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Brandeis Three Chapels collection

Identifier: 04-MWalB00299A

Scope and Contents

The collection houses materials related to the Three Chapels at Brandeis University, including their dedication and re-dedication ceremonies. In addition to programs, event brochures, news clippings, newsletters, memos, and announcements, the collection contains photographs of the Three Chapels during and after their construction.


  • 1954-2007, undated


Conditions Governing Access

Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.  Please contact the department for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.

Biographical / Historical

The Three Chapels at Brandeis were dedicated on October 20, 1955. Designed by the architectural firm of Harrison and Abramovitz, these innovative structures were the first inter-denominational chapels (Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic) built on a U.S. college campus. They were designed to be equal in size and placed so as never to cast a shadow on one another. The Jewish chapel (Berlin Chapel) was designed to resemble a sacred scroll and was named for Mendel and Leah Berlin. The two Christian chapels were intended to resemble the Bible. Bethlehem Chapel, the Catholic chapel, was named by Cardinal Richard Cushing, for the birthplace of Jesus. The Protestant chapel (Harlan Chapel) was named for Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Marshall Harlan, in recognizition of his dissent against "separate but equal" provisions in the law. In 1956, the Three Chapels received the American Institute of Architects Award of Merit. Over the years, they have been used for religious services, weddings, funerals, and special University events such as the Helmsley Lecture Series.


1 manuscript box Boxes

1 flat oversize box Boxes

Language of Materials



Arranged in one chronological series.

Source of Acquisition

Acquired from various sources over time.

Accruals and Additions

Catholics of Boston item by Feeney, undated, given by annonymous donor. Source unknown.

Related Materials

Other Descriptive Information

Addenda to this collection may not be listed in the finding aid, but may be available for research use. Please contact us for more information.

Aaron J. Wirth
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections