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Friends Meeting at Cambridge

Friends Meeting at Cambridge Records

8 vols., 15 boxes 10 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 C363

The present-day Friends Meeting at Cambridge began as an independent, informal, unprogrammed meeting for worship that met between 1899 and 1901, and then again beginning in 1911. After holding joint meetings with neighboring Boston Monthly Meeting starting in 1926, Cambridge became an official independent monthly meeting in 1937, and during the Quaker union of 1944, merged with Boston Monthly to create the new Friends Meeting at Cambridge.

Although records from Cambridge are beset with significant gaps, they nevertheless provide a rich opportunity for examining the growth of a monthly meeting in New England during the post-World War II era and the commitment shown by its members to creating social justice. The collection includes extensive records of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee (and related endeavors), documenting peace activism during the Cold War and Vietnam years, and initiatives to fight poverty and racial injustice.

Background on Friends Meeting at Cambridge

The present-day Friends Meeting at Cambridge began as an independent, informal, unprogrammed meeting for worship that met between 1899 and 1901, and then again beginning in 1911. In 1926, Cambridge held joint meetings with the programmed Boston Monthly, but became a formal independent monthly meeting in 1937.

At the time of Quaker unification and reorganization across New England, Cambridge merged with Boston to form the new Friends Meeting at Cambridge, part of Salem Quarter in New England Yearly Meting. Since then, several meetings have been set off from Cambridge into monthlies, including Acton (1965), Beacon Hill (1980), Framingham (1979), Fresh Pond (1990), North Shore (1981), and Wellesley (1959). Fresh Pond also meets in Cambridge.

Scope of collection

Although the records of the Friends Meeting at Cambridge are beset with significant gaps, they are nevertheless a rich resource for examining the growth of a monthly meeting in New England during the post-World War II era and the commitment they showed to social activism.

The collection includes a nearly complete run of the meeting newsletter (called a Bulletin in its early days), extending from 1927 to 2010, but the minutes are clustered in two disjunct periods of time: 1937-1844, when the meeting was working to union with Boston, and from 1998 onward.

What is most notable about the collection, however, is the fortuitous survival of an exceptionally rich body of records falling primarily in the period 1955-1970. During this period, the meeting preserved an extensive body of correspondence and records of some of its committees, providing fascinating detail on Quaker concerns over social justice issues, especially civil rights and peace activism. Members of Cambridge Monthly were deeply involved in peace and antiwar activity, working with Peace Witness and Witness for Peace, supporting a Draft Information Center, and offering sanctuary to soldiers resisting service in Vietnam. From the late 1940s into the mid-1960s, the meeting also operating work projects and community initiatives, including a work camp in Roxbury.

