The Church’s chief governing synod, the General Convention, is the unincorporated association created for the purposes of establishing and maintaining the unity of the Episcopal Church and its identity as a religious body and member of the Anglican Communion. It meets in full session every three years and has done so since 1784 with two special sessions in 1870 and 1969. It is comprised of the two houses of Bishops and Deputies (lay and ordained). The records of the General Convention include the printed journals, reports of regular and special committees, and after 1963, files and documents generated by the legislative process. The publications of the General Convention include the Journal and the Constitution (1789) and Canons of the Episcopal Church. Printed materials generated by Church members and organizations are also part of the archive for the period after 1950. Each triennial session of General Convention may appoint or renew standing and special bodies (in addition to the Executive Council) to study and make recommendations to the main body. The archives of the General Convention include these records and the administrative records of the Executive Officer and Secretary of General Convention, and the Treasurer.
The President of the House of Deputies is the canonical position of General Convention that constitutes the voice of the clergy and laity in the leadership of the Church and works with the Presiding Bishop to unify the mission and message of the Episcopal Church. The election and duties of the President are provided in the Canons and other governing documents of the Executive Council and DFMS of which he or she is the vice-president. In addition to presiding at meetings of the House of Deputies, serves as an independent voice of advocacy on matters identified as priorities of General Convention. The President has traditionally been a significant voice for ensuring the full inclusion of all ministerial orders in Church governance and for protecting the policy to the American Church. The President's influence in Church affairs is especially felt in the prerogative to appoint clerical and lay members of official bodies, which typically results in a majority of the voting members. The Archives holds the papers of several past presidents: Clifford Morehouse (1961-1970), the Rev. David Collins (1976-1991), Pamela Chinnis (1991-2000), and the current President, the Rev. Gay Jennings.
The House of Bishops is comprised of all actively serving bishops and those who have resigned their jurisdictions. Eligible members include all diocesan and assisting bishops elected or canonically appointed from the dioceses, area missions, and special jurisdictions of the United States and nineteen other countries, including a number of churches in Europe, Latin America, Taiwan, and Haiti. The House of Bishops meets in special or “interim” sessions between meetings of the General Convention and, acting in their pastoral and teaching mode, may explore issues of theological, social or mission concern. The House may not take any binding action, however, without the approval of the General Convention. The House may appoint committees, the most notable being the Theology Committee and the Committee on Pastoral Development. The records of the House, which date from 1789, were maintained by the Secretary of the House and only periodically conveyed to the Archives, which resulted in an archive that is neither continuous nor complete.
The House of Deputies met in General Convention in 1789 when the lay and clerical deputies established the order, governance, and first public statements of the Episcopal Church. The lay and clerical deputies elected Bishop William White its president, and among other early acts, provided for the keeping and publication of the journals and other papers of the Convention. The House of Deputies has been called the "senior house" for its early organization and its swift undertaking of the task of Church unity and oversight of the corporal affairs of the new body. It established what is today the oldest continuing body of the Episcopal Church, the State of the Church Committee, which annually implements the parochial and diocesan reports that render a reliable statistical profile of the population and health of The Episcopal Church. The House of Deputies operates between General Convention sessions through its special appointed bodies and the joint committees, commissions, boards and agencies. The ministry of the President and presiding officer of the House embodies the mutual ministry leadership of lay and clerical members of the Church in matters of governance, polity and mission. The records of the House of Deputies date from 1789.
The Episcopal Church operates between triennial meetings of the General Convention through canonical or officially mandated entities that prepare the Church for new initiatives in the area of mission, mission support, ministry, and governance. Chief among these is the Executive Council, which has the added responsibility to implement the directives, oversee the corporate assets, and act on behalf of the General Convention between sessions of the chief governing body.
The official subsidiary bodies of General Convention in addition to Executive Council include the following entities:
Agencies: Official agencies of the Episcopal Church are designated either by canon or in the constitution/bylaws of the entity. Two institutions in particular are noteworthy: the Church Pension Fund and the General Theological Seminary. As independently managed bodies, agencies generally retain their archives. Exceptions include the archives of the Episcopal Church Building Fund and Episcopal Church Women, which have been placed with The Archives of the Episcopal Church.
Boards: Semi-autonomous entities created to provide special care and diligent stewardship of an area that typically involves a key Church asset (information, donations, certification) and professional oversight in a ministry area (e.g., curatorship, publication, care of vulnerable populations). The Boards propose policy within the guidelines of General Convention mandate, oversee operations, and report to Executive Council. The staff and assets of the entities under care are owned by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (the Church’s corporate entity). The continuing bodies are either defined by canon or by triennial resolution. Records of the boards and their operating bodies are held by the Archives. As of the 2015 General Convention, these entities are:
Board of The Archives of the Episcopal Church
Board for Transition Ministry
Episcopal Relief and Development Board of Directors
Forward Movement Publications (by triennial resolution)
General Board of Examining Chaplains
United Thank Offering
Records of the Executive Council: Organized in 1964, the Executive Council is the chief oversight body for implementing the programs and corporate business of The Episcopal Church in matters affecting its domestic and foreign mission, its ecumenical relationships, and its place in civil society. The Executive Council is the direct successor body to the National Council (1919-1963) and inherits the role held by the Board of Missions of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (1835-1918). The Executive Council marks the consolidation of authority for the implementation of national and international work of the Council under the single executive office of the Presiding Bishop.
