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Unitarian Universalist Congregations

Open access sources for historians of the Unitarian Universalist tradition

About "Unitarian Universalist Congregations"

"Unitarian Universalist Congregations" is a collection of publications and manuscripts in the public domain that chronicle major events in the life of historically Unitarian and Universalist congregations in the United States.

Postcard of First Unitarian Church, Cambridge Mass.How to Use this Guide

  • Resources are organized first by state, followed by city or town, and then by congregation.  Select the state from the list of contents, and drill down to a place or congregation of interest.
  • Sources are in chronological order.   Our aim is to provide you a glimpse at how a congregation's story evolves over time.
  • Use yearbooks to locate membership, financial and leadership data over time.   Yearbooks are also helpful for tracing the career of a minister.
  • Use annual reports to identify the trends and events that affected congregations, and to see congregational involvement at the national level. 
  • Journals are another great place to research congregations.
  • To research your congregation's legacy of slavery, check the geographical listing for antebellum church records.
  • For background information on your topic, see reference works and general history sources.

This guide is NOT exhaustive.  We add more open source items as we create or discover them.  

Need help? Connect with a subject expert at Harvard Divinity School Library to locate information on Unitarian Universalist congregations.

For reference

General history sources

More Unitarian Universalist resources at Harvard

Photo of Divinity Hall at Harvard Divinity School  

Divinity Hall is the oldest building at Harvard Divinity School.   William Ellery Channing dedicated the building in 1826 and Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered his "Divinity School Address" here in 1838.

Harvard University, including Harvard Divinity School, developed a strong connection to the Unitarian movement in America beginning in the early nineteenth century.  These ties are reflected in the richness of ​the Harvard Library's Unitarian Universalist resources. 

Use HOLLIS, our catalog, to explore resources beyond this guide. 

Harvard Divinity School Library is the official repository of the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and Beacon Press.  Our special collections are particularly strong in the Unitarian Universalist tradition, and include congregational records, unpublished personal papers of ministers, as well as the records of affiliated Unitarian Universalist groups.   

For background on how our strong collection developed, see History of  HDS Library's Unitarian Universalist collections. 

Other locations in the Harvard Library also have unpublished papers of some notable Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist figures.  For example, Bronson Alcott's papers are at Houghton and Olympia Brown's papers are Schlesinger Library.  When looking for unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and congregational records at Harvard, do two things: 

1. Explore archives at Harvard Divinity School Library

2. Search all archives at Harvard University

To order reproductions, or view materials in the library, see HOLLIS Special Request.

Need help? Connect with a subject expert at Harvard Divinity School Library to locate information on Unitarian Universalist congregations.

As with any bibliography of this size, there are likely to be omissions and mistakes.  Please contact us with comments and corrections.


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