|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one series in original order.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains cardstock illustration slides for "Thinking it Through," the M.A. thesis that Coots submitted to Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary, on the history and present position of the Universalist Church of America. The comic was designed for work with teenagers.
Burke Library record group:
Union Theological Seminary Archives: UTS 1, papers of faculty and students
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
The following boxes are located offsite: Box 1. Please note that requests for use of boxes held in offsite storage must be made three business days in advance.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item description, UTS1: Max Alden Coots Papers, 1953, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The exact provenance of this collection is unknown.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Material was cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-07-07. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. Acidic items were separated from one another by interleaving with acid-free paper as needed. Materials were previously housed in a slumping position, and attempts were made to safely flatten materials before refoldering. The finding aid was created by Rebecca Nieto in 2016 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2020.
2020-08-27 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Max Alden Coots was born in Canisteo, New York on June 10, 1927 to Dr. Carl Alden Coots and Mabel G. Brownell Coots. Demonstrating an early acumen for art, Coots majored in art while attending high school in his hometown of Waverly, New York, and took up art history again in college after a brief stint and honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy from February to August of 1945. Coots attended art school briefly before pursuing his undergraduate degree, at first spending two years at Elmira College and then at Bucknell University, where he graduated with a B.A. in 1950. From there, Coots pursued religious education at Teachers College at Columbia and a Master of Divinity degree at Union Theological Seminary, where he graduated with a joint degree in 1953. Coots was ordained a Unitarian Universalist minister at the Universalist Church of the Divine Paternity in 1953, the same congregation Coots served as Assistant Minister while in seminary. Following his stay in New York, Coots served as minister of the First Universalist Church in Cortland, New York from 1953 to 1958, and later at the Canton Universalist Church in 1958, a congregation Rev. Coots would remain with until retiring in 1992.
In addition to his ecumenical work, Coots taught a course on contemporary social problems at Clarkson College in Nebraska and continued speaking in Universalist settings well into retirement, including the Unitarian Church of Bareveld in New York, the Unitarian Fellowship of Kingston in Ontario, and the Central Square New York Universalist Church. Among Coots' awards and honors are a Doctorate of Sacred Theology accorded by Starr King School for the Ministry (1978), the Human Services Award from the State University of Potsdam (1983), and a North Country Citation through St. Lawrence University in 1990. Reverend Coots also authored three books during his life: Seasons of the Self (1971), View from a Tree (1989), and Leaning Against the Wind: A Selection of Sermons (1992).
A community gardener with a particular fondness for wild edible plants, church handyperson and active participant in his North Country community, Reverend Coots was beloved in and beyond the Unitarian Universalist Church. Coots married three times and had three sons, a stepdaughter and three stepsons. Reverend Coots died at home in Canton, New York on March 3, 2009. He was 81 years old.