The records of Executive Council are chiefly comprised of the minutes and dockets that comprise the proceedings of the central body, reports of its appointed standing and special committees, and reports of other subsidiary Episcopal Church groups and officers. See also the database Resolves of Council to search votes of Council after 1976.
Special Committees and Task Forces: Most task forces that are initiated by General Convention report to its Executive Council. On occasion, however, Convention designates a special body to advance work in an area of priority concern or urgency. These groups report directly to General Convention and are subject to triennial renewal. Records of these bodies may be found in the Archives; their reports are found in the Digital Archives of Reports to Convention.
Standing Commissions and Committees of General Convention: General Convention may by canon or rules of order establish standing bodies to maintain its core functions and operations between triennial sessions. These tasks include financial and site planning and election duties, but from time to time, General Convention has enacted standing commissions to conduct long-term study and oversight of liturgical, structural, legal, and social matters of importance. Records of these standing bodies are generally available in the Church Archives, and may be accessed through a Digital Archives of official reports submitted to the Convention. The following bodies entities were continued by the 2015 General Convention.
Joint Standing Committee on Nominations
Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Arrangements
Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance
Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, Constitution and Canons
Standing Commission on Music and Liturgy
Structures Providing for Ecclesiastical Discipline: The Church maintains its own system for evaluating cases in which the ordained ministers may act outside the permissible boundaries of the Church’s Constitution and Canons. The process had evolved especially since 1991 and today involves an attempt to obtain full factual clarification, reconciliation of the parties, resolution of the conflict without litigation, and the provisioning of a trial court system for adjudicating unresolved cases through an appeal stage. The system is designed to accommodate complaints about unacceptable behavior or publicly holding beliefs contrary to the Church’s Prayer Book teaching. The system is not designed, however, to make pronouncements on matters of doctrinal truth. The Archives retains records of the trial courts, the Disciplinary Board for Bishops, notices of sentences pronounced, and accords reached in reconciliation.
The Presiding Bishop is the Chief Pastor and Primate of The Episcopal Church, which includes the United States and dioceses or congregations in Europe, Asia and Latin America that maintain continuing ties to the American province of the Anglican Communion. The election and duties of the office are provided in the Church's Canons. The Presiding Bishop is responsible for initiating new work and developing Church policy and strategy. The Presiding Bishop leads the staff of the DFMS and represents the Episcopal Church in major public engagements, the Anglican Communion, and ecumenical relationships. That person acts as chairperson of Executive Council, President of the DFMS, and is presiding officer of the House of Bishops. The Archives is the official repository for the official acts and records of the Presiding Bishop, and is also home to a number of personal papers and collections, including the Church's first presiding bishop, William White.
Prior to 1974, Records of the Office of the Presiding Bishop are arranged and described not by individual Presiding Bishop, but in combined eras. Record group series include correspondence, subject and event files, Office of Ministry Development, as well as chaplaincy files. Beginning with John Allin, the Archives began systematically acquiring records of the Presiding Bishop, with the largest of the record groups being:
The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (the DFMS or the Society) is the incorporated New York State body that holds the assets and oversees the business and mission operations of the Episcopal Church in the US and abroad. As an incorporated religious society, the DFMS is protected under the first amendment and is liable for its actions in all areas of civil law that apply to its non-religious activities. The Society funds the work of the General Convention in the various domestic and foreign mission fields, holds property, enters into contracts, collects and invests funds, and works with Episcopal entities, dioceses and congregations to protect their tax status and assist in improving their organizational health. The Society's membership is composed of all baptized members of the Church. The central offices of the corporation are located at what is known as the Episcopal Church Center at 815 Second Avenue, New York City. Field offices exist in several U.S. cities.
The records and archives of the DFMS are located with The Archives of the Episcopal Church, which is the designated official repository by Canon law. The archives are arranged by record creator but include offices, programs, and activities that fall into three general categories.
DFMS administration records include those of the executive office of the Presiding Bishop and the Chief Operating Officer, DFMS Legal Counsel, the Human Resources Office, and Armed Forces and other special Chaplaincies.
Records of the financial operation include financial management, accounting and reporting, audit, property matters, and trust and investments.
The records of the DFMS program area reflect the historical exigencies and fluidity of attempts at a coordinated, Church-wide response to ecclesiastical, social, and cultural change. Early records document the church’s domestic and foreign missionary work to establish congregations, set up schools, hospitals, and other social services, and after the Civil War to assist in promoting work it believed would improve the lives of African Americans, American Indians, and immigrant groups. Domestic mission expanded into new areas following the First World War in areas of rural work and ministry (e.g., Roanridge), refugee care, and education. In the period after the Second World War, support was given to activities touching on partnerships with newly emerging church in Latin America, African and Asia, ethnic outreach ministries, women’s ministry, public policy advocacy, and youth work. Some activities have a longer history than others including DFMS publications and communication, women's leadership in the United Thank Offering, the many avenues of ecumenical dialog, and the funding of missionary personnel to work and learn from Christians in other parts of the Anglican Communion.
The Archives documents the diversity of organizational life in the Church. These archives includes many active organizations that work with the Archives to preserve their organizational memory. The Archives holds records of the following affiliated Church organizations.
The Assembly of Episcopal Healthcare Chaplains, formerly the Assembly of Episcopal Hospitals and Chaplains, has served the Church and its chaplains since 1950. The organization's title represents the Episcopal Church's long-standing tradition of ministry in hospitals. The Assembly’s records include conference papers, minutes and proceedings, scrapbooks, newsletters, and membership packets.
