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Cambridge & Harvard

The Living Legacy of Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The Living Legacy of Ralph Waldo Emerson” as presented at HSL draws from a series of programs and resource materials developed for the Emerson bicentennial in 2003. The Emerson Bicentennial Committee commissioned an exhibit by Bonnie Hurd Smith that was shown at the 2003 GA, at the UUA headquarters and various congregations, including Shelter Rock. Working with Robert Richardson and Frank Schulman, Smith also produced an exhibit book, which the creators have generously allowed HSL to produce online as “The Living Legacy of RWE” as it appears here. Funding for this exhibit, as well as other events, came from the UUA, the Fund for Unitarian Universalism, the UU Sunday School Society, First & Second Church in Boston, the UU Historical Society, and the Shelter Rock congregation.

The Living Legacy of C. Conrad Wright

In 2011, Harvard Divinity School celebrated the life and legacy of eminent scholar and historian of the Unitarian Universalist tradition, Conrad Wright, with a retrospective conference. Included here are the published versions of talks given at the conference and later published in the Journal of Unitarian Universalist History.

The History of Cambridge

This series presents an illustrated special edition of the history of the famous town, from 1630 to 1800, written by the Rev. Abiel Holmes. The story includes the founding of Harvard College as well as George Washington’s command of the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

The Harvard Square God

This series, prepared by Herbert Vetter, offers vignettes of five philosophers, Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, William Ernest Hocking, Alfred North Whitehead, and Charles Hartshorne.

The Harvard Square Book

This series offers a collection of five “chapters” about Harvard Square, collected into a book by Herbert F. Vetter in 2007.

The Harvard Gallery of Photographs, by Rick Stafford

These photographs by Rick Stafford reflect forty years of his involvement with the Harvard University campus, including time he spent as University Photographer for the Harvard News Office. His work appeared in the Harvard Gazette, the Harvard Magazine, and also in Harvard Business School and various Radcliffe publications. This series features portraits of notable Harvard-related individuals.

The Harvard Book

In 1875 F.O. Vaille and H.A. Clark collected and published The Harvard Book, a two-volume series of historical, biographical, and descriptive sketches profusely illustrated with 75 fine heliotype plates and many wood engravings. These two huge leather-bound, gold-embossed volumes were a gift from the late Edith Maream Stebbins, a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Parish in Milton, Massachusetts.

The Church in Harvard Square

This series offers an illustrated history of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Cambridge, including pictures and text describing the first three centuries of the church, which was founded in 1636.

Poets of Cambridge

America’s first poet, Anne Bradstreet, once lived in Cambridge. Here are some brief biographies and selected poems of poets since Bradstreet.

Kahlil Gibran and Charles W. Eliot

In 1910, the artist and poet Kahlil Gibran met and drew a picture of Harvard’s President Charles W. Eliot. HSL makes available online an article by Paul M. Wright, editor of the University of Massachusetts Press’s series on “Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book.” The article is notable for its focus on the Harvard President who transformed the college into a prestigious university, and the poet from Lebanon whose works continue to inspire religious liberals today.

Ingersoll Lectures

The Ingersoll Lectures on Human Immortality were initiated by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot in 1896. This short piece offers a centenary review by Herbert Vetter of the lecturers from 1896 through 1996, as well as a list of the speakers and their topics through the years.

Harvard's Unitarian Presidents

From 1810 until 1933 all of the presidents of Harvard University were Unitarians—a span of 123 years. This illustrated series, compiled by Herbert Vetter in 2006, explores the contributions of these leaders of higher education.

Harvard Honors Nelson Mandela

On September 18, 1998, Harvard presented South African president Nelson Mandela with an honorary doctoral degree at a historic special convocation. See photos, speech transcripts, and more in this online book edited by Herbert Vetter and originally published by the Cambridge Forum.

Cambridge Forum Speakers, 1970-1990 Volume II

During the years 1970 to 1990, Herbert Vetter directed the Cambridge Forum of the First Parish in Cambridge. Recordings of the national radio broadcast of most of these forums are in the Harvard University Audio Archive and are available from Cambridge Forum. This series offers biographies of the many eminent speakers who have addressed the Forum.

Cambridge Forum Speakers, 1970-1990 Volume I

During the years 1970 to 1990, Herbert Vetter directed the Cambridge Forum of the First Parish in Cambridge. Recordings of the national radio broadcast of most of these forums are in the Harvard University Audio Archive and are available from Cambridge Forum. This series offers biographies of the many speakers who have addressed the Forum.


Notable in UU History
Ebenezer Gay

Ebenezer Gay (1696-1787)

Ebenezer Gay was the youngest son of Nathaniel and Lydia Gay, and was born in Dedham, ... Read More
Aurelia Henry Reinhardt

Aurelia Henry Reinhardt: Mills College President, 1877-1948

by Clare B. Fischer Aurelia Henry Reinhardt Professor of Religion and Culture, Starr King School for ... Read More
Abbot Lawrence Lowell President from 1909-1933

Abbott Lawrence Lowell (1909-1933)

by Katia Savchuk, Harvard ’07 Attorney, educator and twenty-fourth president of Harvard University, Abbott Lawrence Lowell ... Read More
Governor Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and his assistants chose the site of Cambridge.

The History of Cambridge: Settlement of Cambridge

2. Settlement of Cambridge THE settlement of Cambridge commenced in 1631. It was the original intention ... Read More