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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 404

Williams, George Huntston, 1914-. Papers on pro-life organizations in the United States and on abortion issues, 1965-1985.

George Huntston Williams papers on pro-life organizations in the United States and on abortion issues. The papers span 1965-1985.


  • 1965-1985


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


17 boxes

Series I consists of letters and correspondence, brochures, pamphlets and newsletters of organizations concerning abortion and pro-life issues that George Huntston Williams gathered as member and chairman of the Americans United for Life, the oldest national and non-denominational pro-life organization in the United States. As the first chairman for Americans United for Life, George Huntston Williams corresponded with and received numerous letters from a wide variety of pro-life organizations across the United States and the world. These organizations are arranged alphabetically. Series II includes U.S. Courts Briefs and proceedings on abortion trials from 1968 to 1986. Series III is a collection of miscellaneous articles and photocopies of newspaper clippings on abortion. Series IV consists of miscellaneous articles and newspaper clippings on euthanasia, reproduction, and population studies.

Biographical / Historical

George Huntston Williams (1914-2000), the son of a Unitarian minister who held pastorates in Ohio and in Rochester, New York, was born in Huntsburg, Ohio, on April 7, 1914. Williams graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1936, Meadville Theological Seminary in 1939, and Union Theological School in 1946. He served as the President of the American Society of Church History from 1957-1958, and was Chairman of Americans United for Life from 1970-1977. In 1941, Williams assumed teaching duties in church history at the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California and at the adjacent Pacific School of Religion. He joined the faculty of Harvard Divinity School in 1947, and remained until his retirement in 1980. While on the faculty of Harvard Divinity School, he served as the Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History from 1956-1963, Hollis Professor of Divinity from 1963-1980, and was Acting Dean from 1953-1955. He was an official Delegate Observer to the Second Vatican Council from 1962-1965. His academic interest in the Polish Reformation led to his acquaintance with H.E. Karol Cardinal Wojtyla of Poland, who was elected Pope John Paul II in 1978. His familiarity with the future pontiff led to the publication of The Mind of John Paul II: Origins of Thought and Action (1981), The Contours of Church and State in the Thought of John Paul II (1983), and Law of Nature: John Paul II on St. Benedict (1984).


Organized into the following series:
  1. Series I. Pro-life organizations, arranged alphabetically
  2. Series II. U.S. Court Briefs and Proceedings, arranged chronologically
  3. Series III. Papers and articles on abortion, arranged chronologically
  4. Series IV. Papers and articles on euthanasia, reproduction, and population studies, arranged chronologically

Acquisition Information

Gift of George Huntston Williams.

Processing Information

Processed by Joseph Florez, 2012.
Link to catalog
Williams, George Huntston, 1914-. Papers on pro-life organizations in the United States and on abortion issues, 1965-1985: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library

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.

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