American Congregational Association

History Matters

aka Congregational Library & Archives   |   Boston, MA   |  congregationallibrary.org

Mission

To preserve and advance the study and deeper understanding of the Congregational story, one of our society’s most influential intellectual, civic, and spiritual traditions.

Ruling year info

1924

Executive Director

Dr. Margaret Lamberts Bendroth

Main address

14 Beacon Street Ste 206

Boston, MA 02108 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-2103658

NTEE code info

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Congregational Library & Archives is planning for an ambitious future. The sale of 14 Beacon in August 2017 released us from the liabilities of local property ownership and provided an endowment sufficient to support our work. With a long-term lease that ensures our current space and allows us to expand it significantly, we have a new opportunity to provide excellent library services and to broaden our outreach to the people we serve all around the country: scholars, churches, and the wider public. We are dedicated to the idea that history matters: that the past is a vital resource for all in the modern world.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

New England's Hidden Histories

Congregational church records offer a rich and remarkable view of life in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century New England. Well before the writing of the Constitution each member in the early Puritan churches had an equal vote, with the power to govern themselves and to choose their own ministers. The records of these congregations document births, deaths, and marriages, but also open a window onto the lives of ordinary people deliberating on matters both sacred and secular. For much of the colonial period, church business was town business, and so beyond the usual information on births, deaths, and marriages, church records show ordinary people making decisions about property, taxation, and their representation in the larger affairs of the Commonwealth.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to be a state-of-the-art, twenty-first-century research facility, fully accessible to researchers, offsite and in person, and free of charge to anyone wanting to know more about Congregationalism, one of our nation’s oldest and most influential spiritual traditions. To achieve this, we must both preserve and interpret the materials in our collection, offering programs that cross traditional boundaries between scholars and laypeople, academics and the wider public.

The renovation we are planning will maintain all that is best about the Congregational Library & Archives and vastly improve our present facilities. The beautiful Reading Room overlooking Beacon Hill will remain a quiet haven for researchers and open to visitors. Additional room on the second floor will provide badly needed space for library and archive staff to process manuscript collections and safely store materials. It will also include room for our growing number of digital projects and the technical equipment required. The renovation will also include kitchen facilities, and for public meetings and seminars. In addition, we will install a critical upgrade to the fire suppression system in the library stacks and increase the storage capacity of our rare book room. Finally, our new design will facilitate our educational mission, with flexible space for exhibits, lectures, and public gatherings.

The Library has a current goal of raising $750,000 with a goal to complete the renovation in time for 2020, the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims in Plymouth. With expert board and professional leadership. With a strong and engaged donor base, community, and strong vision, the Library is more than prepared to take on this new and exciting vision for the future.

Projects underway include an essay collection on the Pilgrim heritage with contributions from leading scholars and a curriculum for adult study groups and local churches. We have also organized several significant public events, the first in fall 2019, a public symposium on history and memory involving leading Puritan and Native American historians. Our October 2020 commemoration of the first worship service in Plymouth will feature a nationally-known author. In the meantime, the Library will continue to produce and host accessible and informative events and content to further bolster its mission.

Financials

American Congregational Association
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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American Congregational Association

Board of directors
as of 4/29/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Charles Hambrick-Stowe

Robert Bachelder

Mary Biedron

Francis Bremer

Karen Byrne

Davis Dyer

Richard Elliott

Mark Gabrielson

Stephen Gray

James Hopkins

S. C. Lovett

Linda Rhoads

Stephen Silver

Julie Staples

Gregor Trinkaus-Randall

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable