Dr. Preston Bradley Papers

Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago - Special Collections and University Archives
Richard J. Daley Library
801 S. Morgan St., Room 3-330
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-996-2742
Date: 1905-1975
Extent: 143.5 Linear Feet
Finding Aid

Biographical/Historical Note:
Dr. Preston Bradley was the founder of the Peoples Church of Chicago. In 1912, Dr. Bradley withdrew from the Presbyterian ministry to establish an independent church based on a creed of "the Good, the True, and the Beautiful." The Peoples Church later affiliated with the Unitarian Conference and grew to be the largest Unitarian congregation in the United States. Under Bradley’s leadership, the church served as a community center offering lectures and sponsoring a drama group, the Uptown Players. Preston Bradley published sermons, prayers and inspirational essays and appeared regularly on local radio broadcasts. In addition to his religious leadership of the Peoples Church and its large radio congregation, he served on the Chicago Council against Racial Discrimination and on the Mayor's Committee on Race Relations.

Scope and Content Note:
The Preston Bradley Papers are comprised of material dealing with Dr. Bradley's personal and professional life, 1905-1966. Included are personal correspondence, 1910-1962; professional correspondence, 1912-1962; diaries and engagement books, 1922 and 1952; vacation brochures, 1918-1962; notes, lectures, sermons, and essays, 1905-1959; minutes of meetings; church calendars, 1915-1963; published material by Dr. Bradley, including book manuscripts and galley proofs, 1906-1962; certificates of award and membership, 1914-1965; newspapers of historic interest, 1865-1947; pamphlets; poetry; invitations and programs, 1906-1966; clippings, 1906-1966; scrapbooks, 1933-1952; prints and photographs; and miscellaneous souvenir artifacts. For information about 1976 and 1998 supplements to this collection, please consult paper inventories located in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Related Material: None