Beacon Street Diary

May 30, 2007

The Frederick Fagley Awards

presented May 24, 2007

The Congregational Christian Historical Society established the Fagley Award in 1965, in honor of Frederick Fagley, one of the organization’s founders. The first awards, given in 1966, went to the Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford and to the Kiantone Congregational Church in New York, which belonged to the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference.

The award falls into two categories, for churches with a membership over 350 members and those under 350. I’m happy to report that this year we have three wonderful recipients.

The Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota (350 and above) -- This congregation marked its 150th year with a beautifully produced historical book, “Walking Together in All God’s Ways", written by Dave Kenny, who was very ably assisted by the church’s sesquicentennial book committee. The richly narrated text is supplemented by many color illustrations and topical insets. The various materials they produced included most notably a CD of music and narration, entitled “Music and Thanksgiving".

Trinity United Church of Christ, Columbus,Ohio, (350 and below) –- Annette O’Stroske compiled and edited a bound volume of memoirs and stories from this congregation’s first fifty years together. Written reminiscences from a wide range of church members make this a very personal and historically interesting look back over a remarkable time of growth and development.

Honorable Mentions

Ripley United Church of Christ, in Traer, Iowa, celebrated its first 150 years together through a variety of creative projects, including a historical booklet, a stained glass window project, a play ("Vintage Views"), and a driving tour of historical points of interest.

Mayville Congregational United Church of Christ in Mayville, North Dakota, marked 125 years together with a beautifully produced booklet entitled "From Our Roots", compiled by Dorothy Enger. The booklet included a bookmark complete with acorn and oak leaf motifs.

Congratulations to all of our hardworking and creative award winners!


The Nathanael M. Guptill Award

presented May 24, 2007

The Guptill Award was established in 1997, in honor of Nathanel M. Guptill, past president of the Congregational Christian Historical Society, to be given to institutional histories, typically state conferences or associations. The first winner of the award was John E. Nutting, for his history of the Vermont Conference.

This year’s winner is our own Rick Taylor for his magisterial history of the Rhode Island Conference, "Embracing God’s Hospitality: Celebrating Over Two Hundred Years of Ministry Together". Like all of Rick’s historical work, this one is deeply grounded in the larger story of Congregational Christian history, but also alert to the telling details of local church life. And again, like so much of Rick’s research, this history breaks new ground with primary sources, including the fascinating story of African-American composer Newport Gardner and a prophetic stand on gender-inclusive language in 1869 when the Christians ordained Ellen G. Gustin.

Congratulations to Rick on a tremendous labor of love, and a solid scholarly achievement.

May 23, 2007

"Mayflower Papers" book coverWe have received The Mayflower Papers: selected writings of Colonial New England edited by Nathaniel Philbrick and Thomas Philbrick. If you read The Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick you may want to add this to your reading list. This book is a selection of personal writings Philbrick used for his best seller.

cover of " Upon the Altar of the Nation"Another new book in the Library collection is Upon the Altar of the Nation: a moral history of the Civil War by Harry S. Stout. Stout is Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History at Yale University and the author of The New England Soul. In this book, he examines the "just war theory" drawing from public and private documents.


May 22, 2007

Stephen Marini will be giving a lecture on “The New England Singing School and the Transformation of Congregationalist Praise, 1720-1800".

More information and registration on our website.

Call Beth Spaulding 617-523-0470 with any questions.

See you Thursday!

May 17, 2007

We wish to thank Rev. Yukimasa Ohmae for his generous donation of Japanese books that tell the story of Joseph Hardy Neesima and Doshisha University. With the assistance of a Simmons College GSLIS student volunteer, Youngmi Jeong, these books have now been cataloged. Youngmi has also created a special section in our Pratt Room to house these and several other Japanese books donated to us in the past. We hope that this will be of special interest to Japanese scholars and visitors to the library. Please search for these books in our online catalog.

Here is Youngmi with the collection:


Youngmi and Claudette

May 10, 2007

Registration from our for the CCHS Spring meeting is stlll open.

Contact Beth Spaulding 617-523-0470 x230 if you have questions or register on the website.

Please join us on May 24 for the Presentation of the Fagley and Guptil Awards, guided tours of the Hancock-Clark House and Lexington Green, and the Lecture by Stephen A. Marini on "The New England Singing School and the Transformation of Congregationalist Praise, 1720-1800." The cost is only $5.00.

May 8, 2007

We were pleased to host a tour led by Ann Vassall (Linda Palmer) yesterday. The group lead by Dr. Joel R. Beeke of Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, MI heard our Associate Librarian, Claudette describe the history of the Library, the building and many of the portraits and artifacts in the Library.

May 7, 2007

From the Annual minutes of the ACA, 1939:

"In recent weeks the Library School of Simmons College has sent us one of its graduate students, Rev. Richard D. Pierce for a week of observation and practice which this school requires for all its students. Mr. Pierce who is assistant librarian at the Andover-Newton Theological School, proved himself a very capable student. In a letter recently received he spoke in a very complementary manner of our system. He wrote, in part, as follows: ' I feel that it was a week most profitably spent and will be useful experience in connection with my work here at Newton. Particularly do I admire the smooth-running system you have achieved both in charging out books and in serving reading room patrons. The charging system and the closed stacks are in a large measure, I think, responsible for the situation.'"

Both Jess and I were fortunate to have interns from the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science concentrating in archives this Spring semester. Mike Thompson worked as our records management intern bringing order to local church histories in the Class 17.11.1. While Molly Whiteside applied her advanced archive skills on manuscript sermons by such preachers as Francis Foxcroft and Thomas Shepard II.

May 1, 2007

Softlink America is the vendor the library uses for its cataloging software. Softlink is one of the world's most well-respected library automation companies. Since the company's inception in Australia in 1983, over 10,000 libraries in more than 100 countries have installed one of Softlink's suite of library automation products.

Softlink announces that their Philanthropic effort will continue for 2007; however, with a modification. As usual, this is only available only to Churches & Synagogues in North America, Softlink will provide FREE of charge, Softlink library. Please be aware, that this offer cannot be extended to schools, whether or not connected to churches or synagogues. Additionally, support services are not included; however, are available on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Please contact a Softlink representative to get your copy today, 877-454-2725.

April 30, 2007

Registration for the CCHS Spring meeting is now open through our website.

Please join us on May 24 at 2:00 PM for the Presentation of the Fagley and Guptil Awards, guided tours of the Hancock-Clark House and Lexington Green, and the lecture by Stephen A. Marini on "The New England Singing School and the Transformation of Congregationalist Praise, 1720-1800". The cost is only $5.00.

Register on our website.

Read about Stephen Marini.

April 26, 2007

Another one of our well-received Seminars -- Research 101 for Church Historians -- was held on Friday. A very active group of church members representing historical councils and church historians from NH, CT, and MA attended. If you would like to attend a seminar, please let us know. Our archivist, Jess, is also willing to bring this seminar to your church or conference. The booklet used in this seminar is accessible on our website.

Thank you to all the attendees, we learn from you and hope you also learn from each other.