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MacLean Religious Education Special Collection (Community Patrons): Home

Sharing the history of Unitarian Universalist religious education

Angus MacLean Religious Education Special Collection

The Sophia Fahs Center for the Study of Religious Education was founded in 1993 to provide a space for reading, relaxation, and resources for seminary students and practitioners of religious education. The Fahs Center focused on preserving the records of the past to build upon the traditions that teach us; creating a space for researching, interpreting, and documenting educational practices in congregations; and modeling how to draw creatively upon these materials to speak to the needs of the future.

Out of its larger mission, the Fahs Center created the MacLean Religious Education Special Collection, collecting curricular materials, teaching artifacts, theoretical frameworks, and the personal papers of liberal religious educators dating back to the origins of the Unitarian Universalist faith tradition. Materials were gathered from the Meadville Lombard library stacks, the Liberal Religious Educators Association, UU congregations, and personal collections of religious education practitioners around the world.

In 2012, the newly formed Fahs Collaborative took on the work of cataloguing and updating the MacLean Special Collection. A corps of master religious educators formed a volunteer working group to prepare the collection for use in classrooms, research, and curriculum development.

Today the Fahs Collaborative, through collections such as this one, is working to ensure that the power of liberal teaching and learning actualizes the wisdom found in this collection to inspire the flourishing of human life, writ large. It is hoped that the MacLean Special Collection will expand to include the stories of professional development for UU religious educators; curricular materials that speak to the spiritual needs of children, youth, and adults; vibrant teachings found in UU summer camps and conferences; the teaching and learning experiences of identity groups within UUism; and the professional papers of professional UU theorists and practitioners.

Using the MacLean Special Collection

With few exceptions, the entirety of the MacLean Special is open to researchers. Archives staff will inform you if there are any donor placed restrictions on access to a particular collection.

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

Steering Committee

Each Special Collection is guided by a steering committee. The chair of the MacLean Steering Committee is Liz Jones. To contact her, email Liz Jones here. 

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