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Church Records

Architect’s detail for Bath’s Central Church, 1845, by Arthur D. Gilman
Architect’s detail for Bath’s Central Church, 1845, by Arthur D. Gilman

The 18th and 19th century records of several Maine, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. churches are held by Special Collections & Archives. Some relate to churches that no longer exist; others still hold services today. These historical documents range from deeds, to detailed record books, to correspondence concerning the church's founding.

Minor documents (pew rentals, hiring records, etc.) relating to individual churches may be contained in the papers of the ministers who served them (e.g. the Elijah Kellogg Papers). Several collections of manuscript sermons, such as those of Jesse Appleton, Bowdoin's second president (1807-1819), and Edward Chipman Guild, a minister who served in Brunswick, Maine (1885-1894), are also available. Consult collection guides for more information.

Special Collections also houses published sermons, annual conference reports, and other church related material. Consult the on-line catalog, or check with the staff for uncataloged items.

This list will be updated as new items are discovered or accessioned.

District of Columbia Churches

  • Washington, D.C. First Congregational Church. Correspondence re its founding and early years, 1865-1867. (in Oliver Otis Howard Papers M91.11 box 177 f.25-26)

Maine Churches

  • Acton, Maine. Congregational Church. Records, 1795-1843. 34 p. with: Sanford, Maine. Sanford South Church. Records, 1847-1861. 7 p. (in John C. Parker Papers M143)
  • Arundel, Maine. Congregational Church. Record of marriages, 1820-1826. 1 folder. (in Joseph Palmer Fessenden Sermon Collection M61)
  • Bath, Maine. Central Church. Architect's drawings, 1845-1846, by Arthur D. Gilman [digital copy]
  • Biddeford, Maine -- see "Pepperrellborough, Maine"
  • Bowdoin, Maine. First Baptist Church. Deed, December 25, 1844 (M194 box 1)
  • Bowdoin, Maine. Second Church of Christ (Baptist). Record Book, 1805-1869. 1 v. (M194 .B693)
  • Harpswell, Maine. Congregational Church. Records, 1764-1821. 1 folder. (M194 box 3)
  • Newcastle, Maine. First Parish Church (Congregational). Records, 1797-1918. 4 v.
    (M194 .N493 C4)
  • Newcastle, Maine. First Baptist Church. Records, 1823-1851. 1 v. (M194 box 5)
  • Pepperrellborough, Maine (now Saco, Maine). First Congregational Church. Records, 1762-1798. 1 v. with: Biddeford, Maine. First Church of Christ. Records, 1742-1781. Ms. copy. (M194 .F357 folio)
  • Portland, Maine. Chapel Congregational Church. Records, 1811-1824. 1 v. (M194 .P678 R4 folio)
  • Saco, Maine -- see "Pepperrellborough, Maine"
  • Sanford, Maine -- see "Acton, Maine"
  • Topsham, Maine. First Parish Church. Records of parish tax payments, 1796. 1 v.
    (M194 box 8)

Massachusetts Churches

  • Andover, Massachusetts. South Parish Church (Congregationalist). Records, 1752-1775. 28 p. (in Abbott Memorial Collection, Abbott Family: Abiel-John) (M1 box 13 f.3)
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421 · scaref@bowdoin.edu · (207) 725-3288