Beacon Street Blog

November 16, 2006

We hope that you have received your Fall 2006 edition of the Bulletin. This is a "Books and Reading" issue. Let us know what you think about the books reviewed. Included in this issue is "A Brief History of the Congregational Library, London".

Happy reading! Womanreads01

November 13, 2006

Pilgrims_meet_indiansStop in and see our new exhibits featuring Pilgrims and Puritans. We've also displayed Thanksgiving Proclamations from the Governors of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Our displays are designed and created by Simmons College GSLIS student volunteer, Sandy Nawrocki. 

October 27, 2006

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: 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

October 23, 2006

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!

October 20, 2006

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.

October 16, 2006

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.

October 13, 2006

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.


October 12, 2006

Recently we've hosted a number of tours, seminars and visitors. The Simmons College student chapter of the Special Library Association came for a tour two weeks ago. The group visit was arranged by one of our former student interns, Annika Diedericks. Last week we hosted a large group of staff members from our neighbors, the Boston Athenaeum. They brought with them a design drawing of a concept for our Reading Room from their collection. It was amazing to see the similarities and differences in the current Reading Room design. We will be making a return visit to their library soon. Also Beth Nordbeck had arranged for a short seminar for one of her classes on how to use our collections and what we might have here to assist in writing research papers on Congregationalism. Yesterday, we had a lovely visit from Rev. Digby James and his lovely wife, Marianne. Dr. James is associated with the Congregational Library in London and was traveling in the US collecting research on George Whitefield.

If you are in Boston or coming to Boston, we'd enjoying having you stop in. If you have a group that you think would enjoy or benefit from a tour or seminar, please contact us at 617-523-0470 or email Claudette We have two seminars coming up on October 18 and 25. Please see our website for details and registration.

October 2, 2006

Registration is still open for our lecture "Children, Family Values and the Congregational Way" on October 12, 2006 at the South Congregational Church, Hartford, CT. Students may attend free of charge.  Don't miss this opportunity for an engaging and enlightening day.

HartfordIn the afternoon, our discussion of "Congregational Distinctives" will be an open roundtable with Jane Smith, Director of the Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian/Muslim Relations and Debra Cantor, rabbi of Congregation B'Nai Shalom in Hartford.

The registration form is available on our website. Please contact Peggy Bendroth with any questions.

September 25, 2006

The Congregational Christian Historical Society Board will meet Wednesday, September 27 from 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM here in the Pratt Room. Board members may contact Peggy by emailing or calling 617-523-0470.

September 22, 2006

If you see our Executive Director, Peggy, at the Haystack Bicentennial Celebration in Williamstown, please say hello. Peggy has taken a display highlighting some items from our very unique collections and brochures for our upcoming events. There is still time to head out to the celebration for the weekend and the weather should be fine. Click on the Haystack website for a schedule of events.

ordination of the first American Board missionariesOur own display cases will continue for the next month to present images, items, and books chronicling the history of Haystack. Please visit us to see them.

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!

July 19, 2006

ordination of the first American Board missionariesStop in soon to see our new exhibits in honor of the upcoming Haystack Bicentennial Celebration in September. One of our Simmons student interns, Sandy Nawrocki, has created two displays featuring photos, articles, memorabilia, and books on the history of Haystack and the missions. For information on the Bicentennial Celebration see the Williams College website.

July 5, 2006

If you have a chance to see a copy, the Library is featured in the New England Archivists newsletter with a picture on the front cover of the Reading Room from 1898 and an article by Jess and Claudette on page 24. The article describes our catalog automation project.

June 9, 2006

This summer we are fortunate have three students from the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science volunteering at the library. They are cataloging, answering reference questions, covering the circulation desk, shelf reading, creating displays, word processing, assisting with programs, and working on assigned projects.Two of the students recently started the program. Pete is a former editorial assistant and has his undergraduate degree in Psychology. Pete also works part-time for the Boston Public Library.

Sandy is the co-owner of a back products store and an active member of the Acton Congregational Church. Sandy has also volunteered at her son's high school library.

