Clergy and Other Religious Professionals

Rev. Mary Billings
Rev. Mary Billings

The library collects biographies, autobiographies, correspondence, sermons, and other religious works of Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist clergy and religious professionals. There are no fewer than 19 different printings or editions of The Life of John Murray, including two copies of the first edition (1816) and no fewer than 22 printings or editions of the complete Works of William Ellery Channing, including a German translation (1850-1855). Yet, it is not just the famous who are represented in the collection, whether in biography or writings, nor is it only book-size material that is collected. There are thousands of printed pamphlet sermons and even mimeographed sermons from the middle of the twentieth century.

Most of these biographies and writings are cataloged in the HOLLIS Catalog and are available in the library, or you might consider an interlibrary loan request. Please see the Biographical and Genealogical research guide, which includes several sections on clergy. Additional material may be available; if you do not find what you are looking for, please contact a research librarian.

The library's collection of the personal papers of Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist clergy is unparalleled.

Among the significant collections of Unitarian clergy are those of William Ellery Channing (bMS 100, bMS 480), which includes drafts of his sermon preached at the ordination of Jared Sparks in Baltimore in 1819 and published as "Unitarian Christianity"; Theodore Parker (bMS 101), which includes his largely unpublished journals; Edward Everett Hale (bMS 89, bMS 110, bMS 122, bMS 512), which includes his hat; Charles Henry Appleton Dall (bMS 124, bMS 483); Charles William Wendte (bMS 67, bMS 505); Samuel Atkins Eliot (bMS 135, bMS 594, bMS 11183); Frederick May Eliot (bMS 70, bMS 111, bMS 173, bMS 578); and Anita Trueman Pickett (bMS 180).

Among the significant collections of Universalist clergy are those of Hosea Ballou (bMS 128, bMS 366); Hosea Ballou II (bMS 359); Thomas Whittemore (bMS 352); Quillen Hamilton Shinn (bMS 494, bMS 510); Roger Frederick Etz (bMS 205); Clarence Russell Skinner (bMS 434); Alfred Storer Cole (bMS 179); Edna Bruner (bMS 642); and Hazel Ida Kirk (bMS 190). The journals of John Mather Austin (bMS 144), minister of the Universalist Society of Auburn, New York, and editor of the Christian Ambassador, have been digitized.

Among the significant collections of clergy whose ministry extended after the merger are those of Robert Jules Raible (bMS 538); Joseph Barth (bMS 595); Dana McLean Greeley (bMS 130); and Paul Nathaniel Carnes (bMS 533).

Other collections include the papers of Universalist lay worker, Georgene Bowen (bMS 168), and the microfilmed Judith Sargent Murray Papers (Z/1827.00) from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Mflm. 2790)

See the list of Personal Papers for all collections.

If you know of biographies of clergy or collections of sermons that the library should purchase, please use the Recommendation for Purchase form. To donate a book or pamphlet to the library, or if you are considering donating personal papers, please see Donating Materials.