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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 438

May, Joseph, 1836-1918. Diary, 1872-1908.

Unitarian minister Joseph May’s diary, including clippings, drawings, and notes, handwritten and typescript, in English and Italian, 1872-1909.


  • 1872-1908


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


1 boxes

This collection contains Joseph May’s diary during his ministerial work in Newburyport, Massachusetts and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Biographical / Historical

Joseph May, 1836-1918, the son of the reformer and abolitionist Reverend Samuel Joseph May and Lucretia Flag Coffin May, was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 21, 1836. He received an AB from Harvard University in 1857. After several years in Europe, he entered Harvard Divinity School and graduated in 1865. He was ordained by the First Unitarian Church in Yonkers, New York on September 14, 1865 and served this church until 1867. While in Yonkers, May married Harriet C. Johnson. They had four children, Lucretia, John, Sarah, and William. From July 1868 to December 1875, he served the First Religious Society of Newburyport, Massachusetts. In January 1876, he became minister of the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia, which he served for twenty-five years. After his retirement, he became pastor emeritus until his death on January 19, 1918. His published works include “The Miracles and Myths of the New Testament” and “The Life and Letters of Samuel Longfellow”.

Acquisition Information

Gift of John Edmonds, 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Joseph Florez, 2013.
Link to catalog
May, Joseph, 1836-1918. Diary, 1872-1908: 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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