From the Archives allows us in the Humanist Library and Archives to share some of our wonderful items and our learning with you! It also includes entries from the former A2R (Alternatives to Religion) blog, a collaborative project between Conway Hall and Bishopsgate Institute which sparked exploration of some of the ways people have tried to make sense of the world and live together ethically without the need for faith in a God or gods. The key themes linking this broad movement are Freethought, Ethics, Humanism, Rationalism and Secularism. Material for these entries came from the British Humanist Association, The National Secular Society and Conway Hall Ethical Society. Posts were written by archivists, Nicky Hilton and Carl Harrison.

Peppercorn Rents and Parchment

Many of the items included in our digitisation project, Architecture and Place, were leases for the property on which Conway Hall was built. They span several centuries and the oldest dates back to 1685. There are many interesting aspects of these documents and two of these are explored below. Peppercorn Rents Nowadays when we rent […]

By: Samantha Callaghan

It has been some weeks since we launched the Architecture and Place digitisation project in September during the 2016 Open House London Festival. We had over 300 people visit the library over the weekend (well above our usual attendance!) and several took advantage to join the tours given by our CEO, Dr. Jim Walsh, and the […]

By: Samantha Callaghan

Coming soon. A one hour documentary about Moncure Conway, noted abolitionist, writer and freethinker and the mystery of his missing bronze bust.

By: Sid Rodrigues

A New Home for the Society

“Sunday, September 1, 1929, is a memorable date in the history of the South Place Ethical Society, for on that morning its members met for the first time in Conway Hall. It was a moment of joyful excitement. At last the new home was ready for occupation and here we were in it, congratulating one […]

By: Sophie Hawkey-Edwards

A profound design process eventually makes the patron, the architect, and every occasional visitor in the building a slightly better human being. – Juhani Pallasmaa Welcome to the June update for the Architecture and Place digitisation project underway at the Humanist Library and Archives at Conway Hall. We have included a summary of the progress […]

By: Samantha Callaghan

Conway the Journalist

Moncure Daniel Conway was a prolific writer, authoring a multitude of books and pamphlets and contributing to a number journals and magazines. In 1860, when Conway was twenty-eight, he founded The Dial, the title of which paid tribute to a Transcendentalist journal of the 1830s and 40s founded by his spiritual father, Ralph Waldo Emerson. […]

By: Sophie Hawkey-Edwards

Herbert Mansford plaque

“All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.” – Philip Johnson Conway Hall opened in September 1929 for the members of the South Place Ethical Society. It was designed by F. Herbert Mansford, a member of the Ethical Society, and […]

By: Samantha Callaghan

Society dinners and events

This month focuses on a few photographs from dinners and social events held by some of our freethinking brethren and which are held in our archives.

By: Sue Halwa

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Handbook of the Bazaar (1898)

This month’s document is a brochure to an event held at South Place in 1898 to raise funds to pay off the debt of the chapel.

By: Sue Halwa

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19th Century Finance Records

This month’s choice is a selection of finance reports from the 19th century from the early days of the society when it was located in South Place, Finsbury.

By: Sue Halwa

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