Transcribed Early American Manuscript Church Records Now Online

New England’s Hidden Histories (NEHH), of the Congregational Library & Archives in Boston, locates, digitizes, and publishes rare seventeenth- and eighteenth-century manuscript church records online. We are pleased to announce that over 4,000 pages in our free archive have now been transcribed, making them readily accessible to all users. Among these materials are church records from Barnstable, Franklin, Georgetown, Marblehead, and Stoneham, Massachusetts, from Brunswick and Sanford, Maine, and from other colonial-era communities.

Also newly available at http://www.congregationallibrary.org/nehh/main are over 1,100 transcribed pages of autobiographical and spiritual testimony from hundreds of members of the first church of Middleboro, Massachusetts. This collection of lay faith relations, the largest ever published, offers an unparalleled glimpse into the inner lives of ordinary people from a half century before the Revolution until the Civil War.

Additional transcriptions are forthcoming, including more church records, hundreds of additional lay relations of faith, the New World’s first systematic theological treatise (1656); an early draft of the Cambridge Platform and a response to lay objections about it (c. 1650), and portions of a deacon’s notebook (1638–46).  All of these materials are appearing in print for the first time.

About New England’s Hidden Histories.—Our New England forbears enshrined the most intimate details of their lives and their communities in their manuscript church records. Therein can be found minutes of spirited church debates and disciplinary hearings, personal narratives, lay and clerical faith explorations, ministerial pronouncements, and a full complement of vital statistics (church membership lists, baptisms, marriages, and deaths), which together reveal the texture of early New England society. New England’s Hidden Histories has produced tens of thousands of digital images of these documents, and now myriad transcriptions, in its ongoing effort to freely share this incomparable historical resource with scholars, teachers, students, genealogists, church historians, and all interested members of the public.

We welcome volunteers interested in assisting us with transcriptions.  Please send inquiries to Helen Gelinas, our Director of Transcription, at hgelinas@14beacon.org. James Cooper, the Director of New England’s Hidden Histories, can be reached at jcooper@14beacon.org.

New England’s Hidden Histories is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Council on Library and Information Resources.

New Journal: Studies in Puritanism

Studies in Puritanism, a new,  open access journal, has just been launched, https://www.studiesinpuritanism.org/

About the journal:

“The results of twentieth-century scholarship on Puritanism are diverse and deficient. In fact, it can be argued the diversity is a result of different interpretative frameworks and different aims of the research. The varying frameworks can be characterized as either focused theologically or interdisciplinary with the respective aims of edifying the church or contributing to the field of humanities. Arguably, both are deficient as they lack a broader interpretive framework and aim of research. This proposal advocates for a research framework that is meaningful to both the academy and the church. The Studies in Puritanism Journal is an open-access worldwide interdisciplinary and professionally refereed digital publication that will invite graduate students, scholars, clergy, seminarians, and other readers of Puritanism to submit their articles, book reviews, notes, and documents to the editors for review and online publication. Comments on the reviewed articles will be sent to the author. Once each spring and fall, the editors will select appropriate items for online publication in Studies in Puritanism Journal.

Founding Members

Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (USA), Theological University Apeldoorn (Netherlands), and Queen’s University Belfast (UK)

Editors

Joel R. Beeke, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, USA

Crawford Gribben, Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom

Adriaan C. Neele, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary / Yale University, USA

Herman J. Selderhuis, Theological University Apeldoorn, The Netherlands

Editorial Board

John Coffey, University of Leicester, United Kingdom

Lee Gatiss, The Church Society, Cambridge / New College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Johanna Harris, Exeter University, United Kingdom

Michael Haykin, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, USA

Paul C.H. Lim, Vanderbilt University, USA

Anthony Milton, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

Kenneth P. Minkema, Yale University, Jonathan Edwards Center, USA

Greg Salazar, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, USA

Alison Searle, University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Willem van Vlastuin, Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands”

Early Modern Religious Dissents and Radicalism Series

This is a new series edited by Routledge:

“Titles in the Early Modern Religious Dissents and Radicalism Series address the discursive constructions of religious dissent and the practices of radical movements in the early modern world. The series transcends traditional national and confessional historiographies to examine early modern religious culture as a dynamic system that was essential in forging complex identities and encouraging dialogue among them. The editors seek manuscripts that consider questions of dissent, radicalism, dissidence, libertinism, heresy, and heterodoxy, and examine these themes historically as socio-cultural constructions”, see https://emodir.hypotheses.org/emodir-routledge-series

Series Editors

Federico Barbierato

Hannah Marcus

Stefano Villani

Xenia von Tippelskirch

2018 IJBS Regional Day Conference

REMEMBRANCE AND RE-APPROPRIATION: SHAPING DISSENTING IDENTITIES

A Regional Day Conference of the International John Bunyan Society, organized in association with the University of Bedfordshire, Keele University, and Northumbria University.

