Female Bible Society of Boston and Its Vicinity. Records of the Female Bible Society
of Boston and Its Vicinity, 1814-1889: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: MC 285
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Female Bible Society of Boston and Its Vicinity
Title: Records of the Female Bible Society of Boston and Its Vicinity, 1814-1889
Quantity: 1.05 linear feet (2+1/2 boxes) plus 1 folio+ folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Annual reports, minutes, financial records, correspondence, etc., of the Female Bible
Society of Boston and Its Vicinity, an auxiliary of the American Bible Society.
Accession number: 77-M71
The records of the Female Bible Society of Boston and Its Vicinity were purchased
from the Diocesan Library of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts in May 1977.
Processed: May 1979
By: Bert Hartry
Access. Collection is open for research.
Copyright. Copyright in the records created by the Female Bible Society of Boston
and Its Vicinity as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held
by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Records may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
Female Bible Society of Boston and Its Vicinity Records, 1814-1889; item description,
dates. MC 285, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University,
The Female Bible Society was founded in 1814 for the express purpose of distributing
"...gratuitously the common version of the Holy Bible, without note or comment...."
Members paid an annual subscription of $2.00, or $30.00 for a life membership. In
October 1816, the members voted to become an auxiliary of the American Bible Society
and added the word Auxiliary to the Society's name. The Society henceforth made yearly
contributions to the American Bible Society and ordered its Bibles from the New York
The Society was dissolved in 1889, "...there being something over 300 societies doing
similar work in Boston...," and its funds transferred to the Massachusetts Bible Society.
The Female Bible Society of Boston and Its Vicinity was a relatively early example
of women organizing for a specific purpose; its records provide a fairly complete
account of its activities. The Secretary's, Corresponding Secretary's and Assistant
Treasurer's records cover the entire period of the Society's existence and include
information about membership, finances, the number of Bibles bought and distributed,
and the activities of the American Bible Society. The records are arranged by officer
or by type.
- Box 1: 1.-4
- Box 2: 5v-9v
- Box 3: 10v-15
- 1v. Annual reports, printed, 1814-1884 (scattered). Includes constitution, 1814, and several
reports of the Female Distributing Bible Association of Boston.
This volume contains an incomplete series of printed annual reports. See 2v., 3v.
and 5v. for the complete series in manuscript form.
- 2v. "Secretary's Records," manuscript. Constitution, annual reports, minutes of annual
and Board of Managers' meetings, 1814-1843.
- 3v. Secretary's "Records," manuscript. Annual reports, minutes of annual and Board of
Managers' meetings, 1844-1875. Includes 1814 constitution as amended in 1831.
- 4. Report of Committee to revise the Constitution, presented at annual meeting, manuscript,
- 5v. Secretary's Records, manuscript. Annual reports, minutes of annual and Board of Managers'
meetings, 1876-1889. Includes copy of petition to Massachusetts legislature asking
permission to dissolve Female Bible Society of Boston and Its Vicinity and transfer
assets to Massachusetts Bible Society, 1889.
- 6. Auditor's reports, manuscript, 1815-1821.
See also #1o.
- 7v. "Assistant Treasurer's Accounts," manuscript, 1815-1849. Includes subscribers' names
and annual subscriptions, numbers of Bibles sold, 1821 and 1824.
- 8v. "Assistant Treasurer's Accounts," manuscript, 1850-1888. Includes subscribers' names
and annual subscriptions, list of donors and amounts, 1860-1878 (scattered), list
of life members, 1864-1884 (scattered).
- 9v. "Corresponding Secretary's Records," manuscript, 1814-1888. Copies of letters, mainly
to American Bible Society.
- 10v. "Constitution and Members," manuscript, 1814-1827, 1839. Name, "residence," amount
of subscription and donation.
- 11v. "Subscribers and Donors," manuscript, 1814-1858. Includes lists of life members, annual
subscribers, donors, honorary life members.
- 12. Purchasing Committee reports, ms., 1815-1822 (scattered).
- 13. Bills of Lading and invoices, 1821-1836 (scattered).
- 14. Correspondence, mostly to Female Bible Society of Boston and Its Vicinity, 1815-1888
(scattered). Includes officer resignations, letters from American Bible Society, forged,
and information re: dissolving Society.
- 15. Miscellaneous, 1815-1882 (scattered). Includes printed circulars, donation receipts
from American Bible Society, manuscript prayer.
- 1f+. Treasurer's accounts, mostly audited, manuscript, 1822, 1825-1831, 1884, 1886-1887
Bible--Publication and distribution--Societies, etc.
Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs
Women--Societies and clubs
American Bible Society