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News, events, updates, and tidbits from the Presbyterian Historical Society. Use tags to read related articles or sort by author for similar posts written by PHS staff members and volunteers.

January 11, 2023

Each month, the Presbyterian Historical Society is bearing witness to the lives of African American leaders throughout the history of the PC(USA). Click here to learn how PHS is collecting records of the Black Presbyterian experience through the African American Leaders and Congregations Initiative.


In 1936, during the height of his pastorate at St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem, an...

December 15, 2022

We’re excited to share this year’s progress in our efforts to document and lift up the work and witness of Black Presbyterians through the African American Leaders and Congregations Collecting Initiative.

Over the summer, we partnered with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New...

December 5, 2022
James (left) and Melva (right) Costen at the Interdenominational Theological Center celebration dinner for James' presidency, October 7, 1993 [RG 538, Box 11]

The James and Melva Costen Papers have been processed as Record Group 538, and the guide to the records is now available:

December 1, 2022
Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, circa 2000s. Pearl ID: islandora:171117

The Presbyterian Historical Society is excited to announce the completion of the second phase of an inter-institutional effort to publish the personal records of the founding voice of womanist theology, Katie Geneva Cannon. Researchers can now view the entirety of records from The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary (Columbia University Libraries) in the...

November 11, 2022

Vera Swann, a Presbyterian mission worker and educator whose family helped secure an end to segregated public education, died on November 10. She was 91.

She was born Vera Pearl Poe, April 11, 1931 in Cheraw, South Carolina, one of three sisters, and grew up in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church. Vera was educated at the Presbyterian Coulter Academy, and at Johnson C. Smith University, where she met Darius Leander Swann.

The couple were married in 1952 and began work as...

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