Beacon Street Diary
The library staff has been abuzz about the Brainard Pratt scrapbooks that were rediscovered by Claudette. The good Reverend was an enthusiastic Bible illuminator and one of the found books is a specialized Bible that has more margin than text in which illuminations can be drawn. I've just uploaded a sample of some of his drawings. They're truly gorgeous. To see the album, scroll down in the left navigation bar.
Here are a few titles we recently purchased that do not circulate. Researchers are welcome to use these in the Library.
Backus, Azel. Sermons on Important Subjects. Rev. Backus (1765-1817) was the first president of Hamilton College and a Congregational clergyman. A graduate of Yale, he was installed as pastor of the Congregational Church in Bethlehem, Connecticut in 1791. This book includes a sketch of the life of the author and thirty-one of his sermons.
Day, Hartley W. The One Line Psalmist, in Day and Beal's Sight Singing Method; containing a Great Variety of the Best Church Music, Original and Selected. Day was the president and first professor in the Boston Phonographic Musical Institution. This work uses a numeral tablature system instead of staff and notes.
Rowe. John F. and G. W. Rice, eds. Biographical Sketch and Writings of Elder Benjamin Franklin. This Benjamin Franklin (1812-1878) was a distant relative of the colonial patriot Benjamin Franklin. Elder Franklin was a Restoration movement minister and the founder of The American Christian Review.
We hope that you will all be enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have many things to be thankful for especially our wonderful supporters who have provided and continue to provide funds for us to continue the important work of the Congregational Library.
In your mail you'll be receiving a fundraising request. Please be as generous as you can. If you aren't on our mailing list, please consider donating. You can now donate through our website.
Thank you for your support throughout the year.
Another successful seminar was held on October 25. We hosted 11 participants from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Our next Research 101 will be held in the spring. Please contact Jessica: firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in future seminars.
Participants in the Research Seminar received our two new publications: "Preserving Your Local Heritage : a guide for church historians" and "Records Management for Local Churches." Both are available for downloading from our website.
If you have ideas or recommendations for future seminars, please contact us at email@example.com.
Today is the first day of our Donate page as an active feature. This should make contributing to our cause and registering for events much easier!
Last Wednesday we had 8 visitors (1 from Connecticut and the rest from Massachusetts) to learn about various aspects of keeping church records. We had a very lively group and they asked a lot of great questions. There's nothing like good interactions with the participants to make a seminar more exciting.
We will be having our second session this coming Wednesday. Unfortunately for the folks who called in late this week, but great for us: We've sold this one out, plus one. Clearly, there's still interest in this topic.
A new section of this seminar has been a records management discussion. The library staff and some board members have helped me create a guideline that's designed for Congregational churches. It's available by request in hardcopy from the library and it's on our website.
Did you happen to notice that the picture of Diane Kessler of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, a tenant at 14 Beacon, was taken in our reading room? Sunday, October 15, 2006, Globe Magazine.
Peggy Bendroth's talk about "Children, Family Values, and the Congregational Way" was attended by 30 people yesterday. Some interesting tidbits I learned was that Horace Bushnell's work with churches and Sunday schools had a profound effect on the way in which Americans viewed child rearing. The concept of always being extra nice and polite was one of the cornerstones of his work. Peggy further explained that the problems that people feel we are facing these days in regard to how much time there is for family and kids has been at the forefront of our culture's concerns since the mid 19th century.
The afternoon roundtable panelists included Rabbi Debbie Cantor and Jane Smith to discuss the topics of conversation in relation to Judaism and Islam, respectively.
There has been a significant number of people interested in having Peggy give this talk again. If you are one of these people, please contact her.
The following is picture taken during the main talk with one of our board members, Susannah Baker, introducing Peggy (in green). Veteran board member, Arvel Steece sits opposite Peggy. Click on the image for a larger view.