The Associated Parishes was founded in 1946 as, "A fellowship of clergy and laity interested in advancing the principles of the Liturgical Movement in the life of the Episcopal Church." This program is accomplished through publications as well as networking and liturgical conferences, representing Anglicans in North America as well as an ecumenical reach. The Archives is the repository for the organizational records of Associate Parishes, now named the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission. Dating back to 1946, the archives includes minutes and meeting materials, incorporation and bylaws, publications, liturgies, and audiovisual materials, including copies of the organization's journal Open.
A network of lay and clergy leaders in liturgy and music, founded in 1969 in part to assist and advise the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (Standing Liturgical Commission) in evaluating proposed trial liturgies. The ADLMC network also advises dioceses on liturgical use. The holdings include publications, conference files, and officer records beginning in 1976 and continuing to 2009.
The Association of Episcopal Deacons (formerly the North American Association for the Diaconate, National Center for the Diaconate) serves to support the needs – including providing guidelines for training, life and work – for the nearly 3,000 deacons in the Episcopal Church. The origins of AED lie in the historical development of the Episcopal diaconal order, the establishment of the Central House of Deaconesses in 1953, and the establishment of the National Center of the Diaconate in 1974. The AED archive includes collected biographical materials from as early as 1890, membership records, meeting minutes, correspondence, newsletters and printed materials.
The records of the Board of Trustees of Foreign Parishes, 1859-1992, reflect the nature of the administrative and governing relationship of the organization, incorporated to establish and support Episcopal churches for purposes of providing a familiar place of worship and ministry for Americans living in or visiting Europe. The Board's influence corresponded to the enthusiasm shown by wealthy American Church lay persons living abroad, the interest of the Anglican Communion in maintaining a presence in Western Europe's cultural and military arenas, and the ability of clergy to elicit financial commitments for a ministry among the English speaking population living in Europe. The Board’s archive includes administrative, financial and property files, and some printed materials.
Founded in the late 19th century, the Brotherhood of St. Andrew is an evangelical Episcopal association whose aim is to create a fellowship of service and spiritual discipleship for men and boys through daily prayer, regular study and committed service. The holdings date from 1883 and include the organization's journal publication, St. Andrew's Cross.
The CPC’s mission is to provide multimedia resources -- literature and related materials -- to those who cannot otherwise obtain them, at all levels of the Church. The Archives holds the CPC Board’s meeting minutes, correspondence, and printed reports, some dating back to 1849.
Originally established as the Church Hymnal Corporation in 1918, Church Publishing has published prayer books, hymnals, General Convention-authorized titles through the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, as well as theological, liturgical, historical and other church-related publications. The Archives maintains a special collection of CPI published titles.
The Conference of Anglican Religious Orders in the Americas is an affiliation of religious communities established in 1949 to spread knowledge about the religious life, present a united voice to the Church on common concerns, and serve as consultants to bishops or new communities in formation. The organization’s records, which date back to 1948, include correspondence, reports, proceedings, minutes, and printed material spanning the period 1948–1991.
The Conference of Diocesan Executives was founded in 1943 for lay and ordained people who report directly to the bishop and serve at the executive or senior level on a bishop’s staff. Archives holdings include only records of annual conferences from 1963–1975.
The Educational Center was the successor organization to the Episcopal Home for Children of the Diocese of Missouri, a diocesan orphanage that amended its charter to focus on religious educational research and ministry. The Educational Center had a large, national clientele through the 1940s to 1960s. In its earliest period, it worked with the national Episcopal offices in developing pedagogical content and methods. In 2003, the Educational Center became independent of the Episcopal Church. The archive covers the period 1938–2003, and includes governance records, administrative files, parish client files on educational projects, a large amount of curriculum studies and instructional materials, newsletters and other occasional publications, and some audio-visual recordings.
Previously named Appalachia South, and the Appalachian People's Service Organization (APSO), the Episcopal Appalachian Ministries (EAM) was first organized in 1969 to encourage local ministries and better the lives of the people in Appalachia. The archive pre-dates the organized establishment of Appalachia South (pre-1969 surveys and studies) and covers the period 1966-1997. Holdings primarily document the day-to-day operation and activities of the organization in administrative papers, printed booklets and flyers, correspondence, reports, photographs, and news clippings. A notable series of records exists on inter-denominational and collaborative social justice efforts as well as the organization's activism against strip-mining in the region.
The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) is the successor organization to the Church’s most important fellowship and mission organization, the Women’s Auxiliary to the Board of Missions/DFMS. The Auxiliary was founded in 1890 to give independent expression to the domestic and foreign missionary activities that were mostly centered on supporting education, health, child care and protection, and poverty alleviation. Historically, however, the organization was the chief vehicle by which the women of the Church exercised their influence and power in otherwise patriarchal Church structures and governance. The “Triennial” gathering event of diocesan and provincial women leaders continues to be a rallying moment for the organization. As women entered the mainstream of Church life with ordination and recognized lay ministry, the ECW’s direction has transitioned to discovering new avenues of Church service. The archive includes the organization records (minutes, reports, publications, recordings, and program materials) of national and regional organizations that coordinate the work of women in Episcopal parishes across the country. These include:
The Women’s Auxiliary (DFMS), 1890–1963
The Episcopal Church Women (DFMS), 1978–2005
Episcopal Church Women of Province III, 1973–1999
The Auxiliary Episcopal Church Women of Province IV, 1934–1963
Episcopal Church Women of Province V, 1984–1997
Episcopal Church Women of Province VII, 1963–2004
Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Oregon, 2006
Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Texas, 1961–1995
Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Southeast Florida, 1972–2010
The Episcopal Conference of the Deaf, the Church's leading organization in a long tradition of ministry among Deaf people, first organized as the Conference of Church Workers Among the Deaf in 1881. Although initially limited to clergy members, in the mid-20th century the Conference was opened to lay members, and officially changed its name in 1970 to the Episcopal Conference of the Deaf. In addition to serving as a resource of information, ECD's ministry includes advocating appropriate styles of worship for deaf members of congregations, as well as attracting new deaf ministers (lay and ordained) to the Church. The archives covers the period 1859–2010. It includes board and committee minutes, conference records, operational records, and copies of ECD's longstanding newsletter, first named The Silent Missionary, and later named The Deaf Episcopalian. Historical records of some sponsored congregations, schools and missions are also part of the archive.