Keele University, Staffordshire, Friday 13 April 2018
CALL FOR PAPERS

The purpose of this interdisciplinary conference is to explore seventeenth- and long-eighteenth-century practices of memorialisation and re-appropriation and the ways in which these might be put to work in shaping various dissenting identities. Papers may focus on, for example, the remembrance or re-appropriation of rituals or practices, experiences of persecution, anniversaries, memories, and events (personal or public); conservative vs subversive practices of memorialisation/re-appropriation; the collection and/or re-appropriation of particular texts, authors, or genres (devotional writing, history, biography); the contexts and/or methods for memorialisation/re-appropriation; the use of memorialisation/re-appropriation in the formation and survival of particular dissenting communities. Please send a title and brief (200-word) summary of a 20-minute paper – no later than 1 February 2018 – to: Rachel Adcock (r.c.adcock@keele.ac.uk), Bob Owens (bob.owens@beds.ac.uk), and David Walker (david5.walker@northumbria.ac.uk).

PLENARY SPEAKERS
Professor John Coffey (University of Leicester) – ‘Rewriting the History of Dissent’
Dr Johanna Harris (University of Exeter) – Title tba

REGISTRATION
Attendance is free of charge, but prior registration by 5 March 2018 is essential as numbers are limited. The conference opens at 10.00am, and ends at 5.00pm. Morning and afternoon refreshments and a light lunch will be provided, costing £15 payable on the day.

To register, please email r.c.adcock@keele.ac.uk, david5.walker@northumbria.ac.uk, and bob.owens@beds.ac.uk giving details of name; title; affiliation; postal and email addresses; and any dietary requirements. We may be able to offer modest financial assistance with travel costs of postgraduate students whose papers are accepted. If you wish to be considered for assistance, in addition to sending the title and outline of your proposed paper, please explain briefly why you would need help with travel costs.

Research Associate: The Correspondence of Daniel Defoe

KEELE UNIVERSITY

FACULTY OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

Research Associate – The Correspondence of Daniel Defoe (1 year fixed term)

Grade 7 Starting salary £32,004

Keele University is renowned for its exciting approach to higher education, innovative research, beautiful campus, strong community spirit and excellent student experience. With a turnover in excess of £134 million, over 10,000 students and a total staff of approximately 2000, the University provides high quality teaching across a wide range of academic and vocational subjects and promotes world-class research. Further information can be found at http://www.keele.ac.uk.

We are seeking to appoint a Research Associate. This post represents an exciting opportunity for an ambitious individual to work on an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project entitled ‘The Correspondence of Daniel Defoe’. The project will produce a new scholarly edition for Cambridge University Press of the letters of Defoe (1660-1731) and investigate the literary, personal, and political contexts of Defoe’s correspondence and related writings.

The successful candidate will undertake archival and bibliographic research into primary and secondary materials relating to Defoe’s life and writings. This involves conducting archival work in England and Scotland to source and transcribe primary materials. You will have the opportunity to communicate findings to academic and other audiences at conferences along with assisting in the planning of training events and public engagement activities.

Applicants must a have a PhD in literature or history (ideally with a focus on the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries) or equivalent qualification, and experience of planning and conducting research activities including collecting and analysing data. To be successful you must have excellent communication skills, with a professional and flexible approach to work and be skilled in writing high quality reports and other research documentation.

The post is available for 1 year with an expected start date of the 1st September 2017. 

For full post details please visit: www.keele.ac.uk/vacancies

Closing date for applications: 15th May 2017
Interviews will be held 9th June 2017
Post reference: KU00000451

CFP: Devotional Writing in Print and Manuscript

CALL FOR PAPERS:

‘Devotional Writing in Print and Manuscript in Early Modern England, 1558-1700’

 University of Warwick, Monday 26 June 2017, Ramphal Building

Plenary Speakers:

Emeritus Prof Bernard Capp (Warwick) and Dr Johanna Harris (Exeter)

‘Devotional Writing in Print and Manuscript’ is a major multi-disciplinary conference, hosted by the University of Warwick’s English Department in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, the Humanities Research Centre and the Early Modern Forum.  Contributions are invited from established scholars and postgraduate students alike.  Publication of a selection of papers is envisioned.

Themes for papers may include (but are not limited to): literary, visual. political, theological, historical, material, musical, polemical or any other treatments of the topics of devotional writing in print or manuscript in the context of reformation-era England.

These may include:

  • Piety of the Household/Neighbourhood
  • Children, Catechism and Memory
  • Temptation/Possession/Conversion Narratives
  • Fasts/Feasts/Thanksgiving Days
  • Prayer Books/Church Books/Book of Sports
  • Psalmody versus Hymnody
  • Playhouses, the Pulpit, and the Theatre of the Word
  • Sick-bed/Death-bed Accounts (ars moriendi)
  • Godly Missives and Communal Correspondences
  • Martyrology/Hagiography
  • Religious Iconography/Graffiti/Objects
  • Biblicism versus Fanaticism
  • Spiritual Manuals and/or Cases of Conscience

Please send abstracts/panel proposals of no more than 300 words for a 20-minute paper (along with a brief biography) by 30 April 2017 to: devotionalwritinginengland@gmail.com.

For more information, see: https://devotionalwritinginprintandmanuscriptinearlymodernengland.com