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Truman Bartlett Douglass Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Douglass, Truman Bartlett.
Title: Truman Bartlett Douglass Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1930-1969
Quantity: 14 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American Congregational clergyman (1901-1969) concerned with urban ministry, civil rights, and Christian unity. Collection includes correspondence; sermons; records of the Board of Home Missions of the Congregational and Christian churches, later the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries (1936-1969), and the Consultation on Church Union (1962-1969); memorabilia, including awards, clippings, photographs, and the Douglass-Bartlett family genealogy; and writings.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Truman Bartlett Douglass (1901-1969) was an American Congregational clergyman, particularly active in urban ministry, civil rights, and Christian unity. He attended Pomona College, Columbia University, and Union Theological Seminary, and was instrumental in the merger forming the United Church of Christ in 1957.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Truman Bartlett Douglass Papers consists of correspondence, sermons, church records, memorabilia, and writings.

Correspondence includes both incoming and outgoing. The five folders in box 1 retain the titled separators which came with the papers (e.g., "Letters re Illness"). Additional correspondence is located in the church records series. Notable correspondents include Liston Pope, A. Whitney Griswold, Helmar A. Melum, Henry P. Van Dusen, Howard Schomer, A. Dale Freis, Cesar A. Chavez (circular, reproduction), Ralph A. Dugan (White House assistant), Hubert Humphrey, Nathaniel M. Guptill, Herbert Stroup, Constantinos Doxiades, Louis Finkelstein, Ralph W. Sockman, and Albert H. van den Heuvel.

Sermons date from the 1930s to the 1960s; roughly 75 percent were written during the first decade of Douglass' ministry. Earlier sermons are enclosed in envelopes with the title, date and parish, while later sermons are on 4x6" file cards organized by subject.

Church records relate to Douglass' work in urban ministry, civil rights, and church unity during his tenure as Executive Vice-President of the Board of Home Missions of the Congregational and Christian Churches, later called the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries. Also included are papers relating to a Child Development Group in Mississippi (CDGM), of which Douglass was chair of the Executive Committee. This material includes two handwritten signed letters from Hubert Humphrey.

Memorabilia contains clippings, photographs, speaking itineraries, and the contents of a binder of personal, biographical and travel papers. There are also sermons and manuscripts of Douglass' father, Truman Orville Douglass, Jr.; an autobiography of Emery Sargent Bartlett, Douglass' maternal grandfather; and a brief genealogy of the Bartlett and Douglass families.

Writings includes poems, prayers, unpublished books, essays, articles, pamphlets, contributions to anthologies, and other formats.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged as received. Sermons are arranged either chronologically (earlier ones) or by subject (later ones), as received. Church records are arranged alphabetically by the organization to which they pertain, and within that roughly chronologically. Memorabilia is arranged alphabetically by the name of the person to whom it pertains. Writings are subdivided by type and then arranged alphabetically by title.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Bartlett family -- Genealogy.
Douglass family -- Genealogy.
Douglass, Truman Bartlett.

Corporate Bodies

Congregational churches -- Clergy.
Consultation on Church Union.
United Church Board for Homeland Ministries.


Christian union -- United States.
City clergy -- United States.
Civil rights -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
Clergy -- United States.
Congregationalists -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Annual reports.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Genealogies (histories)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Truman Bartlett Douglass Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Truman Bartlett Douglass 1969.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: JEJ
Date: Feb 1970
Revision history: 7 Apr 2010 - converted to EAD (MRC); 10 May 2010 - related material (LMD)

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Box 1 A-Z
Box 2-16 Earlier, by date
Box 17-18 Later, by subject
Church records
Board of Home Missions of the Congregational and Christian Churches
Box 19 Reports of principal officers of the Board, in General Council 1936-1968
Box 20 Reports of T. B. Douglass, Executive Vice President 1946-1968
Box 21 Addresses of T. B. Douglass, in General Council 1936-1964 (2 audiotapes)
Box 21 Annual reports 1943-1944
Box 21 Biennial reports 1943-1944, 1947-1958, 1960-1961 (6 folders)
United Church Board for Homeland Ministries (UCBHM)
Box 22 Biennial reports 1962-1969
Box 22 Organizational assignments - correspondence, memoranda, report file
Box 22 Printed material - pamphlets and brochures
Box 22 Child development group in Mississippi (CDGM) - correspondence (including two letters from Hubert Humphrey), press releases, printed material
Consultation on Church Union (COCU)
Box 23 Reports 1966-1969
Box 23 Proceedings 1962-1967 (5 volumes)
Box 23 Bartlett, Emery Sargent - autobiography, manuscript
Douglass, Truman Bartlett
Box 23 Awards and citations
Box 23 Newspaper clippings
Box 23 Photographs
Box 24 Speaking engagements
Box 24 Personal and biographical material
Box 24 Travel
Douglas, Truman Orville, Jr.
Box 24 Miscelleneous
Box 24 Sermons
Box 24 Douglass-Bartlett families
Box 25 Poems, prayers, essays
Unpublished material
Box 25 The Church
Box 25 Worship
Articles and essays
Box 26 By title, A-P
Box 27 By title, R-Y
Published material
Box 27 Pamphlets and separates
Box 28 Mission to American (1951)
Box 28 Preaching and the New Reformation (1956)
Box 28 Why Go To Church? (1957)
With others
Box 28 The New World of Urban Man (1965), with Constantinos Doxiades
In anthologies
Box 28 The Witness of the Churches of the Congregational Order (1940)
Box 28 Crisis in the Church, edited by E. C. Parker (1968)
Box 28 Great Phrases of the Christian Language (1958)
Box 28 The Prospects of Christianity Throughout the World, edited by M.. Searle and Wilhelm Pauck

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