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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 565

Alger, William Rounseville. Notebooks, 1822-1905.


Notebooks and other items of Unitarian minister, abolitionist, and author William Rounseville Alger (1822-1905).


  • 1822-1905.


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


1 boxes
This collection consists of two series. Series I is comprised of William R. Alger's notebooks. Each notebook includes a handwritten title, and they are arranged alphabetically by this title. Series II consists of two miscellaneous items including the essay Religion and Science by an unidentified author, as well as an excerpt from Gary Scharnhorst's biography of Alger. This excerpt makes mention of 13 handwritten notebooks, 10 of which are in this collection.

Biographical / Historical

William Rounseville Alger (1822-1905) attended Harvard Divinity School from 1844-1847. In 1848, he was ordained as a Unitarian minister in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where he served until 1855. He also served at the Bulfinch Street Church in Boston and, later at churches in New York, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Louisiana, and Rhode Island. He was a member of the Free Masons and was an active abolitionist, as noted in his 1857 Fourth of July address The Genius and Posture of America. He was a contributor to the publications Old and New and the Christian Examiner, the latter of which he co-edited during the 1860s. His major literary works included The Poetry of the East (1856) and A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life (1860). He was interested in eschatological themes and his work contributed to the growth of the nascent study of comparative theology.


Organized into the following series:
  1. Series I. Notebooks
  2. Series II. Miscellaneous

Acquisition Information

Gift of Gary Scharnhorst, 1993.
Alger, William Rounseville, 1822-1905. Notebooks, 1822-1905: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Divinity School Library, Harvard University 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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