bMS 681

Unitarian Universalist Church of Northern Berkshire, North Adams, MA. Records, 1829-1997.

Summary Information:

  • Call Number: bMS 681
  • Title: Unitarian Universalist Church of Northern Berkshire, North Adams. Records, 1829-1997.
  • Repository: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, 45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138-1911
  • Quantity: 7 boxes

Administrative Information:

  • Processing Information: Processed by Ramy Abdelghani and Fran O'Donnell, 2004
  • Access: There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Historical Information:

The First Universalist Society of North Adams was officially organized in 1842. Rev. Hiram Torrey served as its first settled minister until 1844. A meeting house for the congregation was constructed on State Street in 1852 which served the society for forty years. In 1892 the Society voted to build a new church, and the cornerstone for this Romanesque style building was laid on September 2, 1892. In 1928, during the pastorate of the Rev. Mary Andrews Conner, the First Universalist Society of North Adams and the First Universalist Church merged into one organization known as the First Universalist Church of North Adams. After the 1961 merger of Unitarian and Universalist churches, it became known as the Unitarian Universalist Church of Northern Berkshire (this name change occurred c. 1966). On January 1, 1977 it became a fellowship, and acquired a new stone and brick building on State Street in North Adams. Due to financial difficulties and failing membership, the church closed c. 1994.

Scope and Content:

The collection is organized into three series:

I. Administrative, legal, and financial records: consist of meeting minutes of the executive board, the church council, and the fellowship board; constitutions and by-laws; membership records; building and maintenance records; and birth, marriage and death records. Oversize financial material moved to the end of the collection.

II. Societies, clubs, and associations: church organizations such as the Ladies Aid Society, the Social Club, Universalist Comrades, and the Sunday School Association are represented in this series.

III. Anniversaries, special events, news clippings and photographs: includes newsletters, brochures documenting anniversaries and special events, photographs of the church and church members, plus a history of the church written in 1937.

Container List:

(Note: the number after the slash is the box number, and the number in parentheses is the folder number.)

