I've known Richard Boles for several years now. Before he moved off to teach history at City College in New York City, I knew him through his work at Park Street Church with its archive, here at 14 Beacon with the National Park Service, and in our library while he did his research. Richard is a great friend of the library and we have always enjoyed helping him discover new things. Earlier this year he presented a talk for one of our brown bag lunches on free colonial African Americans and church membership, a warm up to his dissertation defense.
Over these years, Richard has built a fascinating collection of his own, focusing on New England church history and whenever possible including African and Native Americans' stories within the scope of church participation. The items in this collection have been gathered between 2002 and the present. The collection includes handwritten manuscripts, printed material from the late 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, published sermons, 19th-century church histories, and records.
Most collections of this type are carefully kept by their owners and the material never seen by the public. We appreciate Richard's willingness to let his collection continue to stay available to the researching public. Patrons will find that the guide to the collection has significantly more detail than other guides might, as Richard provided a great deal of information about each of items he collected.