bMS 1035

Beacon Press. Wendy Kaminer, Records, 2003-2008

Summary Information:

  • Call Number: bMS 1035
  • Title: Beacon Press. Wendy Kaminer, Records, 2003-2008
  • Repository: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, 45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138-1911
  • Quantity: 2 boxes (.70 linear feet)

Administrative Information:

  • Acquisition Information: These records were donated by the Beacon Press in March 2009.
  • Access: There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Historical Information:

The Beacon Press, a department of the Unitarian Universalist Association, traces its beginnings to 1854 when the American Unitarian Association raised $50,000 for a Book Fund Project. The AUA "issued an urgent call for liberal works that would meet the spiritual needs of the age." Until 1950, the strength of the Press was in history, biography, and a locus in religious thought and religious freedom. Melvin Arnold became the director of the Press in the late 1940s, and he transformed it into a widely recognized voice for liberal religious values. Since the late 1980s, the Beacon Press has taken on an increasingly independent institutional role as a publisher of works of fiction and non-fiction with contemporary or historical religious, social, and philosophical perspectives.

Scope and Content:

The records in this collection consist of material used by Wendy Kaminer to write the book entitled Worst Instincts: Cowardice, Conformity, and the ACLU (Beacon Press, 2009). Kaminer was a member of the Board of Directors for the American Civil Liberties Union from 1999 to 2006. Records include electronic mail between various members of the staff and Board of the ACLU; ACLU meeting minutes; press releases; memos; affidavits; and reports.

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