The Episcopal Network for Economic Justice (ENEJ), established in 1996, is the Episcopal Church's leading organization in support of workers, working people and the right to a living wage. ENEJ grew from a commitment to a ministry of economic justice formally acknowledged by the 1988 General Convention, in its establishment of the Economic Justice Implementation Committee, which has advocated at both the national and local level for investment in community-based economic programs, including credit unions, loan funds, housing cooperatives, and worker-owned businesses. The ENEJ archive, dating from 1996 through 2009, includes annual meeting records, minutes, advocacy files, membership records, and some photographs.
The Episcopal Women's Caucus was founded in 1971 to advocate for women’s ordination and the full inclusion of women in the governance and ministries of Church life. The Caucus had a social justice focus on gender equality and has raised the Church’s awareness of adverse practices that enable sexism and other power inequities. The Caucus’ archive includes meeting materials, photographs, administrative records, and copies of their publication Ruach.
Founded in 1980 as an independent national organization of Episcopal women, the Episcopal Women's History Project has played an important role in recovering and documenting the lives of women who have made outstanding contributions to the Episcopal Church. The Project aims to raise awareness about the historic place of women in the Church and their ethnic, racial, regional, and class diversity. Since its formation, the group has produced historical resources, conducted oral history interviews, published a newsletter, distributed grants, and supported and encouraged research and scholarship related to Episcopal women's history. The Project has been a model for similar efforts in other faith communities. The Archives serves as the official repository for EWHP. Organizational records include minutes, correspondence, conference agendas, biographical data, resource files, program documentation, oral history guidelines, other interview-related material, and a selective run of the EWHP newsletter, Timelines, 1980-2011. The EWHP archive also includes a substantial collection of oral histories and oral interviews.
The Evangelical Education Society (EES) has a long history as a strong and representative voice for promoting the liberal strain of rational religion that dominated preaching, worship, and clerical leadership in the Episcopal Church throughout its first century and into the first half of the twentieth century. EES’s prominence owed much to the postbellum competition between muscular evangelical churchmanship and the Oxford inspired Anglo-Catholic liturgical formulations, which acquired a strong foothold in the Church after 1885. The EES archive captures activities from 1862 to 1998 with particular strength in organization’s minutes, subscriptions and grants, membership records for certain periods, and publications. Early records also include those of related evangelical clergy associations in Philadelphia that merged with EES: the Protestant Episcopal Society for the Promotion of Evangelical Knowledge (PESPEK) and the Episcopal Evangelical Fellowship (EEF).
Forward Movement specializes in the publication of devotional tracts and spiritual guides. In the midst of the Great Depression the Joint Commission on the Forward Movement was established in 1934 by the General Convention with the general charge to point the Church “forward.” Forward Movement’s first publications came out in 1935 including the first issues of Forward Day by Day, a daily devotional guide. Authorized each triennium by the General Convention, Forward Movement Publications operates with the Presiding Bishop as its chair, and has published key ecumenical documents affecting the Episcopal church as well as other works of historical and biographical importance. Its range of materials expanded in the period after 1986 with the closing of Seabury Press, which was the national Church’s publishing company. The collection is largely made up of an accumulating file of published material sent to the Archives of the Episcopal Church in regular mailings.
The Girls’ Friendly Society (GFS) is an international, religious organization for girls and young women from the ages of 7-21 of any race, religion, or nationality. Affiliated with the Episcopal Church as a parish-based program that began to help young women workers in early industrial America, the GFS evolved into an organization to provide opportunities to girls through service to others, worship, study, and recreation. Holdings cover the period 1860–2010, but the bulk of the documentation relates to the years 1916–1998. The archive includes minutes and reports, administrative records, publications, ephemera and photographs. The Archives serves as the official repository for the GFS.
The Guild of Scholars emerged in the 1940s from an initiative of Episcopalians in the academy who called together intellectuals of like mind into an association of contacts. Since its founding, the organization's focus has been on sustaining an invisible college representing various disciplines and centers of higher education. Annual meetings were held to deliver papers and discuss intellectual interests as a scholarly attempt to deepen appreciation of the Anglican faith. Historical records include annual meeting files, officer correspondence, financial, membership and program records, early photographs, and scholarly papers. The archives spans the years 1940–2000.
Organized as the Church Historical Society, the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church (HSEC) was first organized in Philadelphia in 1910 and incorporated in 1913. The Historical Society has served to provide a forum for promoting the research and publication interests of those dedicated to examining the Church’s history with emphasis since the 1960s on academic traditions over the public history approaches that marked its earliest decades. The organization acted from 1940 to 1984 as the official custodian of the General Convention’s archives, which it supplemented with historical collections, publications and ephemera. In addition to publishing a quarterly academic journal, the Historical Society administers a grants program and sponsors conferences. The Archives’ holdings cover the period 1891–2005 and include administrative records, reports, and publications.
