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Digitized UUA Congregational Records

Collection Overview

In 2014, the Unitarian Universalist Association entrusted Meadville Lombard with 450 linear feet of archival material documenting the history of 20th-century UU congregations. Stretching from the 1920s to the 1990s, these materials provide a rare glimpse into the lived Unitarian Universalism of congregations across the United States and insight into the ways the American Unitarian Association, the Universalist Church of America, and the UUA supported these congregations. 

This is one of Meadville Lombard’s most prized collections. We want to ensure that this rich source of material is accessible to the communities it documents. The collection has been open to researchers from the moment we received it. Over one hundred researchers have made use of these documents so far. From professional scholars, to seminarians, to lay UUs, these records have been used for books, research papers, congregational histories, sermons, and anniversary celebrations.

Collection Contents

The UUA Congregational Records contain a file about every single UUA congregation that existed during the twentieth century. Most files contain dozens of pages, with some larger congregational files numbering hundreds of pages. Documents within these files include field reports from regions, districts, and the national office; congregational histories; photographs; correspondence between the congregation and the UUA; paperwork filed to the UUA; sermons and orders of service; and other printed ephemera.

Using the UUA Congregation Records- Physical

If you are able to come to Chicago, email an archivist to schedule a visit. Researchers can request individual congregations or entire states or regions to access. 

If you can't come to Chicago, we can still help you! Even though onsite access is preferable, if you have specific questions or need scans of specific documents, we can help you. For assistance, email us at archives@meadville.edu

Browsing and Searching the UUA Congregational Records - JSTOR

Thanks to generous grants, we are currently digitizing the New York and Pennsylvania congregational records. All of our digital archive collections are freely available online. This link below will take you to a user-friendly search option that allows you to search by keyword for specific congregations, themes, ministers, or historical events. 

Other Digital Search Strategies

- If you would like to use more advanced search features, such as searching by denominational origin, congregational type, item type, or genre/form, select "Advanced Search using ContentDM" on the left side menu. 

- If you would like to browse by state and city, click the appropriate state on the left side menu. 

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


Library and Archives Phone: 312-546-6488        Library Email: library@meadville.edu        Archives Email: archives@meadville.edu