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Pilgrim Church (Sherborn, Mass.) Ladies' associations collection, 1826-1989 (inclusive)
Pilgrim Church (Sherborn, Mass.), creator
HOLLIS IDDigital Object
[folder 1.1 Provides access to page images of this portion of the collection.]  http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:RAD.SCHL:4011581 
Digital Object
[folder 1.2 Provides access to page images of this portion of the collection.]  http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:RAD.SCHL:3708239 
Digital ObjectLocation
Networked Resource

Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute
.5 linear ft.
mixed material
Female Reading Society (Sherborn, Mass.) ;  Ladies' Benevolent Society (Sherborn, Mass.) ;  Pilgrim Church (Sherborn, Mass.) ;  Books and reading ;  Congregational churches -- Massachusetts -- Sherborn ;  Women -- Books and reading ;  Women and religion -- Massachusetts -- Sherborn ;  Sherborn (Mass.) -- Social life and customs


Manuscripts and records

Associations and clubs

19 century

Minute books of Female Reading Society and the Ladies' Benevolent Society, 1826-1934; also minutes of the Pilgrim Church Union, 1912-1920; photocopies of LBS and later committee reports, 1945-1989; and a brief history of the church and the LBS.

The Pilgrim Church (Congregational) of Sherborn, Mass., was the home to a number of ladies' associations. The earliest represented in this collection was the Sherburne Female Reading Society, founded in 1816 but officially underway in 1826, to "promote a rational sociability among themselves and to improve their understanding in useful knowledge and exert themselves for the advancement of Christ's kingdom." A portion of the dues went towards purchase of books and the remainder was donated to Bible societies or for missionary work. The name of the group was changed to the Female Reading and Benevolent Society in 1851 and directresses appointed to take charge of purchasing material to make into clothing and other articles for eventual donation. By 1885 the organization was known as the Ladies' Benevolent Society and one of their principal undertakings was raising money for parish expenses. In October 1912 the Ladies' Benevolent Society joined with other Pilgrim Church groups to form the Pilgrim Church Union in an effort to "encourage harmony among the different societies in their work together and to help train the young people...of the church in active work." The Union dissolved in 1920. The LBS continued to make and donate clothes to the poor as well as to soldiers during the war years, and raised money throughout the year by sponsoring fairs. By the early 1950s it was known as the Benevolent and Missionary Society.

Pilgrim Church (Sherborn, Mass.) Ladies' association collection. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.