New Finding Aid | Willard Brown Thorp papers

Special Collections and University Archives is pleased to announce a new finding aid published for the Willard Brown Thorp papers (Ax 214). The finding aid is available on Archives West.

Willard Brown Thorp was a Congregational minister born in Oxford, New York, and educated at Amherst and Yale Divinity School. During the summers of 1890 and 1891, he assisted at the American Institute of Christian Philosophy, Church of the Strangers in New York City, headed by Charles F. Deems. After graduation, he held pastorates at First Congregational Church, Binghamton, New York (1891-1899), South Congregational Church, Chicago (1899-1908), First Congregational Church, San Diego, California (1908-1920), and First Congregational Church, Palo Alto, California (1920-1939).

The papers consist of diaries for 1882, 1908-1912, and letters to his family, written from Amherst (1884-1885), New Haven (1890-1891), and New York City (1890-1891). Among letters received is a series of 61 from his brother, Charles Nicholas Thorp, Congregational minister at Duluth, Minnesota, Holyoke, Massachusetts, and Lincoln, Massachusetts (1915-1933). A sermon file, 1891-1948, 5 commonplace books, 2 manuscript books (“History of Christianity” and “The Human Jesus”), and a collection of published sermons. Miscellaneous material includes photograph albums, souvenirs of Amherst, a file of calls and acceptances, and newspaper clippings.

Notes on processing the collection

There were some difficulties identifying years of photographs, as some of them were not dated, or bound into a book without a date, so an approximate (circa) date was assigned. This collection was very unorganized and crammed into boxes untidily, and I was able to completely organize it in the closest approximation of original order possible.

–Danica Alexander, Processing Archivist

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