Billy Graham Center
SOURCES OF HELP AND ADVICE FOR YOUR
CHURCH OR SYNAGOGUE ARCHIVES
The resources listed here , most of which are intended specifically for volunteer
archivists, are intended to be of assistance to those involved in the difficult and
important task of preserving their congregation's history. This is a task that
involves not just saving bits of papers, film, and tape but also and especially making
the archives a living and useful resource for the members of the faith community.
Note: As far as we know, availability information listed below is accurate,
but contact the distributor listed for each item for completely up-to-date information.
Do not order materials until you have talked with the distributor.
Links to several denominational archives can be found at this portion of the
Billy Graham Center web site: http://www2.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/nonwarch.html
Other web sites of interest are:
and Record Keeping: A How-to Guide for Congregations and Conferences. Prepared
by the United Church of Canada, 2005.
Brunner, Mark. Ten
Steps In Building A Church Archives. 1997. "Brunner, the Archives Chairman
at Grace evangelical Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, provides ten practical guidelines
for churches to build their own archives.
CSCA Church History
and Archives Preservation Resource Page A very rich page, created by Michael
Nai Chiu Poon primarily for church Archives in Malaysia and Singapore, but containing
much helpful information on program analysis, oral history, etc. and many useful
Church archives articles . These
are available online from the Southern Baptist
Historical Library and Archives. "These articles are offered to anyone interested
in church archives and records. We hope they will be useful to those concerned
with preserving local church records and historical materials." The Society
is located in The Southern Baptist Convention Building, 901 Commerce St., #400,
Nashville, TN 37203-3630, 615-244-0344.
Guide for Archives of Congregations (Lutheran)
Oral History Program by L. Dale
to Start a Church Archives"
for Developing a Baptist Archives
Work: A Guide for ELCA Congregational Archives and History Available
online. "This booklet of archival resources for congregations is produced as
a service to parishes by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Region 3
Archives. The nine synods of ELCA Region 3 support the work of the archives.
The important historical records of the nine synods and their predecessor bodies,
dating to the 1840s, are stored and made available for use at Luther Seminary,
St. Paul, Minnesota."
of conservation in small libraries and a practical solution
Bulletins. The Concordia Historical Institute, the official archives
of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, has published over sixty brief pamphlets
that deal with various aspects of historical preservation. Many of these are
specifically intended for church archivists seeking guidance on what to collect
and how to preserve it. A complete list of the bulletin can be gotten by clicking
here or by writing to: Concordia Historical Institute, 801 DeMun Avenue, St.
Louis, MO 63105, (314) 505-7900
*Smalley, Martha Lund and Seton, Rosemary, comp. Rescuing
the Memory of Our Peoples/ Archives Manual. International Association
for Mission Studies, 2003. This manual was intended to serve as a basic source
for any Christian institution (particularly denominations) anywhere in the world
that was starting or maintaining an archival program. Paper copies can be ordered,
at a cost of $US10 for printing and mailing, from the Overseas Ministry Study
Center, 490 Prospect Street, new Haven, CT 06511. This manual grew out of the
2002 Rescuing the Memory of Our Peoples conference in Rome. The web site for
the conference is at: http://www.missionstudies.org/rescue/rome_2002.htm
tips - care of books, documents, and photographs
Tips on creating an archival scrapbook or photo album
on Preserving Scrapbooks
Bentley, Eljee. Manual
for Developing a Baptist Archives Published by the Commission on Baptist
Heritage of the Baptist World Alliance, 6733 Curran Street, McLean, VA 22101-6005,
USA, Bergeron, Jeanette. The manual was written in 1990 and made available on
the web in 2001.
Bergeron, Jeanette. Manual
for South Carolina religious archives and recordkeeping. State Historical
Records Survey Board, July 1999.
A Brief Guide for Archives of Congregations. Office of the Secretary,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 1996. Some of the information in this
manual would only pertain to churches of the ELCA, but there is a great deal that
is helpful and instructive for any church archivist. It is particularly helpful
in defining the different types of documents that can be found in a church. Click
to go to the web site for the Archives of the ELCA.
Duffy, Mark J. Bibliography
of Archival Resources for Parish and Diocesan Historians
Management for Congregations: A Manual for Episcopal Parishes and Missions.
Managing Records of the Annual Conference and the Local Church . A publication
of the General Commission on Archives and History
of the United Methodist Church and intended for Methodist churches, but with
some information that would be helpful for any church archives. Available from
Haury, David A. Heritage Preservation: A Resource Book for Congregations Historical Committee of the General Conference of the Mennonite Church and the
Historical Commission of the General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Church, 1993. A very useful handbook for
congregations on the nuts an bolts of what and how to preserve. This book is also online at: http://www.mbhistory.org/preservation.en.html
A Heritage at
Risk/The Proceedings of the Evangelical Archives Conference, July 13-15, 1988.
Billy Graham Center, 1988. Includes a section on minimum
standards that contains useful information for a church archivist. Document
is on the web. Click on title to go to it.
Ling, Evelyn. Archives in the Church
or Synagogue Library. Church and Synagogue Library Association, 2nd Ed.
Rev. 1996. Available from the Church
and Synagogue Library Association, 2920 SW Dolph Ct., Ste. 3A, Portland OR
97219-3962, 503-244-6919 or (800) 542-2752.
