About this blog...

Topics of interest to Clerks of Session, Session Moderators and others who are interested in Presbyterian local-church governance.

Monday, March 14, 2011

An Early History of the Presbytery - Online!

There are great "digitizing" projects afoot, these days, whose goal is to get all manner of books available online, in electronic format. Google Books, for example, has been much in the news, as it's been pushing the limits of copyright law (and, in some cases, copyright law has been pushing back).

More quietly - and almost behind the scenes - a number of scholarly libraries have been hard at work, scanning the text of books into computers and uploading them onto the Internet. Mostly these are older books, no longer under copyright.

In the world of theological books, Princeton Theological Seminary has been a leader in this - and, indeed, is now investing millions in rebuilding Speer Library on the seminary campus. Besides serving its residential students and faculty, the new structure is meant to serve Christian leaders around the world, by making free access to digitized books a reality. Through networks like The Internet Archive and OpenLibrary.org, users of the seminary website can link to digitized books from seminary and university libraries around the world.

While exploring this brave, new world of digitized books recently, I came upon an electronic version of a 50-page pamphlet, Historical Sketch of Monmouth Presbytery and Its Churches, by Joseph G. Symmes, published in 1877. It includes brief historic sketches of all the churches in the Presbytery at that time.

Surf on over there, and you'll find references to some of our most historic churches, like Allentown, Old Tennent and Shrewsbury, as well as some that are no more, like Cream Ridge, Holmanville and Oceanic. Squan Village (Manasquan) was in its infancy in 1877, and now-familiar place names like Lakewood, Ocean and Point Pleasant are nowhere to be found (those churches having not yet been established).

Anyway, this little book's a fascinating read for anyone interested in the history of the Presbytery. Enjoy it!

No comments:

Post a Comment