Martha will be finishing her course work in December. She was a Classics major and currently works for an academic publishing company.  Martha previously worked at the Peabody Essex Museum and the Witch House in Salem.

We are blessed to have these talented and motivated students assisting us.

June 8, 2006

The archive recently acquired a new small collection from Peter D. Hanson of Vermont. Thank you to Peter for donating a fascinating set of letters that focus on the murder of a missionary, Justin W Parsons, stationed in Turkey in the 1870s until his untimely end in the summer of 1880. This collection was originally Isaac Jennings pastor at Old Bennington, Vermont.

The collection includes 13 letters, the earliest of which is from the lamented Justin Parsons. The letters continue on, sent to Jennings or his wife, Sophia. There are 3 missives from the Department of State, a few published documents from the American Board, and a newspaper story covering the circumstances.

To find out more, please visit us and study the sordid details.

June 5, 2006

It's now a few days away from our Research 101 registration deadline (June 9) and we only have one spot left. We are planning to have an encore seminar on June 28th if we do get more registrants beyond the cut off. Please contact us if you have any questions.

June 2, 2006

Our mailing for the Research 101 has reached our audience and within the past few days, we have gotten close to selling out all our spots. I expect by Monday we will have a full docket. Peggy, Claudette, and I planning for having a second one within the next month or two if we have as strong a demand as this week has indicated.

If you were interested in participating in this program, send your registration today: first come, first served.


May 16, 2006

If you missed the meeting in Concord, NH, here are the Fagley award winners for this year.

Established in 1965, this Society’s Frederick L. Fagley Awards are given each year to anniversary churches which, in the opinion of the awards committee, create superior programs, printed historical materials, and/or anniversary projects. Qualifying churches are divided into two classes: those with 350 or more members and those with under that number.

May 12, 2006

We've just added two new books that you may find interesting. The first is Daughter of Boston: The Extraordinary Diary of a Nineteenth-century Woman (Caroline Healey Dall), edited by Helen R. Deese. According to the dust jacket, Caroline Healey Dall kept a diary for seventy-five years. She was a Transcendentalist, early feminist, writer, reformer, and minister's wife. She insured that her papers would be preserved by arranging to donate them to the Massachusetts Historical Society. See the review on

The second book we'd like to mention is The Mighty and the Almighty : Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs, Madeleine Albright. From the dust jacket, she "...offers a thoughtful and often surprising look at the role of religion in shaping America's approach to the world." See the review on

We have just added several other titles so check them out by stopping by or searching in our online catalog.

May 11, 2006

We have listed a number of our duplicate copies of books for sale on We've included some Bible commentaries, dictionaries, and biographies. So if you see the seller "conglibrary", that's us. We continue to review our holdings and remove duplicate editions that are no longer needed.

May 8, 2006

If you are in the Concord, NH area on Thursday night, don't miss David W. Stowe's lecture "Psalms and Hymns in the Lives of American Congregationalists". See the CCHS website for details. The lecture is free and begins at 7:30. David is the author of How Sweet the Sound : Music in the Spiritual Lives of Americans. See Barnes & Noble's book description for more details.

May 5, 2006

We're sending off our last batch of 5,000 cards to our conversion vendor today. You should see these records in our catalog by mid-June. We're continuing to work on adding the local copy information to the records we downloaded at the end of March. We'll be taking some time to review sections of our collections and shift books in the stacks before we send more cards out. We've removed numerous duplicate copies from the stacks and are selling them where possible. We listed a couple of items for sale on : 52 Story Sermons and Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible in 5 volumes. We'll be listing more there as we go along.

May 1, 2006

Special Educational Program offered on June 14, 2006.

We are offering a special research seminar to church historians, archivists, or any interested lay people who would enjoy a day of research into their congregation's past. We will also provide resources for planning anniversary celebrations and commemorative services.

The library and archive contain many wonderful resources. We have local church records, town histories, conference records, and denominational yearbooks dating back to the 1850s. Our collection also includes a wide variety of 18th and 19th century hymnals and sermons.

