|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one series organized by format.
Scope and Contents
The collection contains correspondence, publications, and audio-visual materials related to George West Barrett and the Washington irregular ordinations, including transcripts and ordinances from the Episcopal Church, statements made by Barrett and other church leaders, church newsletters, clippings, books, and audio-visual material by Barrett, Bishop Robert L. DeWitt, and Alison Palmer.
Burke Library record group:
Archives of Women in Theological Scholarship (AWTS)
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
The 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, AWTS: George W. Barrett papers, 1974-1979, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Barrett, The Rt. Rev. George W. The Archives of the Episcopal Church, Austin, Texas.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Alison Palmer donated this selection of Bishop Barrett's papers to the Archives of Women in Theological Scholarship in May 2008. Bishop Barrett had given these papers to Reverend Palmer shortly before his death.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
To enable clarity in access, correspondence was arranged into chronological order. Folded materials were flattened. Newspaper clippings were photocopied on acid free paper. Staples, rubber bands, and metal clips were removed. All materials were placed in acid-free folders and boxes. The finding aid was created by Ruth Tonkiss Cameron in 2008, updated by Kristy Riggs in 2010, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2021.
2021-09-27 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
George W. Barrett was born in Iowa City, Iowa in 1908. His family soon moved to Pasadena, CA where he grew up. Barrett received bachelor degrees from UCLA and the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, MA. He also studied at Occidental College and the General Theological Seminary in New York. In 1936 he married Emma Dee Hanford, a marriage which later ended in divorce. Barrett served as rector of St. Mark's, Upland, CA, St. Luke's in Monrovia, CA and St. James's in Los Angeles. In 1963 he became Bishop of Rochester, NY. Barrett strongly advocated for justice and peace in the church and society. In 1965-66, Barrett led the national Episcopal Church's House of Bishops Committee on the place of women in ministry. He was an ardent supporter for women's ordination in the Episcopal Church. On September 7, 1975, he ordained four women (Eleanor Lee McGee, Alison Palmer, Betty Powell Rosenberg and Diane Tickell) in a highly controversial ceremony held at St. Stephen and the Incarnation in Washington D.C. He was temporarily banned from acting as minister, but his actions were an integral step towards the Episcopal Church's approval of women's ordination at the General Convention in 1976. In 1970, Barrett retired as Bishop of Rochester and moved to California. In the same year, he married Bettina Tvede Barrett. In 1979 he became the Bishop in Residence at St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Los Angeles. Barrett later became the Bishop in Residence at Trinity Church in Santa Barbara. He died in December 2000 at the age of 92.