Bookroom at Old 25 Beacon StreetBookroom at Old 25 Beacon Street

Given the evolving nature of both Universalist and Unitarian bodies and the various auxiliary organizations and independent enterprises that later became part of official bodies, it is difficult to summarize "official" printed records. The library's holdings include the official printed minutes and reports and directories (directories having been started as independent enterprises). Publications of boards, departments, commissions, councils, and agencies will usually cite those bodies as the publisher, and it is through this publication information that materials may be found in HOLLIS. The publications of the Sunday School societies are especially well represented in the collection. Publications of the Unitarian Temperance Society as well as the historical societies and women's associations of both bodies are also found. The publications of Beacon Press are found in the book collections as well as in their archives (bMS 1037).

Research in historical periodicals is the mark of a true historian. Usually not well indexed, they have to be turned page by page to reveal a sermon or a theological debate, a report of an event, a note about a local congregation, or information about a minister or a congregant.