Urantia Book Historical Society is a Florida, not-for-profit corporation established for educational purposes and governed by a board of directors. Our mission is to collect, document, digitize, and preserve the historical records of The URANTIA Book and Urantia Movement. We act as a resource to the Urantia community and general public to promote and foster an awareness and appreciation of our rich religious heritage, our origins, background, development, and general history.
In the summer of 2005 at a Urantia conference in Philadelphia, Victoria L. J. Clark looked for parties interested in history. Her purpose was to establish a historical society and to find a university repository for physical records. A few months later, Victoria joined in the work of Larry Watkins, who had put out a call for volunteers to help with his scanning project of digitizing historical records. Scott Forsythe of the National Archives then recommended the J. Gordon Melton special religious collection at the University of California Santa Barbara as the physical repository of these records once digitizing was completed. These formed the original core records of the archive.
On 26 July 2006, with the professional assistance of Fred Harris, Urantia Book Historical Society was incorporated in the state of Florida and became the donating organization and clearing house for Urantia related material donated to the University. In August 2006, UBHS moved the physical archive from Denver, CO, to Santa Paula, CA. Thanks to the generosity of Elisabeth and John Callahan, the society had a home base. The archive records were delivered to University curators David Gartrell and David Tambo in June 2007, after a year of sorting. Larry Watkins then wrote a computer program to display the scanned archive and the library went on-line in July 2007. Further work was contributed in these early days by Kristen Michaels, who converted 78 tapes from the Boulder School to digital media. In the autumn of 2007, UBHS received 501(c)3 status from the IRS.
In the first ten years, the society has received many generous physical donations by mail and recorded many oral history interviews. Thanks to the assistance of Tim Hobbs and Todd Lodge of Data Connect, the society identified a new database program – PastPerfect Museum software. The society is now in the process of converting all of its digital records and expects to move to PastPerfect On-Line in 2019.
Currently, Urantia Book Historical Society is directed by a board of eight directors.
UBHS extends a special thank you to David Kantor for his continued and invaluable support and encouragement throughout these years. We are also grateful to the many readers who have generously donated, cheerfully answered historical inquiries, and have consented to oral history interviews. We thank the leadership and staff of Urantia Foundation, Urantia Book Fellowship, Urantia Association International, and the many other organizations and societies that have contributed time, resources, and records. Thank you also to the professional technical assistance of the people at PastPerfect.