It's research season here at the library! Universities are wrapping up their fall semesters, ministers are preparing their Christmas programs, and genealogists and historians are taking advantage of holiday travel to stop in and use our unique resources. As such, we thought this would be a good time to put together a series of posts containing tips, frequently asked questions, and links to relevant resources to help you find what you're looking for.
First up: an overview of our websites and social media accounts.
CongregationalLibrary.org is our main website. There you can find a wealth of information about the history of American Congregationalism, the Christian (Connection) denomination, and early American history. We also provide finding guides to our archival collections; a database of clergy and missionary obituaries; resources for church historians, librarians, and record keepers; a calendar of events and educational workshops; information about the library itself; and much more. If you become a supporting member of the library, you can sign up for an account that allows you to access video seminars and back issues of our bulletin.
Our online catalog is updated daily with new materials from our collections. We have already added records for all of our archival collections, biographies, printed sermons, books on Congregational history, missions materials, commentaries, reference books, and new books published in the past decade. Our catalogers are currently hard at work adding individual church histories and the donations we received earlier this year from the Chicago Theological Seminary. If your searching doesn't indicate that we own something you think we should, please feel free to contact us and inquire further.
Our digital exhibit site launched earlier this year. It holds a growing collection of digital images and documents from our physical collections that we have arranged into exhibits about specific historical topics. The first is a reproduction of the 1843 Boston Almanac's catalog of the churches in Boston. The second is a history of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions that we created to commemorate the organization's bicentennial. We have more exhibits in the works and will let you know as soon as they are completed. You can also look at the catalog records for individual digitized items, which contain more information about their subjects and origins.
Our blog is hosted on Typepad, and updated three or four times each week. We strive to bring you a mix of topics including historical information, featured items from our collections, useful resources, and current events, as well as keeping you up-to-date with what's happening here at the library. Whether you make a habit of visiting the blog directly, view it in an RSS reader, or get updates on new posts through Facebook or Twitter, we hope you enjoy it.
Our Facebook page receives the posts from the blog for those of you who prefer to read them in your friend feed. We also use it to interact with our patrons and other institutions, and to provide links to news items that don't necessarily warrant a full blog article.
Our Twitter account receives notifications of new blog posts for those of you who like getting them that way. We also use it to check in from the various conferences staff members attend throughout the year.
So, that's where you can find us online. Keep an eye out for upcoming posts in this series that will delve more deeply into how you can use our resources to find the information you seek, whatever the topic may be.