Your day at the Congregational library will include hands on instruction in searching and using our collections, a guided tour of the facilities, and an afternoon of guide research. Lunch will be provided. Registration fee (lunch included) is $20.00.

Please contact Jessica Steytler or 617-523-0470 to have a brochure mailed to you or if you have any questions.

We look forward to seeing you in Boston on June 14.

April 26, 2006

Do you have some time on your hands? Would you like to be involved with worthwhile projects? Are you a book or library person? For as little as one-two hours per week, you can be a volunteer at the Congregational Library. We have projects involving reference, circulation, greeting visitors, automating the library catalog, arranging exhibits, reviewing and organizing non-book materials. Let us know what your interests are and we'll match you with an opportunity. Contact Claudette at

We welcome you.

April 21, 2006

Jess received a copy of Holy Granite on High Ground : A 300-year history of the Second Congregational Church of Greenwich, Connecticut by Ralph E. Ahlberg. The Congregational Library received photo credit for the copy of the 1682 The Whole Book of Psalms on page 23. This church history book is filled with photos and illustrations chronicling the church from its founding to the present day. It contains a time line and lists of Second Church ministers and church council presidents. From the dust cover: "...the story of this community -- of the parishioners, lay leaders, administrators, volunteers and pastors who for three centuries have kept the Christian flame burning in downtown Greenwich." We're very pleased to add this book to our collection.

April 13, 2006

We recently cataloged a Bible in our collection that was given "In memory of Joseph Sylvester Clark, first secretary and devoted friend, when friends were few, of the Congregational Library Association, presented by his son." This Bible is now on display with other Bibles from our stacks. The title page reads: "The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments : translated out of the original tongues and with the former translations diligently compared and revised, by His Majesty's special command. Appointed to be read in churches." This Bible was published in London by George R. Eyre and William Spottiswoode in 1871.

April 6, 2006

Here is Peggy's lecture: An Open Door: Old South Church. If you missed the series, all the lectures including Peggy's two and Beth's are posted here with slides and podcast. Peggy was able to research material here for her latest lecture because we hold the historic records of Old South. Indeed, we have records from many churches in our archives and library. Check out our website and link to our catalog to explore our collections.

April 4, 2006

You may have noticed that our automated catalog record numbers have increased over night by 6,000. This was a download of records converted from cards to electronic records by our conversion vendor. We are now busy adding the local information to these records. I find that I stop frequently to look at the books that I'm adding into the records. Today, a small book piqued my curiosity : Rev. George Champion, pioneer missionary to the Zulus : Sketch of his life and extracts from his journal, 1834-8. This is a short book, only 51 pages, and sadly, Rev. Champion's life was also short. Several entries caught my eye as I quickly scanned the pages (I'm supposed to be cataloging, not reading).

1837, Jan. 2 -- "I killed a snake, have killed several before. It has frightened some of the Zulus. I had killed a man, they say, for the spirit of a man dwelt in the snake."

1838, Feb 13 -- I sent to the king that I was not afraid, that I trusted in my God, The question rises, shall we flee the coming storm? If we leave, it may be difficult to return when war is over, and Christ's cause may suffer."

Rev. and Mrs. Champion did leave in 1839 and never returned to Africa.

This book was a gift from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (A.B.C.F.M.).

March 31, 2006

This year marks the Bicentennial of the 1806 Haystack Prayer Meeting in Williamstown, Massachusetts, an event which has long been celebrated as the birth of American foreign missions. Down through the years, the story of that prayer meeting has often been told, but not always accurately. For example, it has sometimes been said that at that meeting, the five Williams College students all dedicated themselves to be foreign missionaries. My research indicates that that statement is incorrect in two ways.

1. The agreement the students reached at that haystack was to send the gospel overseas to Asia's non-Christians. While Samuel Mills Jr. had already dedicated himself to be a foreign missionary, that doesn’t seem to have been the case with the other four students at that meeting. However, growing out of that 1806 prayer meeting and subsequent ones, Mills and other Williams students formed the Brethren in 1808, all of whose members were required to be committed to taking the gospel overseas themselves personally. That group has sometimes been called the "First Foreign Missionary Society in America." In 1810 the Brethren was transferred to Andover Theological Seminary and subsequently the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was formed.

