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bMS 85

Fenn, William Wallace. Papers, 1886-1932: A Finding Aid.

Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University


Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: bMS 85
Repository: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University
Creator: Fenn, William Wallace.
Title: Fenn, William Wallace. Papers, 1886-1932.
Date(s): 1886-1932.
Quantity: 17 boxes
Abstract: Papers of Unitarian minister William Wallace Fenn, containing sermons, worship and service material, correspondence, material related to his time at Harvard, and biographical information. The papers span 1886-1932.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of Dan Huntington Fenn, 1962.


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Biographical / Historical

William Wallace Fenn (1862-1932) graduated from the Boston Latin School in 1881, Harvard College in 1884, and Harvard Divinity School in 1887. He was ordained at the Unity Church of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1890. From 1891 to 1900, Rev. Fenn was the pastor of the First Unitarian Church of Chicago. While remaining pastor of First Unitarian in Chicago, Rev. Fenn also held the Shaw Lectureship in Biblical Literature at Meadville Theological School in Pennsylvania from 1892 to 1901, and again from 1905 to 1907. In addition to these duties, Rev. Fenn also served on the Harvard Board of Preachers from 1896 to 1898, and again from 1902 to 1905. In 1900 Rev. Fenn left Chicago to accept the Bussey Professorship of Theology at Harvard Divinity School. Rev. Fenn was named the Dean of Harvard Divinity School in 1906 and served in this capacity until 1922. Rev. Fenn did not publish extensively, but his Essex Hall Lectures in London were published in 1924 as The Christian Way of Life as Illustrated in the History of Religion in New England, and his Harvard Ingersoll Lectures were published as Immortality and Theism in 1921.


Organized into the following series:

Scope and Contents

This collection is divided into five series. Series I consists of sermons, arranged chronologically with undated sermons at the end. Series II is comprised of worship and service materials, including prayers and information on funeral services. Series III contains material related to Harvard University such as a Dean's address, chapel services, and talks. Series IV consists of correspondence, arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Series V is biographical miscellany, including notes and clippings. 

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