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Manuscript Library

Welcome to the Booth Library manuscript index. 

The manuscript index contains links to finding aids for the collections of the Booth Library.  Each finding aid has a description of that collection along with a listing of the items within that collection.  The Booth Library staff and volunteers are updating the index daily in order to make your research experience more productive.

The Manuscript Index is arranged alphabetically by collection name.  To access a finding aid, please click on its name.

To search the Manuscript Index for a specific research topic, please enter the term into the Search Library Box below. 

Please keep in mind that many collections have not been inventoried while others are currently in progress.  If you have any questions regarding the Finding Aids or the Index, please contact the archivist at

Collection TitleCL 136 United Baptist Church CollectionCreatorBooth Library
Processed ByRachel Dworkin, Kristen Goble
Date Completed:December 2014
Provenance:The items in this collection were donated to the Booth Library by the United Baptist Church in 2011. 
Terms:Elmira (N.Y.); Churches, Baptist


Official recognition of First Baptist Church took place in 1829.  The first church building went up in 1830 on land donated by Geoffrey Wisner.  Membership grew steadily in the church and by 1847 it became necessary to build a second, larger edifice.  Also in 1847, escaped slave John W. Jones came to Elmira and began his fifty years of service as Sexton for First Baptist Church.  In 1892, the church spent over $70,000 on a third and final building, which still stands today. 


Southside Baptist Church began around 1888 when residents of the south side of Elmira opened their homes for Friday evening prayer meetings.  Soon, attendance at these meetings warranted the building of a permanent church home.  In 1891 the Baptist Mission Sunday School was formed and Wednesday evening prayer meetings were held in a rented store on the corner of Pennsylvania and South Avenues.  Three years later Southside Baptist Church was officially organized.  In 1895 the lot where the temporary church was located was bought and construction on the church building began.  An addition was built in 1953 to accommodate the flourishing membership.


First Baptist Church and Southside Baptist Church combined around 2011 and now form United Baptist Church.


The United Baptist Chuch Collection is broken down into several series.

Series I: First Baptist Church Membership Files - Church membership files, 1950s-2000s, featuring genealogical information, newspaper clippings and photographs.

Series II: First Baptist Church Collection - Church administrative documents, annual reports, programs, newsletters, photographs and assorted documents.

Series III: Southside Baptist Church Collection - Church administrative documents, programs, photographs and assorted documents. 

Extent13 linear feet
Date Span1829-2009
AbstractThis collection contains the records of the First and Southside Baptist Churches of Elmira.  From the First Baptist Church, it includes membership files, programs, newsletters, photographs and miscellaneous records.  From the Southside Baptist Church, the collection includes programs, newsletters, photographs, newspaper clippings and miscellaneous records.   

Filter by:
TitleDocumentBox NumberFolder NumberLocation
First Baptist Church Collection
Letter from the Chairman of the Committee on Evangelism of the First Baptist Church to the members regarding programming, March 12, 1964.LetterE1909
Booklet - Resolutions adopted by the American Baptist Convention, San Francisco, California, May 19-23, 1965.BookletE1910
Quarterly Financial Statement of the First Baptist Church, January-March 1965.DocumentE1911
Newspaper clipping about installation of Rev. Richard Lyon, January 17, 1965.Newspaper ClippingE1912
Manuscript - Is Protestantism Doomed? by Rev. Richard E. Lyon, October 31, 1965.ManuscriptE1913
Report of Boy Scout Troop #6, 1973.DocumentE1914
Audit Confirmation Report of the First Baptist Church, January-December 1996.DocumentE1915
Minutes of the First Baptist Church Annual Election and Budget Meeting, June 11, 2000.DocumentE1916
Poem - Do You Just Belong?DocumentE1917
Instructions for Baptism.DocumentE1918
Letter from the Committee on Evangelism to the Board of Deacons regarding programming.LetterE1919
List of organists, Directors of Christian Education, members ordained into the ministry, and reverends.DocumentE1920
Manuscript - "His Wonders Do Follow Him": A History of the Old Chemung Baptist Association Through the eyes of Its Founder, Roswell Goff; prepared by Ralph Orlo Wagner; May 16, 1976.ManuscriptE1921
Newspaper - First Baptist Church: January 1961; March-December 1961.NewspaperF011
Newsletter - First Baptist Church: January-December 1962. NewsletterF0201
Newsletter - First Baptist Church: January-December 1963.NewsletterF0301
Newsletter - First Baptist Church: January-December 1964.NewsletterF0401
Newsletters - First Baptist Church: January-December 1965.NewslettersF0501
Newsletter - First Baptist Church: January-December 1966.NewsletterF0601
Newsletter - First Baptist Church: January-December 1967.NewsletterF0701
Newsletters - First Baptist Church: January-December 1968.NewsletterF0801
Newsletter - First Baptist Church: January-December 1969.NewsletterF0901
Newsletter - First Baptist Church: January-December 1970.NewsletterF1001
Newsletter - First Baptist Church: January-December 1971.NewsletterF1101
Newsletter - First Baptist Church: January-December 1972.NewsletterF1201
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