Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Religion (36 collections)
SCUA

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Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-

Elwood Babbitt Papers, 1974-2000.
2 boxes (3 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 517

Elwood Babbitt, 1970.  Photo by Gary Cohen
Elwood Babbitt, 1970. Photo by Gary Cohen

Clairvoyant from his youth, Elwood Babbitt developed his psychic abilities at the Edgar Cayce Institute, and by the mid-1960s, was well known in Western Massachusetts through his readings and lectures, often opening his home to other seekers. Charles Hapgood, a professor at Keene State College, worked closely with Babbitt studying the physical effects of the medium’s trance lectures, and by 1967, he began to take on the painstaking process of transcribing and copying them. With communications purporting to come from Jesus, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, and the Hindu god Vishnu, among others, these lectures formed the basis for several books by Hapgood and Babbitt, including Voices of Spirit (1975) and Talks with Christ (1981). Babbitt ultimately established a non-profit, alternative school, the Opie Mountain Citadel, which was essentially run out of Babbitt’s home in Northfield.

The collection consists of proofs of publications, lectures, some correspondence, film reels, and transcripts of spiritual communications for which Babbitt was the medium.

Subjects
  • Channeling (Spiritualism)
  • Hapgood, Charles H
  • Mediums–Massachusetts
Contributors
  • Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-

Chadbourne, Paul A. (Paul Ansel),1823-1883

Paul A. Chadbourne Papers, 1865-1883.
1 box (1 linear feet).
Call no.: RG 3/1 C43

Paul A. Chadbourne
Paul A. Chadbourne

After distinguishing himself as a chemist on the faculty at Williams College and serving one term in the State Senate, Paul Chadbourne was called upon in 1866 to become the second president of Massachusetts Agricultural College. Although he pressed an ambitious agenda for building a College from scratch, ill health forced him to resign only a year later. He returned to MAC after holding faculty positions in Wisconsin and at Williams, filling a second stint as president from 1882 until his death in 1883. Though brief, he set an important precedent by creating a “scientific and literary” track of study to complement the “agricultural and scientific” one, and by pushing for the financial support of poor students.

The collection includes correspondence of and about Chadbourne, drafts of speeches and sermons, published writings, biographical and genealogical material, and reports from the Massachusetts Board of Agriculture (1865-1881).

Subjects
  • Agricultural education--Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College. President
Contributors
  • Chadbourne, Paul A. (Paul Ansel),1823-1883

Clark, Clarence Carroll

Clarence Carroll Clark Papers, 1909-1981.
2 boxes (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 393

Ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1911, Dr. Clark accepted the position of director of the Chapel of the Comforter in Greenwich Village, New York, a mission that abandoned its traditional Christian practices in favor of the teachings of theosophy. A prolific writer and lecturer, Clark stressed in his work the similarities between Eastern and Western religions, and emphasized his belief that unity among religions would bring about a spiritual re-awakening throughout the world. After serving as director of the Chapel of the Comforter for more than forty years, Clark retired in 1950.

Clark’s papers document his career as a professor of English, Episcopal priest, theosophist, and Director of the Chapel of the Comforter. Consisting of correspondence, lecture notes, and his writings, the collection chronicles his religious beliefs as well as his research on Emily Dickinson and her poetry.

Subjects
  • Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886
  • Religion--United States
  • Theosophy
Contributors
  • Clark, Clarence Carroll

Connecticut Valley Church Conference

Connecticut Valley Conference Program, 1924.
1 folder (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 076

Meeting of the Connecticut Valley Church Conference of Unitarian-Congregational and other churches held on the 100th anniversary of the building of the Old Brick Church in Deerfield, Massachusetts in 1924. Single program includes information about several addresses and a historical paper that were presented along with the devotional services.

Subjects
  • Brick Church (Deerfield, Mass.)--Centennial celebrations, etc
  • Connecticut Valley Church Conference
  • Deerfield (Mass.)--Buildings, structures, etc
  • Deerfield (Mass.)--Centennial celebrations, etc
Types of material
  • Programs

Dudley, Joseph

Association for Gravestone Studies Collection

Joseph Dudley Memoir and Diary, 1866-1893.
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 650 bd

Born in Cheshire, Conn., in 1822, Joseph Dudley learned “the marble business” from his father Elias, who had in turn been trained by David Ritter of New Haven. A staunch Methodist swept up in the religious ferment of the Second Great Awakening, Dudley joined his father’s business as a stonecutter in about 1845 and notes that he was among the first to letter tombstones in the rural Ever Green Cemetery in Woodstock, Conn., when it opened in 1848. He later worked in Meriden, Conn.

By generations, this volume has served as an account book, diary and memorandum book, memoir, geneaological record, and scrapbook, with each layer accumulated over all previous. Dudley’s memoir (beginning p. 78) includes a discussion of his upbringing in Cheshire, the tumultuous religious revivals during the 1840s and his reception into the Methodist Church and the Millerites, and much on his introduction to the marble business and work as a stonecutter through about 1853. The diary somewhat erratically covers the years 1873-1893.

