About the Project Partners

Steering Committee

Rev. Dr. Charles Hambrick-Stowe is senior pastor of the First Congregational Church in Ridgefield, CT, and a historian of American religion, best-known for his now classic book on New England spirituality, The Practice of Piety: Puritan Devotional Disciplines in Seventeenth-Century New England (North Carolina 1982). He has also edited and authored other works, including Charles G. Finney and the Spirit of American Evangelicalism (Eerdmans 1996).

Dave and Donna Irving, from the Congregational church of Rowley, MA, are experienced, college-level history instructors and Rowley's local church historians. They played a key role in the recent discovery of a seventeenth-century record book, one of the most valuable early American documents extant.

James McDonald, from the Middleboro, MA, Congregational church is one of the most dedicated and experienced church historians in New England, responsible for the recovery of the Middleboro transcription materials. Mr. McDonald serves with the Irvings as liaisons with local churches in the region.

Dr. Kenneth Minkema has served as Director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University for eighteen years. He has published widely on Edwards and religion in Colonial New England, including his role as Executive Editor and director of the Works of Jonathan Edwards.

Linda Smith Rhoads is Editor Emerita of The New England Quarterly: A Historical Review of New England Life and Letters. In the course of editing the journal, she worked with hundreds of established and rising scholars seeking to understand the origins and progress of New England Congregationalism.

Dr. Harry S. Stout, Professor of History, Yale University, is one of America's foremost historians. Dr. Stout has written path-breaking studies of early New England (The New England Soul 1986) and the American Civil War (Upon the Altar of the Nation, 2006).

Dr. Douglas Winiarski is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and American Studies at the University of Richmond. A leading expert on the use of church records, his forthcoming monograph, "Darkness Falls on the Land of Light", explores the transformation of New England Congregationalism during the eighteenth century.


Partner Institutions

American Antiquarian Society

Founded in 1812 by Revolutionary War patriot and printer Isaiah Thomas, the American Antiquarian Society is both a national learned society and a major independent research library whose mission is to collect, preserve and makeavailable the printed history of the region of North America that would become the United States. The library of AAS today houses the largest and most accessible collection of books, pamphlets, prints, broadsides, newspapers ,and music printed in what is now the United States, as well as a substantial collection of secondary texts, bibliographies, and digital resources related to all aspects of American history and culture before the twentieth century. The Society also collects manuscripts. The manuscript department contains rich resources for the study of American history and culture. Numbering over 2,000 collections and well over a million items, the Society's manuscripts span the years from 1613 into the twentieth century and includes family papers, church records, business records, diaries, and account books, all with a focus on New England.

Bennington Museum

The Bennington Museum presents and explores the rich culture of southern Vermont, eastern New York State, northwestern Massachusetts, and southern New Hampshire in all its forms, from the 18th century to the present. We connect visitors with objects of art and history, and put them into context across time and place through innovative exhibitions and programming, virtually and in-person, year round.

Cape Ann Museum

The Cape Ann Museum tells multiple stories, all relating to a single remarkable place. From its earliest days as a fishing and shipping port to its mid-19th century role in the granite industry, to its singular charms of light and sea that have attracted countless artists from the 19th century to the present, Cape Ann boasts a rich and varied culture of nationally significant historical, industrial, and artistic achievement. Founded in 1875 as the Cape Ann Scientific and Literary Association, today the Museum is a vibrant cultural center. The primary campus in downtown Gloucester includes numerous galleries for the display of both permanent and special exhibitions, an auditorium, a Library & Archives, a children's activity center, two sculpture gardens and a 19th century captain's house.

Connecticut Historical Society

The CHS is a non-profit museum, library, research, and education center located in Hartford, Connecticut. Incorporated in 1825, it is the seventh oldest historical society in the country. Its mission is to connect the public to the story of Connecticut. In pursuit of that mission, the CHS collects and preserves materials related to Connecticut's social, cultural, and family histories. Consisting of approximately 4 million items, the museum’s overall collection is nationally renowned in the areas of, unique hand-written manuscripts and diaries, prints, photographs, early children’s books, clothing and textiles, furniture, tavern signs, and tools. The objects in the museum’s collection, distinguished in both range and depth, date from the earliest period of European settlement to the present. They are locally, regionally, and nationally significant. Singly and in combination, the CHS’s collection tells hundreds of thousands of stories – about individuals; families; social groups; businesses; neighborhoods; towns; cities; the colonies of Connecticut, New Haven, and Saybrook; the state of Connecticut; and, ultimately, the American nation.

The Connecticut Historical Society is our partner for a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for 2018-2021.

Forbes Library

Forbes Library, the public library for Northampton, Massachusetts, provides a wide range of information, materials and services to all of the people of Northampton and Massachusetts.  The library’s magnificent building offers a friendly, welcoming physical environment which encourages the civic, intellectual, and cultural pursuits of the public. Forbes serves as a community meeting place in which curiosity, free inquiry, and lifelong learning are supported and nurtured. The library is open 56 hours per week, and many resources are available online 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

James Center for the Arts

The James Library & Center for the Arts is a non-profit organization offering programs in music, art and literature. Housed in a landmark 1874 Victorian building in the heart of historic Norwell Center, the James features a concert hall with a Steinway B grand piano, a free lending library, and an art gallery offering new exhibits each month.

