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Archives and Special Collections: Digital Collections

Digitization is core to the mission of the Meadville Lombard Archives and Special Collections. Through digitization, we can help scholars and the broader UU community to quickly and easily access our archives regardless of where they are. This page will provide an overview of our digital holdings and access to search tools to help navigate 40,000+ pages of digitized material in our digital collections.  

Digital Collections Overview

Our digital holdings mainly consist of the digitized material from our physical collection. We also have an increasing number of born-digital items available. Our emphasis is liberal religion in the west, 20th century Unitarian Universalism, and communities underserved and excluded by traditional archives. All of our digital collections have been funded by generous donations and grants. Because of our emphasis on communities underserved and excluded by traditional archives, the vast majority of digitization materials come from our Special Collections

When we digitize archive materials, we are doing more than simply scanning documents. Each item is described with metadata we have tailored to fit our documents and our community. We pay careful attention to the relationship between naming and power, ensuring that the terms used to describe digitized items reflect how the communities that created the documents describe themselves.

Digital Collections List

Papers are archival collections created by an individual or family.  While most of our digitized personal papers are those of ministers, we also have papers of lay leaders, activists, and other individuals whose lives and experiences are important to Unitarian Universalism. 

Collections are archival collections that do not have a clear creator, such as an individual or organization, but are organized around a specific theme or historical event. 

Meadville Lombard Records are archival collections created by Meadville Theological School, Lombard College, and Meadville Lombard Theological School. 

Ask an Archivist

If you have any questions about the Meadville Lombard Archives and Special Collections, just ask!

We can help with...

  • Scheduling an archive visit
  • Accessing archival materials
  • Using our digital archive tools
  • Answering reference questions
  • Scanning selections of documents
  • Donating archival material to Meadville Lombard
  • Creating archives at your local congregation

Researching UU Individuals and Organizations?

Not sure where to start with your UU-centric research question? We can help! Our Researching UU Individuals and Organizations guide will direct you to useful reference material, digital resources, books, and archival documents, both at MLTS and at other libraries and archives, to help you research Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist history. 

Meadville Lombard Wiggin Library
180 N. Wabash Ave.
Suite 625 
Chicago, IL 60601

Library and Archives Phone: 312-546-6488        Library Email:        Archives Email: