|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
Table of Contents
Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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At a Glance
This collection is arranged in four series: Series 1: Correspondence; Series 2: Sermons; Series 3: Scrapbooks; and Series 4: General.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains correspondence, predominantly written by Hastings to John C. Brown, Charles Butler, and J.M. Ludlow; handwritten sermons, plans, and notes; scrapbooks and diaries; programs; photographs; and other memorabilia.
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: Series 1 Box 1, Series 2 Box 1-3, Series 3 Box 1-2, Series 4 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: Thomas Samuel Hastings papers, series #, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
J. C. Brown Papers, box #, folder#, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
The papers are part of the Union Theological Seminary Archives, which comprises institutional and administrative records of the Seminary, combined with the papers of many organizations, scholars, pastors, laypersons, and others connected with the school. The materials in this collection were part of a large group of unprocessed material that was organized in 2015.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The volume contained in series 2, box 3, folder 7 and the scrapbook in series 3, box 1, folder 2 were presented by Hastings' daughters, Mrs. C.B. Foote and Miss Isabel Hastings, in January, 1914.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Correspondence, diaries, sermons, scrapbooks, lectures, notebooks, memorial services, inaugural service material was cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-07-11. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. Metal clips and staples were removed from materials and folded items were flattened. In some cases, acidic items were separated from one another by interleaving with acid-free paper. Photographs were placed in Mylar envelopes. The finding aid was created by Katherine Palm in 2015 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2023.
2023-01-09 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Thomas Samuel Hastings was born on August 28, 1827 in Utica, New York. Ordained in the Presbyterian faith, Hastings spent three decades in the ministry, predominantly serving at West Presbyterian Church in New York City. He then took on professorial and administrative roles at Union Theological Seminary, during a time of great debate within the Presbyterian faith regarding the revision of the Westminster Confession. Hastings' father, Thomas Hastings (1784-1872), was a well-known hymnist, tunebook compiler, and composer of sacred music. His mother, Mary Hastings née Seymour (1788-1880), was a founder of the Utica Maternal Association, which was formed to provide religious education for its members' children. Hastings had two older sisters, Mary and Catherine Eunice. In 1832, Hastings' father moved the family to New York City, where Hastings grew up. Hastings received a bachelor of arts from Hamilton College in 1848 and later served as a trustee for the college from 1864 to 1871 and 1881 to 1883. He graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 1851, remaining as resident licentiate for the following year. He later received several honorary degrees: a D.D. from the University of the City of New York (now New York University) in 1865, an L.L.D. from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1888, and an L.H.D. from Hamilton College in 1897. Hastings married Fannie de Groot (1828-1903), the daughter of Henry and Mary Nesbit de Groot of Brooklyn, New York, on July 1, 1852. A few days later, on July 7, 1852, Hastings was ordained in the Fourth Presbytery of New York and he then took up his first pastorship in Mendham, New Jersey, where he served from 1852 to 1856. He then became pastor of West Presbyterian Church in New York City, where he remained until 1882. Hastings' formal association with Union Theological Seminary began upon his acceptance of a position as professor of sacred rhetoric in 1881. He was a director from 1864 to 1881 and president from 1887 to 1897. Following his retirement in 1904, he became a professor emeritus and continued as a lecturer in pastoral theology until 1911. During his tenure as president, Hastings presided over a number of changes of note, such as the move from a system in which students took prescribed courses each year to a departmental system allowing for electives, and the admission of female students. Additionally, he lead the seminary during the tumultuous period of the trials of faculty member Charles Briggs, who faced heresy charges in connection with the lecture that he gave upon his inauguration as professor of biblical theology, "The Authority of Holy Scripture." Hastings died suddenly at his home in New York City in 1911. He was survived by his two daughters, Mrs. Charles B. Foote and Isabel Hastings, as well as his sons, Frank Seymour Hastings (1852-1924), a banker also known as a yachtsman and amateur composer, and Thomas Hastings (1860-1929), an architect and principal of the firm Carrère and Hastings, which held the commission for a number of high-profile projects, such as the New York Public Library.