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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 16135

Unitarian Service Committee. Chairman and President, William Emerson. Records, 1939-1957.


Records of the Unitarian Service Committee's chairman and president, William Emerson. Includes reports and records on incorporation of USC. The records cover 1939-1957.


  • Creation: 1939-1957.


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


4 boxes

This collection contains the records of Dr. William Emerson, who was chairman of the Unitarian Service Committee when it was a standing committee of the American Unitarian Association from 1940 to 1948. When the USC was incorporated in 1948, Dr. Emerson became its president and served in that role until 1953. He was honorary president from 1953 to the time of his death in 1957. The records cover a wide variety of subjects, including documentation concerning some of the factors and conflicts which led to the incorporation of the Unitarian Service Committee in 1948. There are also reports on the work of the Service Committee throughout the world, particularly in France, Germany, England, Hungary, and Portugal.

Biographical / Historical

The Unitarian Service Committee was formed in May 1940 as a standing committee of the American Unitarian Association. Its purpose was to be a committee to investigate opportunities both in America and abroad for humanitarian service. During and after World War II, the Unitarian Service Committee aided hundreds of displaced persons in occupied countries, allowing many of them to find passage to the United States. The present-day Unitarian Universalist Service Committee continues to endeavor to advance human rights and social justice throughout the world.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

General note

The number after the slash in each entry in the following list indicates the box number, and the number in parentheses is the folder number. Portions of this collection have been digitized for a collaborative project with the U.S. Holocaust Museum and the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine (CDJC), France. Those items have a "See digital image" link.

Unitarian Service Committee. Chairman and President, William Emerson. Records, 1939-1957: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Divinity School Library, Harvard University Repository

Special Collections at Harvard Divinity School Library preserves and makes accessible primary source materials documenting the history of religion and theology, with particular historical emphasis on American liberal religious traditions. Though the historical strengths of the collections have been in the field of Christianity, other religious traditions are increasingly reflected, in step with Harvard Divinity School's evolving focus on global religious studies. Known as Andover-Harvard Theological Library since 1911, it was renamed the Harvard Divinity School Library in 2021.

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