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Charles R. Joy Papers

A description of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 1 Oct 2008

Biographical History

Charles Rhind Joy (1885-1978) was an American Unitarian minister, author, educator, and international relief worker. Born in Boston, he studied English at Harvard University and then received degrees from both Harvard Divinity School and Andover Theological Seminary. His first posting was to First Parish of Portland, Maine where he was ordained in 1913. A pacifist, during World War I he served overseas with the YMCA, eventually being named Regional Director of YMCA work in France north of Paris and in Western Belgium, with headquarters at Le Havre. After the war he served as minister of a church in Pittsfield, Massachusetts (1919-1922) and then First Church in Dedham (1922-1927).

In January 1927 Joy was appointed minister of All Souls Church in Lowell, Massachusetts, and in 1930 he became an officer of the American Unitarian Association, a position he held until 1937. In 1938 he joined the Unitarian Service Committee, and from 1940 to 1954 he was involved in international relief work; his positions during this time include executive director of the Unitarian Service Committee, European director and associate director of the Save the Children Federation, international representative, chief of the Korean Mission, and executive consultant for African affairs for C.A.R.E.

Joy was also an active writer and translator, particularly of the works of Albert Schweitzer. His publications include Albert Schweitzer: An Anthology (1947), Music in the World of Albert Schweitzer (1951), Africa: A Handbook for Travelers (1958), Topical Concordance of the Bible (1961), and Race between food and people: The challenge of a hungry world (1961). His translations include A Psychiatric Study of Jesus (Schweitzer) and Goethe: Four Studies (Schweitzer). He also wrote numerous introductory books on a wide range of countries and peoples, such as Getting to Know the Sahara, Getting to Know Israel, etc.

I have found all the years to be a rather exciting pilgrimage and never more so than now. I have wandered about the world in more than a hundred different countries and everywhere I have found friendly people with whom it has been good to associate...Traveling, speaking, writing, these are the three foci around which my life now turns. I could not ask for any activities more interesting, more rewarding. I am not much concerned with the past, though I know the future has its roots there. I am eager to see the burgeoning and the fruitage of the years that are to be.
[Charles R. Joy, from "Notable American Unitarians,"]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Charles R. Joy Papers includes correspondence, writings, printed material, research notes for a Bible concordance. A good portion of the material relates to Albert Schweitzer, including translations into English, by Joy, of some of Schweitzer's writings.

Arrangement of the Collection

Collection remains in original order, as received.


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

Special Collections Research Center has made a concerted effort over the years to ensure that its manuscript and rare books holdings complement each other. As a result, many of our manuscript collections are supported by books, pamphlets, serials and other items which are cataloged in the Rare Books Collection. Please be sure to search the Classic Catalog for these related materials.

Subject Headings


Joy, Charles R. (Charles Rhind), 1885-1978.
Schweitzer, Albert, 1875-1965.

Corporate Bodies

CARE, Inc.
Save the Children International Union.


Humanitarian assistance -- Africa.
International relief.
Unitarianism -- United States.


Africa -- Description and travel.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.
Research notes.
Short stories.


Unitarians -- Clergy.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Charles R. Joy Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Charles R. Joy.

Table of Contents


An inventory has not yet been created for this collection. Please contact the Repository listed above for more information.