We are pleased to announce that two more collection finding guides are up on our website. One is from Arlington, MA : Pleasant Street Congregational Church and the other is from Cambridge, MA : Pilgrim Congregational Church of Cambridgeport.
It is sad for a community when a church closes, as Pleasant Street did earlier this year and as Pilgrim did 19 years ago. Although it is the end of a community, it is not an end to the heritage and memory of the community and organization since they will live on through their records. With these two collections now open for patrons to view, it is up to the community to use these materials to preserve the memory of these, now gone, organizations.
Pleasant Street Congregational Church was formed in 1842 as the Orthodox Congregational Church of West Cambridge. By 1953, the Church had its current name. The records of the church contain organizational records, such as meeting minutes, annual reports, and financial statements, records from auxiliary groups, which organized events and the Sunday School, and photographs of the church and church functions. I would like to thank Stefanie Maclin for doing the initial processing of the records and the leadership of the church for transferring the records to the Congregational Library.
Pilgrim Congregational Church of Cambridgeport was formed in 1863 as Stearns Chapel and closed in 1992. The records contain materials that document the history and life of the church, from the early days as Stearns Chapel through the closure. The records include membership records, minutes, financial records, photographs, and historical information, such as from church anniversaries. We owe our thanks to one of our Simmons GSLIS interns, Helen Schubert, who processed the collection and wrote the finding guide during spring semester, 2011.
For more information on archival collections held at the Congregational Library, please view the electronic finding guides. For more information on church records, please search the Congregational Library catalog for "Church Records and Registers."