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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 108

Richardson, Robert Dale. Papers, 1920-1969.


Papers of Unitarian minister Robert Dale Richardson (1901-1969) including writings; sermons; letters from Richardson to his parents and other correspondence; subject files on Boston State Hospital, Abraham Lincoln's autobiography, and worship materials; materials related to Richardson's education at Harvard University and Meadville Theological School; and biographical clippings and photographs.


  • Creation: 1920-1969.


22 boxes

This collection is divided into six series. Series I consists of writings, including book-length manuscripts and articles, arranged alphabetically by title. Series II contains Richardson's sermons, bound and unbound, arranged chronologically. Series III is comprised of letters from Richardson to his parents, arranged chronologically, as well as special letters and general correspondence, arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Series IV contains subject files on Boston State Hospital, Abraham Lincoln's autobiography, and worship materials. Series V consists of materials related to Richardson's education at Harvard University and Meadville Theological School, including class notes and papers. Series VI is a biographical file that includes clippings and photographs

Biographical / Historical

Robert Dale Richardson (1901-1969) graduated from Harvard College in 1924; Queens College, Oxford, England, in 1926; and Meadville Theological Seminary in 1928. He was ordained to the Unitarian ministry in 1928 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and also served parishes in Laconia, New Hampshire; and Medford, Wayland, Concord, and Sharon, Massachusetts. From 1959 to 1968, he served as the Protestant chaplain at the Boston State Hospital. He published 125 Years of Unitarian Sunday Schools in 1952 and the article "Eastern and Western Liturgies: The Primitive Basis of Their Later Differences" in the Harvard Theological Review (v. 42, no. 2, April, 1949).


Organized into the following series:

  1. Series I. Writings
  2. Subseries A. Book-length manuscripts
  3. Subseries B. Articles
  4. Series II. Sermons
  5. Subseries A. Bound
  6. Subseries B. Unbound
  7. Series III. Letters
  8. Subseries A. Letters by Richardson to his parents, Emmet L. and Harriet F. Richardson, 1920-1952
  9. Subseries B. Special letters
  10. Subseries C. General correspondence
  11. Series IV. Subject Files
  12. Subseries A. Boston State Hospital
  13. Subseries B. Abraham Lincoln's autobiography
  14. Subseries C. Worship materials
  15. Series V. Education
  16. Subseries A. Harvard University, 1921-1924
  17. Subseries B. Meadville Theological School, 1927-1928.
  18. Series VI. Biographical

Acquisition Information

Gift of Lucy M. Richardson, 1972.

Richardson, Robert Dale. Papers: 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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