A Manual for Small Archives.
Association of British Columbia Archivists, 1994 and revised in 1998. A valuable
introduction to archival work.
Maser, Frederick E.
To Write A Local Church History. A pamphlet of the
General Commission on Archives
and History of the United Methodist Church. Available from the Commission.
McKee, Wilma. Heritage Celebrations: A Guide to Celebrating the History of Your Church. 1993. A a practical handbook for planning and documenting significant events in the life of the local congregation. The book is available through the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee Store at:
Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church The Pastoral Function of
Church Archives. A February 2, 1997 statement by the Roman Catholic Church
on the importance of church archives and a suggested plan of action for preserving
them on a diocesan level. Much of the booklet is of course intended for the organization
of a Catholic congregation, but there is also much that is generally applicable
and useful. Note: Print copies of the paper in various languages are available,
but the online version is only in Italian.
Preserving Church Records. Presbyterian
Church in America, n.d. This brochure and other material intended for the
church archivist and the church historian. Available from the Historical Center
of the Presbyterian Church in America, 12330 Conway Road, St. Louis, MO 63141,
Preserving Your Church Archives: Workshop 2000. Transcript of a workshop held by
members of the staff of the Archives of the Billy Graham Center for local volunteer
Proffitt, Kevin. Starting from Scratch: Creating the Synagogue Archives. The American Jewish
Archives, 1994. A very useful handbook, applicable to churches as well as synagogues. Contains sections on
Authorization and Support, Collecting Policy and Appraisal, Physical Facilities and Supplies, Organization and
Procedures, Preservation and Conservation. Available from the Association of Jewish Libraries.
Records and Archives Management for Presbyteries produced by the Archives of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Reformed Church in America
Ritchie, Donald A.
Doing Oral History. 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press. 2003 An excellent
basic manual that covers all aspects of oral history. Available from the Society
of American Archivists,
Ritzenthaler, Mary Lynn. Preserving
Archives and Manuscripts. SAA, 2nd ed., 2010. Basic information on the
best way of preserving different types of archival material. Available from the
Society of American Archivists, 527
S. Wells, 5th Floor, Chicago, IL 60607, , (312) 922-0140, Fax: (312) 347-1452,
Smalley, Martha Lund. An
Archival Primer. New Haven, CT: Yale Divinity School Library, Revised
Edition, 2010. Intended as a manual for a professional archival repository, rather
than a church archives staffed by volunteers, but much of the information is applicable.
Telling Their Stories: The History of Women in the Local Church-A Resource
Packet. General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist
Church, 1991. Packet of information on how to recover and celebrate the history
of women in the church. Suggestions for programs, special events, and research
projects are included. Timelines, recommended reading, and quotations/passages
from women are included. Available from The
General Commission on Archives and History, P.O. Box 127, Madison, NJ 07940,
To Remember and Celebrate:
Worship Resources for Heritage Event. The General Commission on Archives
and History of the United Methodist Church. Intended to help a church plan a
historical event, such as a church's anniversary, Heritage Sunday, or
building dedications or other events. Information on how to plan,
publicize, and fund a celebration is included. Other parts of this packet
include ideas for events, quotations from Methodist forefathers and
foremothers, and a resource directory to general information sources in
the Methodist Church and church wide agencies. Available from The General
Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 127, Madison, NJ 07940, 973-408-3189.
Wind, James. Constructing
Your Congregation's Story. Minneapolis, Augsburg Fortress Press, 1993.
Booklet intended for people who are writing the history of their congregation.
Much of the information will also be useful to a church archivist.
--------. Places of Worship: Exploring Their History. Nashville: American Association for State and Local History, 1990. Originally available from the American Association for State and Local History, 172
Second Avenue, Suite 202, Nashville, TN 37201, (615) 255-2971, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now available from
Wittman, Elisabeth, ed. Brief Guide for Archives of Congregations of the ELCA. Chicago:
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, n.d.
Yakel, Elizabeth. Starting
an Archives. SAA and Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1994. An excellent manual
for any organization (including a church) which is thinking about starting an
archives. Helps you ask the important questions and gets you started in the right
direction. Available from the
Society of American Archivists
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American Association for State
and Local History
172 Second Avenue, Suite 202
Nashville, TN 37201
The Church and Synagogue Library Association
P.O. Box 19357
Portland, OR 97280-0357
Phone: (503) 244-6919 or (800) 452-2752 (LIB-CSLA)
Fax: (503) 977-3734
Web page: http://www.worldaccessnet.com/~csla/
Evangelical Church Library Association
P. O. Box 353
Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60138
Society of American Archivists
527 S. Wells, 5th floor
Chicago, IL 60607
Web page: http://www.archivists.org
The URL http://www2.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/nonwarch.html includes links to many denominational archives.
Back to Table of Contents
Sources of Conservation/Preservation Products and Supplies
PO Box 4901
Syracuse, NY 13221
The Hollinger Corporation
P. O. Box 8360
Fredericksburg, VA 11404
(800) 634-0491 (orders)
439 Monroe Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607-3717
(800) 828-6216 (orders)
Metal Edge West, Inc.
6340 Bandini Avenue
Commerce, CA 90040
517 Main Street,
P.O. Box 101
Holyoke, MA 01041-0101
(800) 628-1912 (orders)
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Last Revised: 11/30/10
© Wheaton College 2017