The library has a wealth of pictorial resources in printed and archival sources.
While there are only a few works with collected illustrations (for example, Peter Tufts Richardson's 2003 The Boston Religion and Percy Leavitt's 1906 Souvenir Portfolio of Universalist Churches in Massachusetts), often there are illustrations in printed histories (look for the abbreviations "ill." or "illus." in the "Description" of the catalog record).
Personal collections of photographs, postcards, and drawings of historically Universalist congregations (most notably those collected by Hazel Ida Kirk, Russell E. Miller, and Harry Lee and Mary Grace Canfield) are filed in the Congregational Resource Files (bMS 902); this collection also contains other photographs donated to the library. This collection is arranged alphabetically by city name. Additional photographs will be found in the Records of the Universalist Publishing House, 1862-1961 (bMS 369), beginning in box 30. The photographs in this collection were, for the most part, used in the Christian Leader/Universalist Leader in the 1940s and 1950s (with the date of publication noted on the back of the photograph). The file of church photographs is arranged geographically by state and then by city or town within the state. It includes photographs of church buildings, Sunday schools, and other church groups and activities. Additional photographs and other visual material are found in other collections, including individual Congregational Records and the photographs of Quillen H. Shinn (bMS 510/18) and the scrapbooks of Hazel Ida Kirk (bMS 190/13-14).
There is a large collection of photographs of primarily historically Unitarian congregations, collected by the Unitarian Layman's League and other Unitarian organizations, in the Council of Liberal Churches' Photographs of Unitarian Universalist Churches collection (bMS 15001). Additional photographs and other visual material are found in other collections, including individual collections of Congregational Records and the Congregational Resource Files (bMS 902).
There is a collection of over 1,000 postcards of church buildings (bMS 349), most of which are pictures of Unitarian and Universalist churches. In 2005, the library received a grant from the American Theological Library Association to digitize 878 distinct postcard images. These images are available for searching through the Cooperative Digital Resources Initiative of the American Theological Library Association and Association of Theological Schools. See Postcards of Unitarian and Universalist Church Buildings for more information on the scope of the project.
If you identify a photograph that you would like copied, see the library's Digital Reproduction Policy for further information. If you are unable to identify a photograph, please contact a research librarian. If you are interested in donating photographs to the library, see the guidelines for Donating Manuscripts and Archival Materials.