2. At the Haystack Prayer Meeting, one of the five students, Harvey Loomis, disagreed with the other four. Loomis thought it was premature to send the gospel overseas to Asia, as he feared those missionaries would be murdered. So, he neither supported the idea nor joined the other four students at the haystack in their prayers for foreign missions.

Do you have questions to ask or thoughts to share about the Haystack Prayer Meeting? This blog can be a good forum for that.

-Rev. Dr. Doug Showalter

March 31, 2006

Interested in helping the Congregational Library? Have some free time? Would you like to learn more about our collections and the Library and Archives? Want to create displays, help with events, shelve books, review materials, organize files, greet and welcome visitors, catalog books? We have volunteer opportunities available.

Contact us by calling 617-523-0470 x 229. If you have even an hour a week, we have a job for you.

March 30, 2006

Dear Congregational Christian Historical Society Friends:

Winter is slowly rolling away and it is almost time for spring meeting. This year we will host Prof. David Stowe, a long-time friend of CCHS and author of a wonderful book on music and religion, How Sweet the Song: Music in the Spiritual Lives of Americans, published by Harvard University Press in 2004. Dr. Stowe is Professor of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures and director of American Studies at Michigan State University. He will be speaking to us about the history of Congregational hymnody. It’s sure to be an engaging and informative time for all—we may even sing!

The event is planned for Thursday, May 11, 2006 and will be held at the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ in Concord. The schedule for the evening and directions to the conference center are enclosed. A very inexpensive $15.00 registration fee will cover the cost of dinner, during which we will present our annual Guptill and Fagley awards, and the lecture. The deadline for registrations is Friday, May 5, 2006.

Would you please also take this opportunity to support CCHS with a donation? A good many of you have already sent in annual gifts, and we are very grateful for these. But we still depend on the generosity of our members to keep the work going and to put on a meeting that we can all be proud of. Even if you are not able to come to the meeting, we'd appreciate your support. With a gift of $25 or more we would be happy to send a copy of Dr. Stowe's presentation.

We're very glad for all of our members, and look forward to seeing you in May. We're hoping for beautiful weather, a stimulating lecture, a great turnout, and time to renew old acquaintances and make new ones. We'll look forward to hearing from you!

Margaret Bendroth
CCHS Archivist/Secretary

Please send all registrations to CCHS at 14 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108. Thanks so much! Additionally, there is a basic review of this spring's program at the CCHS website.

March 29, 2006

We've added a Frappr (Friend mapper) map today. Please click on the map title (Congregational) if you would like to add yourself to the map. We'd like to see where you are.

March 24, 2006

The mailing for the Annual Meeting of the Congregational Christian Historical Society went out today. We hope that you will join us on May 11, 2006 in Concord, NH for the business meeting, dinner, Guptill and Fagley Awards and to hear Professor David W. Stowe's lecture, "Psalms and Hymns in the Lives of American Congregationalists".

Registration and donation forms are enclosed in the mailing. Information will also be posted on the CCHS website.

March 24, 2006

I received the following email from the ATLA list I'm on and I thought I'd pass this along.

I am writing you on behalf of Dr. Peter Kuzmic who is in Croatia right now preparing for the dedication of the new library and learning center at Evangelical Theological Seminary. Upon its debut, this will be the largest evangelical library serving Eastern Europe. With graduates in ministry in over 50 nations throughout the world, ETS has become a strategic center for equipping Christian leaders throughout the post-communist world.

The current library is confined to 4,500 square feet. Upon completion of the new facility, we will have expanded to 20,000 square feet. We are receiving book donations by the thousands in Croatia. As I write this, I have just received an unexpected shipment of an additional 30 boxes of theological books.

We are in desperate need of librarians to help catalog books and get the new library in working order over the summer months. We would gladly welcome any able-bodied person with library experience to assist us. We would be happy to provide any volunteers with food and housing during their stay. I ask you to prayerfully consider how you might be able to help.

