Beacon Street Diary

January 22, 2007

Thanks to Robin, we now have a searchable database of Missionary Necrologies. Included in the database is an index to necrology information located in the Vinton volumes and the Missionary Herald. The database includes names and dates of missionaries and their families.

You can contact us at or call 617-523-0470 with your questions.

January 18, 2007

Thank you to Sharon Taylor for kicking off our Brown Bag Lunch Lecture series. Her discussion of the Andover Controversy was both educational and entertaining. It was fascinating to listen to the details of a controversy over dogma that captured both local and national headlines at the time.

Our next Brown Bag Lunch will be Wednesday, February 7. Bring your lunch and we will provide soft drinks, chips and dessert. This time Linda Palmer will portray Ann Vassell and take us back to the time of the Puritan settlers.

You can always contact us at or call us at 617-523-0470.

January 16, 2007

Join us for our Brown Bag Lunch Lecture tomorrow at noon. Soft drinks will be provided. Don't miss Sharon Taylor's presentation on the History of the Andover Controversy. We look forward to seeing you here.

January 10, 2007

Please join us in welcoming Sarah James to our staff as a Library Assistant. Sarah is a student at Simmons College in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. She received her undergraduate degree from Reed College in English. Sarah will be at the Reading Room desk on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Stop by and say hello.

January 8, 2007

We still lend books by mail so if you see something in our online catalog, call us at 617-523-0470 or email us at You can also renew books via phone or email. If you have never borrowed from us before, be sure to give us your address, phone number, and email address.

Two recent additions to our collection are:

Hodgson, Godfrey. A Great and Godly Adventure: the Pilgrims and the Myth of the First Thanksgiving.

Puls, Mark. Samuel Adams: Father of the American Revolution.

January 4, 2007

A single grant award of $1,500 will be awarded for research in American
religious history, involving the collections of the Boston Athenaeum
and the Congregational Library. The grant will support a residence of
twenty days, and is open to advanced scholars, graduate students,
independent scholars, teaching faculty, and professionals in the
humanities, with applications encouraged from teachers and librarians
in secondary public, private, and parochial schools.

Applications are due by April 15, 2007. Candidates will be notified by May 15.
A curriculum vitae and letter of intent describing the proposed project
and citing collections to be consulted are required, along with two
confidential letters of recommendation; for graduate students, one of
these letters must be from their faculty advisor.

Submit to: Research Fellowships, Library of the Boston Athenaeum, 10
½ Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108. For further questions please contact
Stephen Nonack (617-227-0270 x250) or Peggy Bendroth (617-523-0470

January 4, 2007

12:00-1:00 January 17th, at the Congregational Library

Be sure not to
miss our first Brown Bag Lunch Lecture on with Sharon Taylor from
Andover Newton Theological School. Her topic will be "Dogmas, Debates and Heresy Trials: A Short History of the Andover Controversy".

January 2, 2007

Keep watching this space for new announcements regarding upcoming Library events. We are planning to resume our popular seminar, Research 101, in February. Tell your friends about the new Brown Bag Lunch Lectures beginning January 17. Come in and browse our new books. More details about our Brainard Pratt collection will be published. We hope to see or hear from you soon.

December 28, 2006

Is your resolution to learn something new in 2007? Are you hungering for information? Are you tired of the same old lunch time routine? Resolve to stop by the Library for one of our Brown Bag Lunch Lectures. Beginning in January, we will be feeding your mind while you feed your body. Our first lecture will be January 17 and features Sharon Taylor, Director of the Andover-Newton Theological Seminary Library. She will speak on "Dogmas, Debates and Heresy Trials: A Short History of the Andover Controversy". Join us in the Library from 12-1:00 PM.

More information can be found on our website or by calling us at 617-523-0470. Additional lectures will be given in February, March and April. Watch for further details.

December 20, 2006

Lately, we been working on adding published sermons to our online catalog. We added many funeral and ordination sermons. Each one has a story to tell about the persons and places involved. I wonder if the women minded being called "relics". How many families and friends would now request that the funeral sermon of their loved one be printed or published?

Our student library assistant, Martha Patten, has also been cataloging sermons - manuscript sermons. It's quite a challenge to decipher the handwriting from pastors in the 18th and 19th century. Unfortunately for us, Martha is leaving this week. She's completed her MLS program at Simmons and has a full time job beginning January 2 at Carlisle Public Library. We'll really miss all her help but wish her great success as a librarian.