technical skills required, including: Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, Access), bookkeeping, and online donation/fundraising systems
  • Background and/or education in Congregationalism desirable
  • Advanced organizational and analytical skills, and attention to detail
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and as team member


Please apply by October 17, 2008. To apply please mail or email cover letter and resume to:

Claudette Newhall, Associate Librarian,
Congregational Library,
14 Beacon St., 2nd Floor,
Boston, MA 02108

September 26, 2008

Congregational Church History -- October 14, 21, 28 10:00 AM-3:00 PM

Executive Director, Peggy Bendroth, teaches a course on the history of the Congregational denomination. Reservations required. Each class covers a specific period in the history of Congregationalism. Take one class ($25.00) or all three ($75.00). Scholarships available. Contact Peggy at or 617-523-0470.


Cultivating a Church Library -- October 18 9:30 AM-12:30 PM

Librarian, Claudette Newhall, leads a class in creating, managing, and promoting your church library/resource center. Topics covered are starting a library, managing and organizing an existing or new library, promoting the library, and obtaining necessary resources. A bibliography will be provided. The cost of the class is $10.00. Contact Claudette at or 617-523-0470.


Walking Tour of Congregational Boston -- By request and reservation only -- $10.00

Executive Director, Peggy Bendroth, guides participants to the city's famous Congregational landmarks, from Old South Church to Park Street Church. Contact Peggy at or 617-523-0470.


Library Tour - In October by request and reservation only -- Free

Librarian, Claudette Newhall, leads a tour on the history of the library. Contact Claudette at or 617-523-0470.


More events coming in November and December.