Inventory

Minutes
1937-2005
Cambridge Monthly: Minutes
1937 June 10-1944 Dec. 26
Bound vol.
09:A3
Minutes
1998-1999
Box 11
Minutes
2000
Box 11
Minutes
2001
Box 11
Minutes
2002
Box 11
Minutes
2003
Box 11
Minutes
2004
Box 10
Minutes
2005
Box 10
Cambridge Monthly: Minutes index (shoebox), 1
Box 3
Cambridge Monthly: Minutes index (shoebox), 2
Box 4
Cambridge Monthly: Minutes index (shoebox), 3
Box 5
Cambridge Monthly: Minutes index (shoebox), 4
Box 6
Cambridge Monthly: Minutes index (shoebox), 5
Box 7
Cambridge Monthly: Minutes index (shoebox), 6
Box 8
Cambridge Monthly: Minutes (Index to unidentified vol.)
undated
Bound vol.
09:A3
Correspondence and reports
1911-1974
Correspondence, A-B
1960-1961
Box 12
Correspondence, C-D
1960-1961
Box 12
Correspondence, D-F
1960-1961
Box 12
Correspondence, G-J
1960-1961
Box 12
Correspondence, K-M
1960-1961
Box 12
Correspondence, N-R
1960-1961
Box 12
Correspondence, S-Z
1960-1961
Box 12
Correspondence: Wayne
1973-1974
Box 12
Early Cambridge Meeting correspondence and notes
1938-1967
Box 10
Boston and Cambridge Joint Meeting
1944-1954
Box 12
Boston-Cambridge Union
1944
Box 12
Membership and attendance
1911-1916
Box 10
Cambridge Monthly: Membership
1937
Bound vol.
09:A3
Cambridge Monthly: Membership
1937-1944
Bound vol.
09:A3
Committees
1947-1981
Committee
1961
Box 12
Committee and State of the Society reports
2003-2004
Box 10
Displaced persons
1951-1954
Box 12
Draft
1958-1961, 1971
Box 12
Draft Information Center
1971
Box 12
Draft Information Center office manual
1971
Bound vol.
09:A3
First Day School
1964 Sept.-1969 Nov.
Box 12
First Day School: Correspondence
1967 May-Nov.
Box 12
First Day School: Correspondence
1968-1970
Box 12
First Day School: Junior Business Meeting
1947-1965
Box 12
First Day School: Junior Business Meeting
1947-1965
Box 12
Cambridge Monthly: Friends Guild
1956 Jan.-1964 May
Bound vol.
09:A3
International Affairs Committee
1968-1969
Box 14
Long range planning
1969-1971
Box 14
Cambridge Monthly: Missionary Society
1953-1957
Bound vol.
09:A3
Peace and Social Justice Committee and Peacework
1955-1981
New England Friends Witness for Peace
1964-1966
Box 14
New England Friends Witness for Peace: Correspondence, finance, and overseers
1961-1976
Box 14
Peace and Social Concerns
1960-1961
Box 14
Peace and Social Concerns: Capital punishment
1956-1960
Box 14
Peace and Social Concerns: Congressional Districts
1959
Box 14
Peace and Social Concerns: Finance
1956-1966
Box 14
Peace and Social Concerns: Peace testimony survey
1966
Box 14
Peace and Social Concerns: Race relations
1959-1962
Box 14
Peace and Social Concerns: Refugees
1962-1963
Box 14
Peace and Social Concerns: Vietnam
1955-1974
Box 14
Peace and Social Concerns: Vigil
1963
Box 14
Peace Witness
1964-1965
Box 14
Peace Witness
1955-1970
Box 14
Peace Witness
1970
Box 14
Peace Witness
1962
Box 14
Peace Witness
1968-1970
Box 14
Peace Witness: Avon Instittute Scholarships
1960-1964
Box 14
Peace Witness: Circular letters
1960-1961
Box 14
Peace Witness: Correspondence
1954-1966
Box 14
Peace Witness: Correspondence
1954-1966
Box 14
Peace Witness: Peace Corps
1960
Box 14
Peace Witness: Peace walks
1960-1962
Box 14
Peace Witness: Prayer and conscience vigil
1957
Box 14
Peace Witness: Refugees
1959-1967
Box 14
Peace Witness: Subject files
1955-1959
Box 14
Peace Witness: Turn Toward Peace
1961-1964
Box 14
New England Friends join the Quaker Peace Witness scrapbook
1960
Bound vol.
09:A3
Peace Witness: Voluntary peace tax
1961
Box 14
Personnel Committee
1963-1964
Box 13
Quaker Project on Community Conflict
1966
Box 13
Sanctuary: articles
1967-1968
Box 13
Sanctuary: Eric Rutan (AWOL, 1968) and Ed Mason (1969)
1968-1969
Box 13
Sanctuary: Eric Rutan: photographs
1968
Box 13
Social Guidelines Committee
1964-1965
Box 13
Witness for Peace
1967-1972
Box 13
Witness for Peace
