Elspeth Thexton Eric Library

Library Mission Statement

The mission of the Elspeth Thexton Eric Library is to provide materials supporting the quest of James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation members for meaning in their lives.  It shall include a variety of materials dealing with religious, spiritual, and ethical issues, including fiction and children’s literature.  It shall aim to support the congregation’s formal and informal religious education programs, provide information about Unitarian Universalism and liberal religion, and support the pastoral and counseling missions of the congregation.

The library is designed as a browsing library; it’s easiest to find items by coming into the library and browsing the shelves.  Members are invited to check items out of the library and return them within a 4-week period.

Donation Guidelines

The Elspeth Thexton Eric Library Committee welcomes donations of books and other materials that contribute towards the mission of James Reeb and the mission of the Elspeth Thexton Eric Library.  If you are unsure if a particular book fits with the collection, you are encouraged to check with a member of the Library Committee, visit the library, or review our list of library categories.  The library categories are posted in the library.

The Library Committee is committed to the development of a collection which represents a wide variety of spiritual beliefs and viewpoints, and is reflective of the membership at James Reeb.  We reserve the right to refuse any specific donation.  Unless the donor has requested the return of an unwanted item, it will be disposed of at the discretion of the Library Committee.

Elspeth Thexton Eric

Elspeth Eric was a Broadway stage actress with several starring roles in the 1920’s and 30’s and later wrote radio plays for the CBS Radio Mystery Hour and other programs. Born in 1907, she was raised in the Chicago area and attended Wellesley College before moving to New York City where she lived her entire adult life until her death from cancer in 1993. She was long-time JRUUC member and co-founder Arthur Thexton’s father’s father’s sister. Married once briefly, she was the epitome of the liberated woman who lived her own life, on her own terms. She loved live and enjoyed herself with travel, work, friends (she was especially close to the actress Mercedes McCambridge), and family.

Elspeth marched in the famous 1963 March on Washington where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, although she was on crutches as a result of a serious car accident at the time. She always had dachshunds, one or two, and every day at 5:00 she enjoyed a gin-and-tonic, no lime. A lover of the theatre and drama, her apartment was filled with books and The New York Times, so it is especially appropriate that she have a library named after her.