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Truman Bartlett Douglass Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: JEJ
Date: Feb 1970

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.

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Writings includes poems, prayers, unpublished books, essays, articles, pamphlets, contributions to anthologies, and other formats.

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.


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.

Related Material

See also the Truman Bartlett Douglass Booklet.

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)



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.

Table of Contents



Church records