Please respond to: Dr. Peter Kuzmic, 130 Essex St., S. Hamilton, MA 01982. Phone: 987-646-4085 Email:

Thank you very much for your time and consideration,

Justin J. Evans, New Europe Vision and Freeman Barton, Goddard Library

March 23, 2006

Peggy's lecture at Old South Church from March 19th is available as a podcast. There is more information about Old South and its current on-going Lenten series at their website under Looking Ahead.

March 20, 2006

In preparation for a new educational series we are putting together, the staff have put together a survey for people interested in participating.

We also created a Frappr map. We will be adding the map to our blog soon.

March 17, 2006

The Winter 2006 Bulletin was mailed out today. This issue includes articles by Joyce Hollyday, "On the Heels of Freedom", and Brenda Billips Square, "Amistad Collections Safe Following Hurricane Katrina", updates about the Library, news for CCHS, and the list of new books added to the collection. We hope you enjoy it. The Bulletin will also be made available on our website soon.

March 16, 2006

"What do you do for a living?"
"I'm a librarian."

This is my standard answer unless I want to try to explain what an archivist is.

So, what is an archivist? In my case, it's someone who has gone to library school and specialized in caring for documents that were created by individuals or organizations. At the Congregational Library, that usually means ministers, charitable groups, churches, and missionaries. I also am responsible for preserving the items in my care. We are still pretty low-tech / low-cost, so our best bet is to house the records in acid-free containers, remove rusted (or potentially rusty) metal fasteners, and maintain a stable storage environment.

I am a department of one, like many in my field, a lone arranger. I'm responsible for answering reference questions, processing new collections, creating guides for those collections, cataloging, preservation, talking to donors, educating / providing outreach for our constituents, collaborating with the rest of the library staff on projects, and other administrivia. It also happens I'm the de-facto web designer and primary IT support.

Interns - One of the perks of being a Boston repository is that I / we have the chance to host Simmons library school (GSLIS) interns. The past 12 months have been fantastic for us and I've managed 2 students every semester. Supervising a student is something I look forward to every spring and fall semesters. I enjoy mentoring new professionals. I was grateful when I was a student to have supportive internship environments and while I am here to teach them, they inevitably help clarify my work and/or catalyze doing a project I may not have thought to do on my own.

Projects: maintaining one's usefulness and sanity means coming up with projects that go beyond the average reference and processing work. My current log includes scanning our Image Collection (800+ photographs, etchings and drawings that do not have a textual collection), assisting the rest of the library staff with the next stage of weeding our collection, and supervising this semester's interns.

I haven't gotten past the Cs in the images: scanning and cataloging is tedious, but the results are fantastic. I'm in the midst of surveying the US history section to determine what books do not fit our needs and/or are so outdated, they do not serve any useful purpose. We have set up a book truck in the library with the fruits of our combined labors -- I saw a Winston Churchill biography yesterday -- and request a donation for those taken away. If anyone has any interest in the list we have, please let us know.

page from an illuminated BibleWith that, I will leave you with a snippet from an illuminated Bible that is in our collection.


- Cheers, Jess Steytler

March 15, 2006

Recently a patron sent us articles about and the obituary of Miss Clara Estelle Breed, the daughter of a Congregational minister from Iowa who as a librarian in San Diego made a difference in the lives of Japanese-American children in internment camps during World War II. A new book, Dear Miss Breed by Joanne Oppennheim, tells the story of Miss Breed and her correspondence with the children in the camps. Tetsuzo Hirasaki who was one of these children said, "She lived up to her creed. She lived the true Christian way of life." She was a remarkable librarian and unsung Christian hero.

March 14, 2006

The Congregational Library is looking for volunteers to help staff with a variety of tasks and special projects in the library. We will be posting descriptions of some of these volunteer positions on this blog and Congregational Library website. Some possible tasks and projects involve shelf reading (checking the books on the shelf to make sure they are in order and have shelf list cards) and coordinating and assembling displays and exhibits. Watch for the postings and descriptions for specific jobs then let us know if you are interested. Be a friend to the Congregational Library.