Series I. Administrative, legal, and financial records

  • bMS 681/1 (1) Adams Registry, Northern District, 1829-1925
  • bMS 681/1 (2) Wills, bequests, legacies, 1844-1931
  • bMS 681/1 (3-4) Legal papers, deeds, claims, receipts, 1854-1938
  • bMS 681/1 (5) Bills, receipts, orders, 1890-1940
  • bMS 681/1 (6) Account records, 1907-1909
  • bMS 681/1 (7) Deeds, 1881-1903
  • bMS 681/1 (8) Quitclaim deed, from Stephen Fairfield to Orland Brown, June 18, 1883
  • bMS 681/1 (9) Orland Brown, deeds and correspondence
  • bMS 681/1 (10) Financial records, 1925-1948
  • bMS 681/7 (1) Record of church offerings, 1931-1937
  • bMS 681/7 (2) Record of church offerings, 1938-1944
  • bMS 681/1 (11) Wills, 1947-1949
  • bMS 681/1 (12) S. Elizabeth Bowen Fund, memos, correspondence, will, 1953-1958
  • bMS 681/1 (13) Dr. M.M. Brown Memorial Fund, abstract, n.d.
  • bMS 681/1 (14) Bank statements, 1989
  • bMS 681/1 (15-16) Church financial records, fiscal years 1991, 1990-1991
  • bMS 681/1 (17) First Universalist Church, records of building committee, 1892
  • bMS 681/1 (18) First Universalist Church, building fund records, 1894-1896
  • bMS 681/1 (19) Building and maintenance, 1927-1935 and 1973-1980
  • bMS 681/1 (20) Administrative correspondence re: members, officers, ministers, 1897-1942
  • bMS 681/1 (21) Miscellaneous, 1936-1947, includes an undated sermon or speech
  • bMS 681/1 (22) First Universalist Society, April 9, 1842-April 4, 1859
  • bMS 681/1 (23) First Universalist Society, March 28, 1859-June 30, 1879
  • bMS 681/1 (24) First Universalist Society, April 5, 1880-February 20, 1893
  • bMS 681/1 (25) First Universalist Society, meeting minutes, membership roster, 1893-1921
  • bMS 681/1 (26) Records of the First Universalist Society, January 6, 1922-January 9, 1928 (joint meeting with church, 1928)
  • bMS 681/1 (27) First Universalist Society, constitution, list of members, form of church government, 1887
  • bMS 681/2 (1) First Universalist Society, constitution and roster, n.d.
  • bMS 681/2 (2) First Universalist Society vs. Patrick J. Boland, 1891
  • bMS 681/2 (3) First Universalist Church, suggested constitution and by-laws, c. 1928?
  • bMS 681/2 (4) First Universalist Executive Board, April 13, 1894-April 1, 1904
  • bMS 681/2 (5) First Universalist Executive Board, May 30, 1904-December 8, 1911
  • bMS 681/2 (6) First Universalist Executive Board, February 2, 1912-December 8, 1916
  • bMS 681/2 (7) First Universalist Executive Board, January 14, 1917-September 12, 1921
  • bMS 681/2 (8) First Universalist Executive Board, October 4, 1921-December 19, 1924
  • bMS 681/2 (9) Record book, includes executive board minutes, January 15, 1925-January 6, 1928, church council minutes, March 1928-June 4, 1937, church school notes, 1937
  • bMS 681/2 (10) First Universalist Executive Board, January 15, 1928-January 2, 1931
  • bMS 681/2 (11) First Universalist Executive Board, January 14, 1934-December 4, 1942
  • bMS 681/2 (12) First Universalist Executive Board, meeting minutes, 1943-1948
  • bMS 681/2 (13) First Universalist Executive Board, minutes, Treasurer reports, correspondence, publishing catalog, 1947
  • bMS 681/2 (14) First Universalist Executive Board, budget, minutes, reports, correspondence, 1948
  • bMS 681/2 (15) First Universalist Executive Board, budget, minutes, reports, correspondence, 1949
  • bMS 681/2 (16) First Universalist Executive Board, minutes, reports, budgets, 1949-1953
  • bMS 681/2 (17) First Universalist Executive Board, reports, minutes, events, correspondence, 1949-1950
  • bMS 681/2 (18) First Universalist Executive Board, annual meeting reports, 1950-1961
  • bMS 681/2 (19) First Universalist Executive Board, reports, minutes, correspondence, 1951
  • bMS 681/2 (20) Reports to Executive Board, annual, semi-annual, monthly, 1951-1953
  • bMS 681/2 (21) First Universalist Executive Board, reports, minutes, correspondence, 1953
  • bMS 681/2 (22) First Universalist Executive Board, reports, minutes, correspondence, 1954
  • bMS 681/2 (23) First Universalist Executive Board, minutes, reports, budgets, 1955-1956
  • bMS 681/2 (24) First Universalist Church, annual and quarterly meetings, July 10, 1886-December 30, 1915
  • bMS 681/2 (25) First Universalist Church, quarterly meetings, March 30, 1916-January 2, 1925
  • bMS 681/3 (1) Quarterly and annual meetings, April 2, 1925 to merger with society, January 1928 (includes membership cards, loose pages, letters of transfer)
  • bMS 681/3 (2) Annual and semi-annual meeting minutes, March 1928-June 1949 (includes blueprint of the church)
  • bMS 681/3 (3) Pastor's report, 1952-1957
  • bMS 681/3 (4) Church Council, minutes, March 1928-October 8, 1929
  • bMS 681/3 (5) Church Council, minutes, September 28, 1937-January 26, 1947
  • bMS 681/3 (6) Church Council, minutes, 1947-1956
  • bMS 681/3 (7) Church Council, correspondence, 1951-1955
  • bMS 681/3 (8) Church Council, minutes, 1957-1965, includes proposed constitution and by-laws, c. 1964?
  • bMS 681/3 (9) Church Council meetings, 1964-1969
  • bMS 681/3 (10) Unitarian Universalist Church, address book, Treasurer's reports, Trustees' meetings, 1968-1972
  • bMS 681/3 (11) Unitarian Universalist Board of Trustees, minutes, reports, legal documents, 1969-1977
  • bMS 681/3 (12) Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Board, minutes, agendas, financial reports, 1983-1985
  • bMS 681/3 (13-14) Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Board, membership, minutes, newsletters, constitution, correspondence, 1985-1997
  • bMS 681/3 (15) Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Board, minutes, agendas, financial reports, 1986-1991
  • bMS 681/3 (16) Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Board, financial reports, memos, special events/programs, 1989-1992
  • bMS 681/3 (17) Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Board, minutes, agendas, financial reports, 1992-1993
  • bMS 681/3 (18) Membership register, births, deaths, baptisms, marriage, 1886-1923
  • bMS 681/3 (19) Membership records, births, deaths, marriages, baptisms, rosters, 1909-1997
  • bMS 681/3 (20) Church records, weddings, funerals, christenings, 1934
  • bMS 681/4 (1) Marriage records, 1941-1954
  • bMS 681/4 (2) Membership records, 1954-1997, includes baptismal records, 1980.
  • bMS 681/4 (3) Membership cards, c. 1915-1945
  • bMS 681/4 (4) Certificates of baptism

