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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 16114

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Administrative Records, ca. 1935-2006.


Records of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, including general historical records, war and post-war papers, and medical mission records. The papers span 1935-2006.


  • Creation: 1935-2006.
  • Creation: 1938-1993
  • Creation: 1940-1996


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


10 boxes

This collection was digitized after the Andover-Harvard Theological Library digital project was completed. It includes information about the Righteous Among the Gentiles award bestowed on Martha and Waitstill Sharp by Yad Vashem in 2006 (box 4, folder 65). The collection includes originals and photocopies of reports, meeting minutes, publications, correspondence, newspaper articles, announcements, programs, obituaries, oral history transcripts, a bibliography, and photographs. Many of the records are concerned with the founding and evolving mission, objectives, and leadership of the UUSC. The records also pertain to the organization's projects, leadership, and offices in the United States and abroad during and after World War II. Other records relate specifically to the international medical missions of the UUSC. The date range for this collection is very wide (1935-2006) because it contains historical studies, articles and interviews that were created well after the post-war period.

Biographical / Historical

The American Unitarian Association (AUA) was created and headquartered in Boston, MA, in 1825. In May 1940, the Unitarian Service Committee (USC) was established as a committee of the American Unitarian Association (AUA) for the United States and Canada. In mid 1945, the Universalist Service Committee was formed. The USC separated from the AUA and USC Canada became a separate entity in December 1948. In 1961, the AUA united with the Universalist Church of America to establish the Unitarian Universalist Association. The official establishment of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) occurred in 1963, when the Unitarian Service Committee and the Universalist Service Committee merged into one.

Both the Unitarians and Universalists had long histories of being strong supporters of social service activities in the United States and abroad. Between World War I and World War II, the Unitarian publication, the Christian Register, and the Universalist publication, the Christian Leader, helped to address issues of fascism abroad. The Unitarians especially became known for their humanitarian actions during World War II. They set up offices in such places as Prague; Czechoslovakia; Lisbon, Portugal; and Geneva, Switzerland; and sent representatives such as Martha and Waitstill Sharp who assisted Jewish and non-Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution in Prague, Czechoslovakia; and Pau, France, a region of the Basse Pyrenees in France. Another Unitarian representative, Noel Field and his wife Herta Field worked in a USC office in Marseille, France, and later opened an office in Geneva, where they also assisted refugees fleeing from Nazi occupied lands. Both the Unitarians and Universalists supported medical missions around the world following World War II and continuing after their union in 1963.


Organized into the following series:

  1. Series I. UUSC general historical records, ca. 1938-1993
  2. Series II. UUSC war records
  3. Series III. UUSC post-war records
  4. Series IV. UUSC medical mission records, 1940-1996

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. This collection has been digitized and the scans can be accessed through the "See digital image" links.

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Administrative Records, ca. 1935-2006: 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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