Beacon Street Diary

September 21, 2006

Parish of St. BotolphWe wanted to let you know about a recent visitor to the Congregational Library. We were pleased to welcome The Rev. Robin Whitehead, Vicar of the Parish of St. Botolph's in Boston, Lincolnshire, namesake of Boston, MA and Graham Stewart-Smith, Parish Administrator. They were here to discuss the major refurbishing of their church, known affectionately since the 14th century as "the Stump". In 2009, St. Botolph's celebrates its 700th anniversary.

Historical Relationship Between Boston, Lincolnshire and Boston, Massachusetts:

The two Bostons will forever be associated with one of the outstanding events in America and English history. In 1630, leading burgers of Lincolnshire crossed the Atlantic, in the ship 'Lady Arabella' with Governor John Winthrop. They established a settlement at the mouth of the Charles River, to become one of the great cities in the New World. Governor Winthrop ordered the old name changed, 'That Tremontaine shall be called Boston,' in honor of the origin of the settlers.

Two years later the famous puritan vicar of St. Botolph's, John Cotton, also crossed the Atlantic to become the pastor of the First Church of Boston.

St. Boltoph's towerFor more on the refurbishing of this 14th century landmark and its 700th Anniversary events, visit their website.

September 18, 2006

The brochures for our all day research seminar on October 18 and October 25 are being mailed today. You can also print a brochure from our website. If you missed the program in June, here's your opportunity to spend the day with us.

September 12, 2006

Our Fall Program brochure is now available on the website. Please return your registration to us as soon as possible. Come spend a day in creative engagement with Congregational history and its tradition of a learned, thoughtful pastoral ministry.

August 30, 2006

Picture_hartfordHear our own Executive Director, Peggy Bendroth, speak on "Children, Family Values and the Congregational Way" October 12 in Hartford, CT. Details will soon be available on our website and in brochures mailed this week. If you wish to receive a brochure, contact Beth Spaulding,

August 16, 2006

Hawk12One of the wonderful aspects of working on Beacon Hill is getting to know a family of red tailed hawks that live in the Granery Burial Ground. They frequently perch on the Congregational House ledges, or that of our neighbors (like the Athenaeum). Our building superintendant, John Beattie has been photographing them for years. You can frequently see new additions to his collection on display in our main entrance way.

Commentary and more pictures, particularly of last year's babies yet to come...



August 16, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I present to you the new face of the Congregational Library. The staff has been working very hard to make these adjustments. You will still be able to find us through, which will then redirect you to the new domain, I would suggest that our regular visitors refresh their browsers, otherwise you will continue to see the old purple design. Many thanks to web designer Jim Woodman for doing such a beautiful job.

If there are any questions about this or any other aspect of the site, please direct them to

August 15, 2006

The library will be hosting seminars on October 18 and 25. We will be repeating our topic of Research 101 For Church Historians. The sessions will cover what sort of records are found in churches, some suggestions as to how to best preserve and organize them, and how to use the library's resources. If you are interested in knowing more about the program, please contact Jessica Steytler, the library's archivist.

August 2, 2006

Today we added the 30,000th record to our online catalog. Click on Online Catalog on our website. We are very excited to have reached this number in a little over a year since we started our catalog automation. We've been fortunate to have our staff who have worked on records daily as well as a part time cataloger and several student interns. Our archivist has cataloged all our manuscript collections and has included links to Finding Aids where electronic copies are available. She continues to add photos, sketches, post cards, and other pictorial items from our image collection. Many sermon and pamphlet records can be accessed. Most of the materials about Boston churches, Congregational and other, is now cataloged.

July 26, 2006

CFTS logoIn a couple of weeks we will again welcome the NACCC-CFTS Seminar to the Congregational Library. The Rev. Dr. Donald P. Olsen with his students will be in Boston from August 13-18. It is our pleasure to host this seminar each year and provide seminar space and library facilities to these students and faculty. Our friends and ACA Board members Rev. Arvel M. Steece and Rev. Steven A. Peay continue to teach and lead in this seminar. For additional information see: A Congregational History and Polity Seminar.

July 21, 2006

Here are a couple of new books just added to the collection: The Princeton Companion to Jonathan Edwards and A Looking-Glass for Ladies: American Protestant Women and the Orient in the Nineteenth Century. We've linked them to descriptions on Barnes and Noble for you. If you'd like to borrow one of these or another title found in our online catalog, call us at 617-523-0470 or email us:

Edwards Looking_glass

Happy Reading!