The Haystack, Mission Park, and Institutional Histories

The College Archives invites the Williams community to reflect on our evangelical heritage and add new perspectives to the historic context of our public monuments in its latest exhibit, “The Haystack, Mission Park, and Institutional Histories.” In 1806, as a summer storm approached, five Williams students sought shelter by a haystack to continue their discussion of religion. There they started to discuss missions to convert peoples in foreign lands. This gathering, later called the Haystack Prayer Meeting, was one of several revivals that rocked the town and College as part of the Second Great Awakening. The activist energy of this religious movement became one of the cultural hallmarks of these decades, persisting today at Williams and beyond. Add your voice to the dialog by visiting Special Collections on the 4th floor of Sawyer during regular open hours through the end of October.