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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 200

Papers, 1897-1948.


Papers of Universalist minister, John van Schaick, including sermons, correspondence, writings, and biographical material. The papers span 1897-1948.


  • Creation: 1897-1948.
  • Creation: 1897-1948


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


4 boxes

This collection is divided into four series. Series I contains sermons, 1897-1948, arranged chronologically. The sermons are all handwritten and most contain information on where the sermons were delivered. Series II consists of other writings such as essays, lectures, and miscellaneous fragments. Series III is correspondence, arranged alphabetically by correspondent with family letters and unidentified letters at the end. Series IV is biographical material on Van Schaick, including newspaper clippings and photographs.

Biographical / Historical

John Van Schaick (1873-1949) was born in Cobleskill, New York. He received his AB from Union College in 1894 and was awarded an honorary DD from St. Lawrence University in 1910. He was ordained at the Church of Our Father, Universalist, in Washington, D.C., in 1901, where he served as pastor until 1918. In 1915, under a leave of absence from his church, he worked under the Rockefeller War Relief Commission and was then appointed commissioner for Belgium under the American Red Cross. His work as commissioner earned him Belgium's highest honor, the Order of Leopold. He also served as editor of the Universalist Leader from 1922 to 1945. Van Schaick is the author of The Little Corner Never Conquered (1921), Cruising Around a Changing World (1923), The Community Within the Walls (1934), and Characters in Tales of a Wayside Inn (1939).


Organized into the following series:

  1. Series I. Sermons, 1847-1948
  2. Series II. Other writings
  3. Series III. Correspondence, 1898-1928
  4. Series IV. Biographical material

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Unitarian Universalist Association, 1978.

Van Schaick, John, 1873-. Papers, 1897-1948: 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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