Unity Archives Research Guide
The Unity Archives preserves a unique collection of records, personal papers, and other materials documenting the history and life of the international Unity religious movement. The historic materials form a vital link in the movement's collective memory. They illuminate many facets of Unity life, including prayer, publishing, and education as well as congregational life, music, and religious practices. Materials include periodicals, photographs, microfilm, audio, video, and other formats.
Unity School of Christianity Records
Unity School of Christianity (1914) serves people of all faiths through a worldwide ministry of prayer, publishing, and education. The record group relates to administration, education, facilities, finance, prayer, publishing, and retreats. The records document the management and departmental changes of this nonprofit institution. This large record group contains correspondence, memos, legal documents, previous plans and ideas, catalogs, pamphlets, books, leaflets, periodicals, and audio visual materials.
Unity Denominational Records
This denominational record group includes material from the Unity Society of Practical Christianity (1903), the Unity Annual Conference (1906), the Unity Ministers Association (1947), and the current Association of Unity Churches International (1966). The collection contains correspondence, curriculum, directories, church service and ordination programs, and materials and photographs related to centers and churches in more than 40 states and 14 countries.
The manuscript collection encompasses personal papers of over 750 Unity authors, ministers, teachers, workers, and congregants. They include diaries, scrapbooks, letters, manuscripts, photographs and publications. The materials include the personal papers of Unity co-founders Myrtle and Charles Fillmore as well as some data on other New Thought leaders.
This record group is a diverse collection for those non-Unity materials that are relevant to Unity history in some way. The collection group contains materials from organizations, individuals, and other ministries not affiliated directly with the Association of Unity Churches or Unity School of Christianity. These include publications and writings about Unity by other organizations and individuals.
The Unity Archives staff can provide limited reference and research services and assist with independent study.
Reference service consists of checking available finding aids, catalogues, indexes, and databases to inform researchers of the types of material and to inform users whether we have records relating to a general topic.
Research involves a more in-depth search by examining documents for specific information. Research service is based on staff time, not on whether information is found. Please allow two weeks notice for detailed research requests. All requests are answered in the order in which they are received and staff spends up to an hour per request. If more extensive research is required, you may wish to visit in person. No archival materials are available online at this time.
Many archival materials may be accessed by patrons in person with the assistance of the Archives staff:
- A Ready Reference File provides materials to basic topics and frequently asked questions.
- The primary finding aidsto record groups and series are a system of lists that identify and describe. The inventories and collections change with each workday and each new acquisition. Where no inventory exists, Archives staff will help with locating materials. Some periodicals and manuscript collections are available on microfilm.
- An archives reference collection of Unity periodicals (1889–present) are available for browsing. Diverse topics such as bible interpretation, Christ, faith, God, healing and health, life, meditation and prayer, peace, Spirit, and thought are found in articles from nine Unity-published magazines. These are indexed in the periodicals card catalog.
- An archives reference collection of Unity books (1909–present) are available for browsing. The catalog and some reference works providesome indexing of books by Emilie Cady, Charles Fillmore, and Myrtle Fillmore.
- The typewritten Lessons of Charles Fillmore (1903–1947) are organized into 825 topics. These Sunday discourses, Wednesday healing meetings, and other addresses on baptism, body, consciousness, faith, healing, law, materialism, mind, regeneration, temperance, vegetarianism, and hundreds of other subjects demonstrate the breadth of his teaching. His other personal papers as well as the Myrtle Fillmore Papers are available on microfilm.
Unity Archives · 1901 NW Blue Parkway · Unity Village, MO 64065 · www.unityonline.org · 816-347-5539 · Fax 816-251-3521