Integrity, Inc. is the national organization of gay and lesbian Episcopalians and their friends and families, founded in 1974. The organization consists of a national coordinating body and local chapters throughout the United States and Canada. Founder Louis Crew’s newsletter, Integrity Forum, served as a catalyst to the formation of the organization. At the 1976 General Convention in Minneapolis, Integrity established a critical presence in the institutional life of the Church by its witness. It continues to focus much of its effort on preparation for influencing the decisions of the Church gathered at General Convention. The archive includes administrative records, Chapter newsletters and some other chapter records, annual convention materials, General Convention materials, records of the Fund for Integrity, committee and task force records, subject files, and publications, including Integrity Forum and its successor publications.
The Records of the National AIDS Memorial, Inc. (NAM), was created to advocate for the pastoral care and recognition of those afflicted with HIV/AIDS. NAM is responsible for maintaining the Memorial Book in which names of individuals who have died of AIDS are inscribed. The Book is kept on display in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, who with the New York chapter of Integrity, sponsors the Memorial project. In addition to the Memorial Book, NAM focuses on raising funds to distribute as grants to organizations that provide services to persons with AIDS. The Memorial was dedicated on November 9, 1985. The records cover the period 1985–1995 and consist of administrative and financial records of the organization, publicity and event materials, and records and photographs relating to the AIDS Memorial Book.
The National Altar Guild was first established as the National Altar Committee by the 1922 General Convention. It later became the National Association of Diocesan Altar Guilds, and continues today as the National Altar Guild Association. The purpose of the association is to provide a common network and resource for all altar guilds, which is the parish organization that is responsible for proper caring and provisioning of altars, sanctuaries, and other worship spaces. The Archives' holdings cover the period 1927–2006, and include administrative records, minutes and bylaws, photographs, reports, and historical publications, including copies of the newsletter The Epistle.
Founded in 1988, the National Episcopal AIDS Coalition (NEAC) provides support for HIV and AIDS ministries across the Episcopal Church. NEAC’s primary purpose is education and training. Records of the National Episcopal AIDS Coalition include administrative and business files, correspondence, draft resolutions, press releases, reports, and audio and video recordings for the period 1985–1997 (some material pre-dates the coalition’s official formation).
NEHA began as a conference of diocesan historiographers in 1961, first known as the Association of Episcopal Historiographers, then as the Conference of Historiographers within the Church Historical Society. In 1980 the group decided to also include registrars, parish historians and archivists, and the name was changed in 1982 to the National Episcopal Historians and Archivists. NEHA acts as a forum for dioceses, parishes and those involved in preserving the Church's history. The group hosts annual conferences, recognizes individuals and organizations who have made contributions to the field, and publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Historiographer. The Archives serves as the official repository of NEHA records, which cover the period 1960–present (bulk dates 1982-1990). The collection includes administrative files, meeting records, correspondence, conference materials, financial records, parish history resources, and the NEHA newsletter.
Organized in 1984 and soon after known as the Lay Professionals Task Force, the group formed in order to discuss concerns and advocate for those choosing a career in lay ministry. In 1989 they renamed themselves the National Network of Lay Professionals, and began publishing position papers. Through these papers, as well as gatherings, workshops and other publications, NNLP sought for greater visibility and support for lay professionals in the Episcopal Church. By 2007, NNLP had expanded its scope and was renamed again as the National Network of Episcopal Church Employees. Records include bylaws and articles of incorporation, published policy guidelines for lay employees, meeting materials, and copies of the Network's newsletter, Callings. The archive covers the period 1986–1997 (Callings holdings through 2005).
Recovery Ministries (formerly the National Episcopal Coalition on Alcohol and other Drugs or NECAD) is a network of Episcopal laity and clergy focused on studying the effects of addiction on the Church, which began in 1980. The organization has assisted in establishing diocesan commissions on addiction recovery, promoting Alcohol and Drug Awareness Sunday, and creating educational resources on the topic. The records of the organization are unprocessed, but include administrative files and publications from 1980 to 2006, and annual meeting and board minutes to 2008. See Archives’ holdings profile “Records Relating to the Ministry to Those Afflicted by Alcoholism and Addiction”.
The Society of St. Margaret in the United States is a women’s religious order that includes related but independent chapters in the Anglican Communion. The historical records of the Society cover the period 1855–2010. They are strongest in representing activities in several areas: the mother house in Boston, governance and daily work routines, the work of St. Monica’s Home (including annual reports and other records), the Haiti mission and St. Vincent’s school in the post-WWII years, the Duxbury convent and summer camp, and several of the order’s houses and missions in other cities. Files on individual Sisters may contain letters and papers relating to their work with children, the elderly in health care, and the building of community life. The photograph collection is large and varied, reaching back to St. Margaret’s Infirmary and the Children’s Hospital, both in Boston, and including many photos of the sisters both in portraiture and activities.
Established in 1889 as the United Offering by the Women's Auxiliary to the Board of Missions, the United Thank Offering (UTO) is a special fund-raising initiative within the Church. Since its inception, the UTO has been a form of grass-roots, self-organized participation by women in a leadership role that is historically intertwined with the history of women and their role in the Episcopal Church, and continues to be a vehicle for lay women's participation in Church life. Records date back to the 1930s, and primarily cover activities through the 1990s. In addition to slides and photographs, the collection includes records of past UTO coordinators, committee records, grant documents, financial records, and publications.
