The Harvard Square Library was founded in 2000 by the Rev. Dr. Herbert F. Vetter as a retirement activity. He saw the potential of the Internet to make books and other scholarly materials available for free to anyone, anywhere in the world. For the past decade, Harvard Square Library has celebrated Unitarian Universalism and liberal religion by making biographies, history, books, and media of historical and contemporary interest available for free to a worldwide Internet audience. In 2008, Harvard Square Library was incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts as a non-profit tax exempt 501(c)3 organization.
HSL is an affiliated organization in relationship with the First Parish in Cambridge, Unitarian Universalist. Members of First Parish serve on HSL’s Board of Directors. These include James Vetter (President), Jane Sturtevant (Treasurer), Michael Melford, James Vetter, and Conrad E. Wright.
The Director of Harvard Square library is the UU historian the Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie.
HSL’s Mission and Vision
Harvard Square Library is a digital library that features biographies, books, historical documents, and other materials about Unitarian Universalism and religious liberalism. We provide these materials free of charge to an audience of Unitarian Universalist congregations, ministers, members, and friends, as well as theological students, scholarly researchers, and other site visitors from around the world.
Our collection includes biographies of notable Unitarian Universalists and other individuals relevant to the liberal religious tradition, as well as texts illustrating historic and contemporary Unitarian Universalist perspectives on:
- Denominational history and identity
- Worship and ritual arts
- Religious education
- Women and religion
- Religion, culture, and society
- Theology and philosophy
- History of Cambridge and Harvard University
Harvard Square Library seeks to present materials in usable formats for edification, research, and enjoyment.
Approved by the Board of Harvard Square Library, May, 2013