Subjects
  • Marble industry and trade--Connecticut
  • Millerite movement
  • Sepulchral monuments--Connecticut
  • Stonecutters
Contributors
  • Association for Gravestone Studies
  • Dudley, Joseph
Types of material
  • Diaries
  • Memoirs

Enfield (Mass.) Congregational Church

Enfield Congregational Church Records, 1800-1939.
1 box (0.75 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 011

Church that served as the social and cultural center of the town of Enfield, Massachusetts. Records include deeds, charters and other legal documents, along with the church’s articles of faith and covenant, a detailed record of parish meetings, the treasurer’s account book, the parish Trustee’s account book, the church manual, a manuscript sermon of Reverend S.G. Hitchcock, the sermons of Reverend Colton, an historical sermon celebrating the town’s centennial, and church bulletins.

Subjects
  • Church bulletins--Massachusetts
  • Congregational churches--Massachusetts--Enfield
  • Congregational churches--Sermons
  • Congregationalists--Massachusetts--Enfield
  • Enfield (Mass.)--Centennial celebrations
  • Enfield (Mass.)--Church history
  • Enfield (Mass.)--Religious life and customs
  • Sermons, American--Massachusetts--Enfield
Contributors
  • Enfield Congregational Church (Enfield, Mass.)
  • Hitchcock, S. G.
  • Richards, Frederick B.
Types of material
  • Account books
  • Charters
  • Deeds

Flint and Lawrence Family

Flint and Lawrence Family Papers, 1642-1798.
2 boxes (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 273

Personal, financial and legal papers of Flint and Lawrence families of Lincoln, Massachusetts including wills, estate inventories, indenture documents, receipts of payment for slaves and education, correspondence; and records of town and church meetings, town petitions and receipts relating to the construction of the meeting house. Papers of Reverend William Lawrence include letter of acceptance of Lincoln, Massachusetts ministry, record of salary, a sermon and daybook. Personal papers of loyalist Dr. Joseph Adams, who fled to England in 1777, contain letters documenting conditions in England in the late 1700s and the legal and personal problems experienced by emigres and their families in the years following the Revolutionary War.

Subjects
  • American loyalists--Great Britain
  • American loyalists--Massachusetts
  • Church buildings--Massachusetts--Lincoln--Costs
  • England--Emigration and immigration--18th century
  • Flint family
  • Immigrants--England--17th century
  • Land tenure--Massachusetts--Lincoln
  • Landowners--Massachusetts--Lincoln
  • Lawrence family
  • Lincoln (Mass.)--Economic conditions--18th century
  • Lincoln (Mass.)--History
  • Lincoln (Mass.)--Social conditions--18th century
  • Massachusetts--Emigration and immigation--18th century
  • Slaves--Prices--Massachusetts--Lincoln
Contributors
  • Adams, Joseph, 1749-1803
  • Flint, Edward, 1685-1754
  • Flint, Ephraim, b. 1714
  • Flint, Love Adams, d. 1772
  • Flint, Thomas, d. 1653
  • Lawrence, William, 1723-1780
Types of material
  • Accounts
  • Genealogies
  • Indentures
  • Inventories of decedents estates
  • Wills

Fowler, Robert

Robert Fowler Diary, 1831-1854.
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 174

A native of Salisbury, Massachusetts, Robert Fowler (b.1805) was a prosperous shipbuilder and merchant with a trade extending from Nova Scotia to the Gulf South. He and his wife Susan Edwards, whom he married in 1830, had at least four children.

Kept by Robert Fowler between 1831 and 1854, the volume includes both diary entries (primarily 1841-1846) and accounts. With occasional commentary on local political matters, commerce, weather, and family matters, the diary is largely a record of Fowler’s spiritual concerns and his wrestling with doctrinal matters and the relationship of religion and daily life. An ardent temperance man, he commented on religious topics ranging from the Millerite movement to the resurrection, salvation, and the duty of prayer.

Subjects
  • Fatherhood
  • Fitch, Charles, 1805-1844
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--Salisbury
  • Millerite movement
  • Religious life--Massachusetts--Salisbury
  • Salisbury (Mass.)--History
  • Second Advent
  • Temperance
Types of material
  • Account books
  • Diaries

Gourreau de La Proustière, Philippe, 1611-1694

Conclave d'Alexandre vii, Revué, Corrigé, et Augmenté de Beaucoup par..., ca.1658.
1 volume, 351p. (0.2 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 436 bd

On April 7, 1655, after a conclave of 80 days, Fabio Chigi was elected to succeed Innocent X as Pope. Taking the name Alexander VII, Chigi was initially viewed as an opponent of papal nepotism, however little progress was made. He served as pope until his death on May 22, 1667.

Bound in 18th century leather with an prefatory letter by the Prieur Gourreau, this manuscript was apparently intended for publication and may be an 18th century transcription of a presumably earlier manuscript. Editions of the Le Conclave d’Alexandre VII, ou Relation véritable de tout ce qui s’est passé et négocié au Conclave tenu à Rome depuis le 17 janvier jusqu’au 7 avril 1655 au sujet de l’élection du cardinal Fabio Chigi appeared in 1666 and 1667.

Subjects
  • Alexander VII, Pope, 1599-1667
  • Popes--Election
Contributors
  • Gourreau de La Proustière, Philippe, 1611-1694

Greenwich (Mass.)

Greenwich Church Collection, 1895-1940.
1 folder (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 079

The churches of Greenwich, Massachusetts were both places of worship and centers of fellowship. With the congregations disbanded and the buildings razed during the construction of the Quabbin Reservoir, this collection of programs, circulars, and news clippings preserves a snapshot of the churches and the communities they fostered.

Subjects
  • Greenwich (Mass.)--Religious life and customs
  • Quabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--Religious life and customs

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