The Archives is mandated to document the full dimension of the Episcopal Church life and for that reason it serves as the repository for the archives of many regional and national Church organizations. In some instances, these organizations have ceased to exist or their ministries have been assumed by other groups. The following list is a sample of archives of some substance about notable organizations no longer in existence. Unlisted here are small archival collections of occasional publications, reports, and ephemera that document the existence but not the operation of Episcopal Church organizations.
Established by General Convention as the Protestant Episcopal Freedman’s Commission to Colored People, and later operating as the American Church Institute (ACI) for Negroes. The ACI coordinated a network of post-secondary educational institutions in the South that served the needs of vocational training in the post-Reconstruction period through the twentieth century (1867-1968). The archive represents a reasonably comprehensive record of the ACI during its lifetime and, in most cases, a much briefer synopsis of the work of each of the schools the ACI administered. [read more]
Cathedral Films, Inc. was established in 1939 by the Reverend James K. Friedrich, an Episcopal priest who advocated film as a medium of Christian Education and ministry. In 1943 Cathedral Films became a tax-exempt nonprofit corporation. It remained a leader in the production and distribution of religious educational films, filmstrips and recordings across denominations for the next 30-plus years, with many films receiving national and international recognition. By the late 1970s, when rising costs began to affect the religious media industry's production abilities, Cathedral Films' Trustees and Directors proposed to turn itself and its assets over to The Episcopal Church, so that the Church could continue Cathedral's film ministry and ongoing media outreach. That agreement was formalized in 1981. The Archives became the official repository for Cathedral Films in 1999. The archive includes files, slide boards, photographs, audio recordings, 16mm and 35mm motion picture films, filmstrips, vinyl phonographs, administrative records, (some records and films are dated earlier, including copies of original Articles of Incorporation and subsequent nonprofit amendments). A full listing of film titles is available. The Archives also holds the papers (1958–1981) of founder and James Friedrich.
Bishop Paul Moore (NY) and Cincinnati Dean Morris Arnold (later Bishop of Mass) founded the Church and City Conference in 1959, to connect clergy and laity involved with the Episcopal Church's urban mission and ministry. Through committee work and annual meetings, the coalition focused on raising awareness of the variety and depth of problems affecting those specifically living in cities. The Conference had a profound impact on directing the Church’s attention to urban poverty, social justice, and civil rights. Records and administrative files date back to 1959 and continue through the early 1990s.
Led by Bishops Frederic Dan Huntington and Henry Codman Potter, the Church Association for the Advancement of the Interests of Labor (CAIL) was formed in 1887 to promote concern in the church for workers in industry. Among its activities, it published the quarterly magazine Hammer and Pen, and in 1890 promoted in Episcopal Churches the first observance of "Labor Sunday"(the Sunday after Labor Day). The Archives' holdings include copies of CAIL scrapbooks from 1887-1921, from originals housed at the Diocese of New York.
Centered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Church Society for College Work's efforts were focused on advocating for prioritizing college and university ministry in the Episcopal Church. The organization’s archives includes records from 1952-1967, primarily office files and publications documenting their advocacy efforts.
Coalition 14 was a group of Episcopal dioceses that banded together in the early 1970s, initially as a strategy to change how funding was requested and distributed among domestic missionary and rural districts, but also to promote interdependence and support for self-governance among aided dioceses. These fourteen dioceses included Eau Claire, Montana, Wyoming, Eastern Oregon, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nevada, Idaho, Western Kansas, Hawaii, Arizona, Utah, Nebraska and what was then known as New Mexico and Southwest Texas (now the Diocese of the Rio Grande). Many of these dioceses had Native American members who had become more vocal participants in Church governance. With the establishment of the Episcopal Committee for Indian Ministries (ECIM) in the 1990s, Coalition 14 was no longer funneling aid to Native American Ministry, and by 1997 the dioceses voted to disband. The Archives' holdings date from 1972 to 1995 and include organizational records and audio interviews on the origins of Coalition 14.
Before the practice of holding of regular interim meetings, the House of Bishops conducted official business as a counsel to the Presiding Bishop. Discovered among the Archives' miscellaneous historical papers, this collection dates from 1871-1939 and includes material on the service of missionary bishops, disciplinary matters, and material support of the clergy. The House Rule on Bishops in Council was repealed in 1989.
The Episcopal Partnership for Global Mission (EPGM) was formed by General Convention (resolution 1997-A204) to extend the work of the Episcopal Council for Global Mission. Its purpose was manifold: to strengthen DFMS partnerships with other mission groups; to increase church-wide participation and cooperation in international missionaries; to provide space for those with disparate views on mission to gather and dialogue; to establish standards and best practices for the sending and receiving of international missionaries; and to provide a forum for theological reflection on mission. EPGM disbanded in 2012, turning over its work to other mission networks. The Archives' holdings primarily include records from the 1990s, including records from predecessor bodies, especially Episcopal Council for Global Mission.
In December 1959, approximately one hundred lay and ordained Episcopalians organized ESCRU in an attempt to remove all vestiges of segregation from the life of the Church. The group took issue with the de facto racial segregation that dominated much of Church life in the South. By adopting the tactics of other civil rights protesters, such as peaceful protest and civil disobedience, ESCRU sought to publicize long-standing problems of segregation and racial division in the Church and to promote racial unity. The ESCRU archive comprises 34 linear feet of a national office administrative files, including chapter records, project files, convention records, photographs, and tape recordings, spanning the years 1959 to 1970. Of particular note are the project files which document the civil rights related activities of ESCRU, such as the Prayer Pilgrimage, the Lovett School Integration controversy, and the work and murder of seminarian Jonathan Daniels. The Archives acquired the records of ESCRU along with personal papers of its founder, the Reverend John Morris, in 1998.
