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Charles Mason Remey Papers

A description of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 22 Apr 2010

Biographical History

Charles Mason Remey (1874-1974) was an American architect and author and adherent of the Baha'i faith. He designed and built Baha'i houses of worship in Uganda and Ethiopia (three others were designed but never constructed), and traveled extensively to promote the religion. In 1960, following the death of Shoghi Effendi without having appointed a successor, Remey proclaimed himself Guardian, or worldwide head, of the Baha'i. This claim caused significant consternation within the church, but was swiftly rejected by the vast majority of Baha'i worldwide and Remey was formally excommunicated (declared a Covenant-breaker) that same year. Remey relocated to Italy and, although retaining some adherents in the United States, Pakistan, and India, his influence gradually waned until his death in 1974.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Charles Mason Remey Papers includes published and self-published writings.

Published material is almost entirely related to the Baha'i faith: its history, practice, teaching, and architecture. Of particular interest are proposals for an indexing system for Baha'i writings, and a guide on the preservation and arrangement of Baha'i manuscript. The only item unrelated to Baha'i is an account of four-month cruise in the Bahamas.

Self-published material is almost all connected with the history of the Remey family. The bound volumes are typescript carbons with photographs, maps, and other material tipped in. Based on information stamped on the covers, several sets of these volumes were produced. The contents include letters, reminiscences, diaries, travel journals, designs for mausoleums, and more. In addition to Remey himself, other family members represented include his mother, Mary Josephine Mason Remey; his father, Rear Admiral George Collier Remey; and his grandfather Charles Mason, Chief Justice of Iowa.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is subdivided into published and unpublished material; within each series, volumes are arranged alphabetically by title.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.

Subject Headings


Mason, Charles, 1804-1882.
Remey family.
Remey, Charles Mason, 1874-1974.
Remey, Mary Josephine Mason, 1845-1938.

Corporate Bodies

Remey (Ship : DD-688)
United States. -- Navy -- Officers.


Admirals -- United States.
Architects -- United States.
Architecture -- United States.
Bahai Faith -- History.
Bahai Faith -- Study and teaching.
Bahai temples.
Judges -- Iowa.


Europe -- Description and travel.
Latin America -- Description and travel.

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts (document genre)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Charles Mason Remey Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Charles Mason Remey, 1961.

Table of Contents

Published writings

Self-published writings