Finding and Using Sources for African American History at the Congregational Library & Archives

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The Congregational Library & Archives will host an in-person workshop on finding and using sources for African American history at 14 Beacon Street in Boston from 5:30-7:30 pm on Wednesday, March 6, 2024.

The workshop, led by Dr. Richard Boles, will introduce participants to archival materials related to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century African Americans that are available at the CLA or digitally within our New England’s Hidden Histories project. African American men and women have been active in New England’s Congregational churches since the seventeenth century, so church records, sermons, personal papers, diaries, association records, biographies, and other documents are valuable sources for a variety of research projects.

For more information, please email


Dr. Richard Boles is an Associate Professor of History at Oklahoma State University. He specializes in early North American and United States history, particularly African American, Native American, and American religious histories. His first book, Dividing the Faith: The Rise of Segregated Churches in the Early American North (NYU Press, 2020), examines the transition from racially diverse churches during the early eighteenth century to separate Native American and African American congregations by the early nineteenth century in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions. Richard began researching at the Congregational Library & Archives in 2004 and is currently a member of its Board of Directors.