The Episcopal Society for the Ministry on Aging (ESMA) was formed in 1964, in response to the Episcopal Church’s National Conference on Aging. The 1964 General Convention turned to the talent organized in ESMA as the agency to assist parishes and dioceses in establishing housing for the elderly, and served the Church for nearly four decades. In 2003, the Board voted to dissolve. Records include Board correspondence and meeting files, subject and general files, financial and fundraising files, survey records, resource files, and some audiovisual materials.
Founded in 1968 as "an independent association of Episcopal college and university chaplains, faculty and friends devoted to vigorous ministry in higher education," the Episcopal Society for Ministry to Higher Education was a leading organization in campus ministry until its closing out of operations in 2004. The group held regional and joint conferences, produced case studies, and presented to General Convention both independently and with other consultations a platform for programs for ministry in higher education. In 1973 ESMHE began publishing a quarterly journal, Plumbline: A Journal of Ministry in Higher Education. The records date from 1966 to 2004 and document the group’s early organizational endeavors. The Archives holds a substantial, although incomplete, run of Plumbline.
The Instituto Pastoral Hispano was a theological training program for Hispanics that was first formed in the Diocese of Connecticut in 1977, and later housed at General Theological Seminary. Initially begun as a training institute for lay leaders, in 1980 it expanded to include training for ordained ministry. Over the years the program received support through Venture in Mission (VIM) and the Episcopal Church Foundation. The program ended in 1998. Archives holdings on the Instituto Pastoral Hispano date from 1977 to 1998 and include administrative records of the organization, project files, and some student records.
The 1991 General Convention passed Resolution 1991-A104, which tasked "the Bishops and members of each Diocesan Deputation" to encourage all congregations in their jurisdiction to enter into dialogue on the complex issues surrounding human sexuality. The result was a grass-roots organization called the National Steering Committee for Dialogue on Human Sexuality, often referred to as "the Whitaker Committee" as it was chaired by Bishop O'Kelley Whitaker, then President of Province II. The archive of that dialogue includes correspondence, questionnaires, tabulated and actual responses, and study guide evaluations.
The Archives holds the records of this organization, which existed from 1951-1998 under the leadership of the Reverend David Works. Throughout this period it was the Episcopal Church’s primary vehicle for addressing societal impact of addiction, especially alcoholism with an emphasis on recovery that addressed both physical and spiritual health. The NCI archive is extensive with organizational records and a resource library of gray literature and studies pertinent to alcholism. See Archives’ holdings profile “Records Relating to the Ministry to Those Afflicted by Alcoholism and Addiction”.
This committee (Comité ecuménico del hymnario Español) was initially a cooperative venture among Episcopalians, Presbyterians and the United Church of Christ that gathered in the 1990s to compile an Ecumenical Spanish Hymnal. The Episcopal edition of the hymnal, called El Himnario, included over 500 hymns, which representated a large variety of Hispanic cultures. The holdings include hymnal resources, directories, correspondence and meeting records. Around 2010, a later group revived and reorganized the project as the “Cancionero Songbook Project,” for which the Archives serves as repository for committee files, song/artist evaluations and other project records.
For sixty years (1907–1966) St. Margaret’s House in Berkeley, CA, educated women for service in the Episcopal Church as deaconesses, missionaries, and educators. It had its origin in a deaconess training program initiated in 1907, and later, the program expanded beyond training to include a School for Christian Service; a Student House for women students; and a Church Service Center. Although its building had been named St. Margaret's House since 1914, the institution formally adopted the name in 1950. By the 1960s, the movement toward full equality for women in the church had diminished the need for a separate women’s training school, and in 1966 the St. Margaret’s House Board of Trustees voted to terminate its educational programs. St. Margaret’s House itself became the Berkeley Center for Human Interaction and Training Center for Organizational Renewal, (later renamed the Strong Center) a non-profit unaffiliated with the Episcopal Church. The archive of 3.8 cu. ft. ranges in date from 1908 to 1966 and includes organizational records, class lectures, and photographs; material dated 1967–1997 concerns successor organizations and biographical information of former faculty.
Founded in 1917 as an independent publication, The Witness (Episcopal Church Publishing Company) was a leading voice and widely read journal of opinion that reflected the liberal Church and later progressive social justice movement within the Episcopal Church. Although its leadership was rooted in the Episcopal Church, the publication's readership was ecumenical. The Archives is the repository for the records and copyright of the publication, which was closed due to the financial strain that affected many publications in this same period. The last print journal was August 2003, and after an attempt to publish online for several years, the publication ceased. The archive contains records of the journal’s publishing organization, the Episcopal Church Publishing Company, including the publication, meeting records, resource and subject files, audiovisual materials, and business records.
The Archives documents the work of those who model Christian ministry and who contribute in some way to advancing the Church’s mission to bring the Good News to people of all walks of life. Lay and ordained leaders have practiced their faith in a generous way that has shaped the Episcopal Church’s identity in theology, practice and service. The personal papers held by the Archives are open to researchers.
Bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and the first Hispanic priest to be elected to serve as bishop in a United States diocese. Personal papers include certificates of credentials, photographs and biographical data, 1966-1967, 1989.