The James has become a vibrant place within the South Shore arts community with its active music instruction schedule, a stream of library patrons visiting daily, and daily activities offered throughout the year.

Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale

The mission of the Jonathan Edwards Center is to support inquiry into the life, writings, and legacy of Jonathan Edwards by providing resources that encourage critical appraisal of the historical importance and contemporary relevance of America's premier theologian. The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University (JEC) came into being in October 2003, on the three-hundredth anniversary of Jonathan Edwards' birth. The JEC grew out of the offices of the Works of Jonathan Edwards, the contemporary critical print edition of selections from the Edwards papers.

The JEC is vital to this project for their technical and historical advice.

Maine Historical Society

Founded in 1822, the Maine Historical Society is the third oldest state historical society in the United States, and employs a professional staff of 35. MHS is comprised of the Wadsworth–Longfellow House and Longfellow Garden, the Maine Historical Society Museum and Store, the MHS Research Library and the Maine Memory Network. The Society preserves the heritage and history of Maine: the stories of Maine people, the traditions of Maine communities, and the record of Maine's place in a changing world. Because an understanding of the past is vital to a healthy and progressive society, we collect, care for, and exhibit historical treasures; facilitate research into family, local, state, and national history; provide education programs that make history meaningful, accessible and enjoyable; and empower others to preserve and interpret the history of their communities and our state.

Marblehead Museum

In 2003, the Marblehead Historical Society changed its name to the Marblehead Museum & Historical Society to reflect its museum-quality collection and professional approach to exhibits, research, preservation, and education. The name was simplified in 2013 to Marblehead Museum. The Jeremiah Lee Mansion, the J.O.J. Frost Gallery and Carolyn Lynch Education Center, Marblehead History Archives and the Grand Army of the Republic & Civil War Museum are all part of the Marblehead Museum’s exceptional collection of places, artifacts, documents, and photographs that span centuries of Marblehead history.

Massachusetts Historical Society

The MHS is an invaluable resource for the study of American history, life, and culture. Its collections tell the story of America through over twelve million documents, artifacts, and national treasures, including the personal papers of three presidents—John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Since 1791, the Society has nurtured and spread knowledge and the appreciation of American history by preserving and enriching its collections, providing tools and services to support research, and cultivating scholarship. The MHS is committed to the principle that knowledge of our nation’s past is fundamental to its future.

The MHS collections and the community of scholars, researchers, teachers, and writers we serve provide the foundation for the Society’s educational and public history programs. By building interest in and support for American history, these programs directly serve the MHS mission in themselves, but they also strengthen the Society as an organization dedicated to continuing to preserve and expand its collections and other research activities.

New England Historical Genealogical Society

New England Historic Genealogical Society is America’s founding genealogical organization and the most respected name in family history. Established in 1845, NEHGS is the nation’s leading comprehensive resource for family history research and the largest Society of its kind in the world. We provide expert family history services through our staff, original scholarship, data-rich website, educational opportunities, and research center to help family historians of all levels explore their past and understand their families’ unique place in history.

The New England Historical Genealogical Society is our partner in a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources for 2016-2018.

Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum

The origin of the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) dates to the 1799 founding of the East India Marine Society. Society members brought to Salem a diverse collection of objects from all over the world, including Asia, Africa, Oceania, India, and the northwest coast of America. The bylaws of the Society also stated the intent of the society to collect "books of history, voyages, travels and of navigation and new and correct charts", and "valuable and scarce publications in any language". These collections became the foundation of the Phillips Library.

The collections of the Phillips Library consist of manuscripts, books, pamphlets, maps, charts, photographs and documents created for all manner of uses. Materials in the library's print and manuscript collections relating to early America capture its material culture, foreign relations, and international trade and commerce. The maritime collections document five centuries of exploration and discovery. While the roots of the library are imbedded in the local, maritime history of Massachusetts, the global reach of the founders and early collectors built the library into a wide-ranging collection of extraordinary breadth and depth. Today, its holdings directly support PEM's mission to collect and interpret works of art and culture from all over the world.

The Phillips Library is our partner in a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources for 2016-2018.

Sturgis Library

The Sturgis Library is a national treasure. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Library is situated on the “Old King’s Highway,” recently named as “one of the ten most scenic byways in America.” The Library Collections have grown to over 65,000 volumes, including the Special Collections. These include the Cape Cod History Collection of books, manuscripts, photographs and microfilm, the most important collection of its kind in the United States; the Kittredge Maritime Collection, one of the finest maritime collections on the East Coast, notable for its concentration on Cape Cod sea captains and vessels; and the Lothrop Genealogy Collection, which is used by genealogists from all over the United States in examining their connections to Cape Cod History.

Westborough Public Library

The Westborough Public Library is a comfortable and welcoming place where people of all ages and cultures come together, in person or online, to experience the joy of reading, express their creativity, satisfy their curiosity, and create and share content. The library is the hub of the community, and sustains itself through excellent customer service, careful stewardship of financial and physical resources, and attention to evolving needs of the community.


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