It's been a few months, but we're pleased to announce at last that four more of the collections in our New England's Hidden Histories program are now available for use. You can access them through the NEHH collections list, or go directly to each collection page:
There are more collections at various stages in the process, and we will let you know as soon as they are ready for use, as well.
We recently processed a missionary collection from Zimbabwe. Before the 1980s, Zimbawe was known as Rhodesia, or even earlier as Southern Rhodesia. The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) had a station in Southern Rhodesia starting in 1893 at Mt. Silinda and a sub-station at Chikore. One of the mid-20th century missionaries who served there was Charles Lord, who donated a 9-folder collection, primarily of reports from the field dating to the mid 1950s. There are also a few histories, some correspondence and photographs. The collection originally came with a number of pamphlets about the mission or the region, which will be added to our missionary pamphlet collection. A rare but not unusual feature in the collection is a history written in a blend of two local dialects, chiShona and chiNdau.
Our latest addition to our collection is from the First Congregational Church of Waverley. Normally churches derive their name from the town in which they reside. However, Waverley is a neighborhood/village within the town of Belmont, Massachusetts. The church was established in 1865, although the start date for the earliest records goes back to 1861. That is when our star of the collection, the Society ledger book, begins. Another interesting feature is a page-a-day calendar from 1866. The unknown author didn't write every day, but did fill in entries steadily throughout the year. We hope a future researcher will crack the code and find out who authored it. The church closed last year. We are grateful to their last minister for saving the material he sent to us. The collection is now available for researchers to study.
We are continuing to use the "MPLP" standard to process our backlog of archival collections. The latest is the Henry Martyn Goodwin papers donated to the Congregational Library from the Chicago Theological Seminary. Henry Martyn Goodwin was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1820 and died in 1893. He was a minister in Illinois and Michigan and a professor at Olivet College. This collection includes Goodwin's sermons (published and unpublished), lectures, published writings, poems and notes. Note: This collection has been minimally processed for access and is available for researcher access.
Take a look at the finding guide for more details.
Edward Franklin Williams was a Congregational minister in the mid-to-late 19th century. Records in this collection document a portion of Williams's life as a student, minister, and writer. The material focuses primarily on Williams's career as a minister and lecturer. The collection includes sermons, notes, writings, and lectures given at various institutions. Of particular note are his sermons, most of which are handwritten. Williams was also a lecturer for a portion of his life. The collection contains the lectures that he gave at various educational institutions.
Take a look through the collection's finding guide for more details.