Inventory and Calendar of Puritan Records, 1640–1714
Research into the gathered churches of the Civil War, Commonwealth, Restoration, and Later Stuart Period has been hampered by the lack of an accurate and comprehensive survey of available resources. We therefore set up InvenCaP in 2013, supervised by an international steering committee, to provide essential resources for the investigation of Puritan, Nonconformist, and Dissenting church history and literature across the period 1640–1714 and beyond.
The primary purpose of InvenCaP is to create (a) a reliable and detailed inventory Baptist, Congregational, and Presbyterian church records for the period 1640–1714 (b) to calendar the records. Our definition of ‘church records’ includes church books, financial account books, and church registers, but does not extend to ministerial personal papers, legal documents such as deeds, or parochial records of the 1650s.
The first stage of the project has been to prepare an online inventory of relevant church records for the period. The inventory records the current location and (where relevant) the reference number of the manuscript, together with its title, the dates covered, the church or congregation to which it refers, and the denomination.
The catalogue has been published on the site of the Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature in English (2016):
The second stage of the project, for which work will be undertaken from 2018, involves calendaring the records outlined in the inventory. Our objective is to provide a page-by-page account of each document, including information on minutes of church meetings, disciplinary cases, financial accounts, confessions of faith, covenants, church registers, church correspondence, and church histories. Once complete, the calendar will provide a detailed overview of the experience of dissent within an unprecedented number of congregations, chapels, and conventicles across the period.
The calendar will also feature a list of ministers and historically important officers and members, available transcriptions, printed and digital editions, as well as a select bibliography for each church. It will be supplemented by a full scholarly introduction on the nature, scope and use of early dissenting manuscripts, and a series of full indexes to facilitate research throughout the data.
InvenCaP has been supported by:
– The School of Arts and Humanities (Aix-Marseille Université), that funded a one-day workshop and first meeting of the steering committee in 2013.
– The Institut Universitaire de France that helped fund three one-day conferences on dissenting culture (2013–2015)
-A British Academy Small Grant (2016–2018) to start calendaring the records.