|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one series by format.
Scope and Contents
This series contains secondary material on John Eliot collected by Eliot biographer David Chamberlin, including articles and publications, illustrations, photographs, and pamphlets related to Eliot's life and pastoral work, Native Americans, and other people and buildings from Eliot's time period. This series also contains material related to the 300th anniversary of the state of Massachusetts, as well as selections of Chamberlin's correspondence in the course of his research on Eliot.
Burke Library record group:
Missionary Research Library Archives: MRL10, North America
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
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, MRL 10: David Chamberlin papers on John Eliot, 1882-1958, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
The Burke Library holds a copy of the Bible translated by John Eliot and Job Nesutan, from the authorized version and the Bay Psalm Book, commonly called the Eliot Indian Bible. See https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/4548166.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Formerly part of the independent Missionary Research Library (MRL), these records were received on November 4, 1964, and were accessioned by the Burke Library at the time of the MRL's closure in 1976.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Letters, articles, clippings, and photographs were cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-08-02. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders. Acidic items were separated from one another by interleaving with acid-free paper as needed. Preservation photocopying of newspaper clippings for retention of information was performed. Photographs were sleeved with Mylar. Collection contains one nitrate negative which was placed in acid-free paper and enclosed in an acid-free paper envelope. The finding aid was created by Brigette Kamsler in 2011 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited (including collection title) by Leah Edelman in 2020.
2014-03-27 xml instance created by Cecile Queffelec
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2020-06-26 EAD spot checked and corrected and description (including collection title) updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
John Eliot, born in England 1604, studied at Jesus College, Cambridge University and graduated in 1622. In 1631, Eliot traveled to New England and was ordained the following year in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where he soon became minister of the First Church of Roxbury. Eliot began studying the Massachusett language in 1646 with the help of a Native American captive from the Pequot War. This language was a highly inflected Algonquian dialect. In 1650, Eliot gathered his converts into one settlement or "praying town" called Natick, on a tract of two-thousand acres on the Charles River, eighteen miles southwest of Roxbury. Residing at this location were Nonantum, Neponset, Musketaquid and Nipmuck Indians.
Eliot spent years translating the Bible, which culminated in the publication of the Old and New Testament in 1663. Eliot's translation was the first Bible printed in North America. He continued to translate Christian literature for the Native Americans, including Baxter's Call to the Unconverted and other practical books; prepared an Indian catechism; Psalter; Indian Primer; and The Indian Grammar Begun. Eliot is perhaps better known as one of the translators behind the publication of the famous Bay Psalm book, published in Cambridge, Mass in 1647. Eliot died in 1690.
David Chamberlin, born in 1870, was a secretary of the London Missionary Society and biographer of John Eliot, John Smith, John Mackenzie, and David Livingstone, among others. His biography of Eliot, Eliot of Massachusetts, the apostle to the Indians, was published by an independent press in London in 1928.