|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is organized in one series, arranged numerically according to the numbering system used by Barnes.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains 29 manuscript sermons, numbered and titled by Barnes, with dates reflecting use of the sermons. Sermons are written in ink, with notes, cancellations, and marginalia. Barnes burned a number of his sermons towards the end of his life; the sermons in this collection were saved due to an intervention by Fanny M. Gibbs.
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: Albert Barnes papers, 1840-1859, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
George Lewis Prentiss donated Barnes' sermons to The Burke Library before 1897, having received them from Fanny M. Gibbs. Albert Barnes had been persuaded by Fanny M. Gibbs to give her these remaining sermons, when she discovered that he was destroying his whole collection.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. The finding aid was created by Lisa Fishman in 1997, revised by Ruth Tonkiss Cameron in 2008, and updated and edited by Leah Edelman in 2021.
2021-07-26 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Rev. Albert Barnes was born in Rome, Oneida County, New York on Dec. 1, 1798. He completed preparatory studies at Fairfield Academy, Connecticut, and graduated from Hamilton College in July 1820. After attending Princeton Theological Seminary, he was ordained on Feb. 8, 1825, and installed as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Morristown, NJ. Five years later, Barnes succeeded the Rev. James Patriot Wilson as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. The division within the Presbyterian denomination between the "Old School" and the "New School" resulted in a struggle for control of the church, and in 1831 a heresy charge by the Presbytery of Philadelphia against Barnes went before the General Assembly. Barnes's call was sustained by a New School majority, but in 1835 the publication of his new commentary on Romans resulted in a renewed campaign against him; his opponents pressed charges from Presbytery to Synod. When UTS founders first met in October, 1835, in New York, Barnes's right to preach had been suspended by the Synod of Philadelphia, and this situation helped to fuel the New School Presbyterians' desire to found a new seminary in the city. In 1836, the Synod of the General Assembly reversed Barnes's suspension. In 1851 he was named Moderator of the General Assembly, and he helped shape its antislavery sentiment and its strong position in favor of temperance reform. His active ministry in Philadelphia continued until 1867, when, due to failure of his sight, he resigned his charge and was made Pastor Emeritus. Yet he continued to preach in the House of Refuge, of which he was a manager, and sat continuously on the Board of Directors of UTS from 1840 until his death on December 24, 1870, often traveling between the two cities. In 1867 he delivered the first course of lectures at UTS on the Ely Foundation, on the Evidences of Christianity in the Nineteenth Century, which were later published.