Series II. Societies, clubs, and associations

  • bMS 681/4 (5) Ladies Aid Society, Social Circle, constitution, roster, treasury, minutes, 1872-1883
  • bMS 681/4 (6) Ladies Aid Society, Treasurer's records, 1887-1904
  • bMS 681/4 (7) Social Club, theatrical programs, 1902-1918
  • bMS 681/4 (8) Ladies Aid Society, Sunday School/Ladies Aid Society mortgage certificates, 1907-1909
  • bMS 681/4 (9) Social Club, Secretary's report, 1910-1918
  • bMS 681/4 (10) Ladies Aid Society, membership roster, 1918-1934
  • bMS 681/4 (11) Social Club, North Adams Herald/Evening Transcript news articles, 1918
  • bMS 681/4 (12) Ladies Aid Society, Secretary/Treasury records, 1919-1926
  • bMS 681/4 (13) Social Club, Universalist Comrades, dues and records, 1920-1926
  • bMS 681/4 (14) Universalist Comrades, records, 1926-1927
  • bMS 681/4 (15) Ladies Aid Society, Secretary's minutes, 1924-1928
  • bMS 681/4 (16) Ladies Aid Society, Secretary's minutes, 1928-1935
  • bMS 681/4 (17) Social Club, Universalist Comrades, Secretary/Treasurer records, 1929-1939
  • bMS 681/4 (18) Social Club, productions, 1930
  • bMS 681/4 (19) Social Club, Secretary's report, 1930-1939
  • bMS 681/4 (20) Ladies Aid Society, 1918 constitution and by-laws, membership records, 1935-1952
  • bMS 681/4 (21) Ladies Aid Society, Secretary's minutes, 1935-1941
  • bMS 681/5 (1) Social Club, by-laws amended, 1935
  • bMS 681/5 (2) Social Club, Secretary's report, 1939-1949
  • bMS 681/5 (3) Ladies Aid Society, Secretary's minutes/membership rosters, 1940-1947
  • bMS 681/5 (4) Ladies Aid Society/Association of Universalist Women, 1948-1954
  • bMS 681/5 (5) Social Club, Secretary's book, 1950-1959
  • bMS 681/5 (6) Association of Universalist Women, Secretary's minutes, 1955-1965
  • bMS 681/5 (7) Association of Universalist Women, North Adams Herald article, 1960
  • bMS 681/5 (8) Ladies Aid Society/Association of Universalist Women, Mildred Blake, 1983-1990
  • bMS 681/5 (9) Sunday School Association, rules of government, n.d.
  • bMS 681/5 (10) Sunday School, record book, 1872-1879
  • bMS 681/5 (11) Sunday School, record book, 1875-1876
  • bMS 681/5 (12) Sunday School Association, record book, 1900-1905
  • bMS 681/5 (13) Sunday School Association, record book, 1906-1911
  • bMS 681/5 (14) Sunday School Association, record book, 1912-1919
  • bMS 681/5 (15) Sunday School Association, record book, 1919-1934
  • bMS 681/5 (16) Sunday School Association, treasurer's book, 1894-1932
  • bMS 681/5 (17) Church School Association, records, 1934-1942
  • bMS 681/5 (18) Church School Association, records, 1942-1960
  • bMS 681/5 (19) History of Universalism, series of lessons, n.d.
  • bMS 681/5 (20) Calendar of holidays, n.d.
  • bMS 681/5 (21) The Universalist Busy Bee, February 1946
  • bMS 681/6 (1) Murray Youth Fellowship
  • bMS 681/6 (2) Sunday School? song illustrations

Series III. Anniversaries, special events, news clippings, and photographs

  • bMS 681/6 (3) Newsletters, programs, brochures, 1892, 1894, 1926-1992
  • bMS 681/6 (4-5) Anniversaries and special events, brochures (includes "Uniting Pact and Government of the First Universalist Church, North Adams, Mass., 1891"), 1891-1967
  • bMS 681/6 (6) Special events guest book, 1942-1949, 1977-1978
  • bMS 681/6 (7) Church guest book, 1980-1997
  • bMS 681/6 (8) News and correspondence re: Doran vs. Church Board, 1977
  • bMS 681/6 (9) "Church-Goers Pray for Success of Allies," Rochester newspaper, 1944
  • bMS 681/6 (10) Newspaper clippings, 1890-1966 (?)
  • bMS 681/6 (11) Newspaper clippings, ca. 1800s
  • bMS 681/6 (12) Photographs of church and church members
  • bMS 681/6 (13) "A Brief History of the First Universalist Church of North Adams, MA, 1842-1937" by Faith W. Carley (includes photographs)
  • bMS 681/6 (14) Scrapbook, begun 1889

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