1967-1972
Box 13
Witness for Peace
1973-1974
Box 13
Witness for Peace
1975
Box 13
Witness for Peace
1978-1981
Box 13
Witness for Peace: Miscellaneous
1976
Box 13
Witness for Peace: Photographs
1972
Box 13
Work Camps
1948-1969
Work projects: Roxbury Community Work Camp
1961
Box 13
Work projects: Roxbury Community Work Camp
1956-1959, 1966-1969
Box 13
Work projects: Roxbury Community Work Camp
1956-1962
Box 13
Work projects: Work Camp
1948-1949
Box 13
Work projects: Work Camp
1952-1955
Box 13
Work projects: Work Camp
1957
Box 13
Work projects: Work Camp
1963-1964
Box 13
Work projects: Work Camp photographs
1948-1950
Box 13
Work projects: Young Friends’ Work Camp
1949-1966
Box 13
Worship and ministry
1716-2018
Ministry and Counsel
1972 Apr.-1975 Apr.
Box 14
Overseers
1970 Sept.-1974 Apr.
Box 14
Finance and property
1946-1980
Finance
1946-1949
Box 12
Finance
1950-1955
Box 12
Finance
1980
Box 12
Newsletters and publications
1927-2010
Bulletin
1927-1931
Box 1
Bulletin
1936-1942
Box 1
Bulletin
1942-1947
Box 1
Bulletin
1947-1950
Box 1
Bulletin
1950-1954
Box 1
Bulletin
1954-1958
Box 1
Bulletin
1958-1962
Box 1
Bulletin
1962-1964
Box 1
Directories and membership lists
1947-1959
Box 9
Directories and membership lists
1960-1969
Box 9
Directories and membership lists
1970-1979
Box 9
Directories and membership lists
1980-1989
Box 9
Newsletters
1965-1972
Box 2
Newsletters
1973-1974
Box 2
Newsletters
1975-1978
Box 2
Newsletters
1979-1981
Box 2
Newsletters
1982
Box 2
Newsletters
1997-2000
Box 2
Newsletters
2001-2003
Box 2
Newsletters
2004-2005
Box 15
(11:A2)
Newsletters
2006-2010
Box 15
(11:A2)
Miscellaneous
1914-1977
American Friends Service Committee fliers on meeting in Cambridge
1928-1931
Box 10
Anniversary and history
1962, 1967, 1977
Box 14
Miscellaneous papers from Henry H. Perry
1946
Box 9
Opening of the meeting house
1951
Box 10
Selleck, George, Quakers in Boston, 1656-1964 [information on book]
1964
Box 13
Cambridge Monthly: George Selleck Papers
1945-1977
Box: 0.25
11:A4
With Friends in Cambridge [article]
1914
Box 10

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Gift of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends Records, March 2016.

Related Material

This collection is part of the New England Yearly Meeting Records.

Additional materials on the merger of Cambridge and Boston are located in the records of Boston Monthly Meeting.

The Friends Meeting at Cambridge maintains an extensive archive of their own records.

Current contact for the meeting

Friends Meeting at Cambridge website (accessed Nov. 2018)

Bibliography

George Selleck, Quakers in Boston, 1656-1964: Three Centuries of Friends in Boston and Cambridge. Cambridge, Mass.: Friends Meeting at Cambridge, 1976

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, October 2018.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Friends Meeting at Cambridge Records (MS 902 C363). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Cambridge (Mass.)–Religious life and customs
  • Peace movements–Massachusetts–Cambridge
  • Quakers–Massachusetts
  • Society of Friends–Massachusetts
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975–Protest movements–Massachusetts–Cambridge

Names

  • New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Genre terms

  • Minutes (Administrative records)
  • Newsletters
  • Photographs

Link to similar SCUA collections

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Cambridge (Mass.)--Religious life and customsPeace movements--Massachusetts--CambridgeQuakers--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--MassachusettsVietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Massachusetts--Cambridge

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)NewslettersPhotographs

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