From the Archives Blog

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.

The Ethical Church, Queensway, Bayswater

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The Ethical Church, Queensway, Bayswater

The Ethical Church, Queensway, Bayswater, was established in the late 1890s by Dr Stanton Coit, founder of the West London Ethical Society and a prominent figure in the Ethical Movement. Coit hoped that his Church would be the first of many ‘ethical churches’ and act as encouragement to other established churches (ie. the Church of England), to move away from religious teaching.

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Going to pot in 1968?

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Going to pot in 1968?

As well as challenging the role of religion in society, the student branch of the British Humanist Association turned their attention to other contemporary issues concerning their members…

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’70s style and socialising

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’70s style and socialising at British Humanist Association and International Humanist and Ethical Union conferences.

’70s style and socialising at British Humanist Association and International Humanist and Ethical Union conferences.

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International Connections

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International Connections

Throughout the twentieth century the Ethical Union, and later the British Humanist Association (BHA), made numerous connections with organisations around the world.

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Religion vs Welfare in a Scottish Court, c.1956

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In 1956 the Scottish Daily Mail and Edinburgh Daily Dispatch ran a story about a ‘confirmed’ atheist who was appealing for custody of his daughter.

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What is Humanism?

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trial leaflet

This trial leaflet from the BHA’s archive demonstrates the continuity of the Association’s message.

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A cordial invitation to the young men of Victorian Kentish Town

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A cordial invitation to the young men of Victorian Kentish Town

A cordial invitation to the young men of Victorian Kentish Town from Dr Stanton Coit’s Neighbourhood Guild.

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A ‘pleasant evening’ for the Victorian girls of Kentish Town

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A ‘pleasant evening’ for the Victorian girls of Kentish Town

A ‘pleasant evening’ for the Victorian girls of Kentish Town – Swedish drill, singing and tableaux.

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Neighbourhood Guilds: collective action for social reform

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Neighbourhood Guilds

When not experimenting with new camera technology in France, Dr Stanton Coit was a dedicated social reformer. In New York and London, Coit pioneered the creation of Neighbourhood Guilds.

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A young Doctor Stanton Coit

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A young Doctor Stanton Coit

The photographs show a young Doctor Stanton Coit on holiday with friends on the French coast in 1889.

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