Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 80

Sperry, Willard Learoyd, 1882-1954. Papers, 1902-1954.

Letters and sermons of of Congregationalist minister and dean of Harvard Divinity School Willard Learoyd Sperry (1882-1954). The collection also contains subject files on Amherst College, Andover Newton Theological School, and Harvard Divinity School, among others. Finally, there are miscellaneous writings and other materials, including clippings, notes, and article fragments.

Dates

  • 1902-1954.

Extent

6 boxes

This collection consists of letters to and correspondence with Sperry 's family, particularly his sister, Pauline Sperry. These letters are arranged chronologically. There are also sermons, listed chronologically, by Sperry. The collection also contains subject files on Amherst College, Andover Newton Theological School, and Harvard Divinity School, among others. Finally, there are miscellaneous writings and other materials, including clippings, notes, and article fragments.

Biographical / Historical

Willard Learoyd Sperry (1882-1954) was born in Peabody, Massachusetts. He received his BA from Olivet College in 1903, an MA from Oxford in 1907, and another MA from Yale University in 1908. He was ordained a Congregationalist minister at the First Congregational Church of Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1908. Sperry served congregations in Fall River and Boston, until he resigned in order to serve as dean of the new theological school at Harvard University, a union of Andover Theological Seminary and Harvard Divinity School. When the union between the two schools was declared invalid, Sperry became dean of Harvard Divinity School in 1925. In 1928, he was appointed chairman of the Harvard Board of Preachers and Plummer Professor of Christian Morals. Sperry was also a prolific author and published numerous volumes, including The Paradox of Religion (1927), Religion in an Age of Science (1935), Religion and Our Divided Denominations (1945), The Ethical Basis of Medical Practice (1950), and Worship in an Academic Community (1951).

Arrangement

Organized into the following series:
  1. Series I. Letters to his sister, Pauline Sperry, 1903-1907, 1911, 1917-1921,1922, 1925-1954
  2. Series II. Letters to Pauline Sperry from Muriel Bennett Sperry (Mrs. WillardLearoyd Sperry), 1919, 1934-1935, 1939-1943
  3. Series III. Letters to his family, 1902-1935
  4. Series IV. General correspondence, 1923-1953
  5. Series V. Sermons
  6. Series VI. Miscellaneous writings
  7. Series VII. Subject files
  8. Series VIII. Miscellaneous

Acquisition Information

Gift of Dr. Pauline Sperry , 1963-1964 .

Related Materials

For a related collection, please see bMS 451 .
Title
Sperry, Willard Learoyd, 1882-1954. Papers, 1902-1954: A Finding Aid.
Author
Andover-Harvard Theological Library
EAD ID
div00080

Repository Details

Part of the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School Repository

Special Collections at Andover-Harvard Theological 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.

Contact:
45 Francis Avenue
Cambridge MA 02138-1911 USA
(617) 384-7904
617-496-4111 (Fax)