Arthur Jones and Netta Powell both served as missionaries to China, living and working there for nearly thirty-three years. They were among the last missionaries to leave when they departed in 1951. Arthur began his work in China in 1918 with the YMCA, serving as Secretary to the International Committee in Nanchang. The couple were appointed Episcopal Church missionaries in 1931, and taught at Boone School and St. Hilda's through the 1930s until eventually Arthur took on the role of effectively serving as the Church's mission treasurer in Kunming. Their service is somewhat documented in the Archives' financial records of the National Council, but their personal papers, donated by their son, include correspondence, diaries, prayer books and some photographs, ca. 1930-1975.
The 23rd Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Allin's personal papers are a complete archive of Bishop Allin’s papers that supplement the official record. The archive spans the years from 1931 to his death in 1998, and includes artifacts, audio, sermons, books, calendars, correspondence, photographic material, publications, and videotapes. A large portion of the archive was created during the period when Allin served as presiding bishop (1974-1985). The records provide evidence of the full biography of his service and pursuits, although private family correspondence is a small part of the holding. A more detailed biographical profile may be found in the Archives online web exhibit, The Church Awakens.
Deaconness Evelyn M. Ashcroft was a missionary to China and the Philippines from 1937-1969. The papers consist of correspondence between Deaconess Ashcroft and members of the Woman's Auxiliary of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Forrest City, Arkansas, who provided Ashcroft with financial and material assistance for her missionary work.
Bishop George W. Barrett served in the dioceses of Rochester and Los Angeles, and performed the irregular 1975 ordination of four women, sometimes called the "Washington 4". His personal papers cover the period 1938 to 2000, and include correspondence, subject files, sermons, statements, photographs and printed material.
The Rev. Edgar Bolling Robertson and his wife Marilyn Kean Robertson were Episcopal missionary-educators who dedicated nearly forty years of service in Liberia. Prior to teaching in Africa, Marilyn received her B.A. from the University of Wyoming and served as Director of Christian Education in Michigan; Edgar Robertson graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary and was appointed missionary to Liberia in 1944, the year after he became a priest. The two married in 1962. Bolling Robertson is remembered for being central to the Diocese of Liberia's education ministry, from his role as principal of the Episcopal High School and as head of all Episcopal schools throughout Grand Cape Mount. He also headed the Theology Division at Cuttington University College from 1975-1983. After a brief return to the United States upon his retirement in 1984, the Robertsons moved permanently to Liberia. Bolling died in 2006. The Robertson Papers document over four decades of their life and work, primarily their time in Liberia, and include correspondence, personal memorabilia, diaries and journals, studies and reports on Christian Education, research files, audio-visual recordings, photo albums, scrapbooks, and collection publications for the period 1925-2003.
Sally Mitchell Bucklee has been a longtime women's advocate in the Episcopal Church. As a founding member of the Episcopal Women's Caucus — and later President — she promoted the ordination of women to all orders of the Church. In 1972 she was elected to the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Washington and was the second woman to serve on that committee. Bucklee also served as Chair of Executive Council's Committee on the Status of Women, as a member of the Task Force on Women's Ministries, and as a Deputy to General Convention representing the Diocese of Washington. Her papers cover the period 1974-2001 and include journals, correspondence, writings, publications, photographs, audio and video tapes, and EWC records.
Born August 2, 1899 in Anderson, SC, Samuel Orr Capers was the fourth in a line of ordained ministers. His father, William Theodotus Capers, was bishop of the Diocese of West Texas. Samuel Capers’ grandfather, Ellison Capers, served as the Bishop of South Carolina and as a brigadier general in the Confederate army. Samuel Capers’ great-grandfather William Capers was a bishop in the Methodist Church who earned the honorific “Apostle to the Slaves” for his work on behalf of African-Americans. This archive documents four generations of Protestant ministers. The Capers Papers are concentrated in the years 1919-1945, with some earlier and later material relating to family members extends the full span from 1790 to 1984.
Pamela Pauly Chinnis was elected as the first woman to serve as President of the House of Deputies in 1991. She had previously served as a major figure in the Episcopal Church’s successful Venture in Mission campaign, as president of the Episcopal Churchwomen, and had been elected as the first female Vice-President of the House in 1985. She served as President during a time when the Episcopal Church was being pulled apart by issues concerning sexuality, governance and centralization of authority, and a major financial scandal. Mrs. Chinnis' leadership of the General Convention and the Executive Council, and her support for the presiding bishop at a time of severe testing, marked her significant place as a lay leader, and established the value and legitimacy of full participation of the House of Deputies in stable Church governance. It was Chinnis’ belief that all Episcopalians should have access to the life and governance of the Church. She served as President of the House of Deputies through 2000. In addition to housing official General Convention and House of Deputies records covering the period of Chinnis' tenure, the Archives also serves as the repository for her personal papers, which cover the period 1940–2000.
Born in Franklin, Kentucky, and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, John Claypool received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Baylor University. His theological training took place at Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, and the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin. Claypool was ordained to the ministry in 1953 and served as pastor of five Baptist Churches in Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas and Mississippi. After being ordained an Episcopal priest in 1986, the Rev. Claypool served as Rector of Saint Luke's Episcopal Church in Birmingham for nearly 14 years. He later joined the faculty of Mercer University's School of Theology as Professor of Homiletics, a position he held until his death on September 3, 2005. Claypool was widely admired for his preaching skills, and his message of theological inclusiveness. Mrs. Ann Claypool (now Beard) donated her husband’s papers to the Archives in 2011. The papers cover the period 1953–2005 and include a large archive of audiovisual recordings, indexed sermons, correspondence, books, and scrapbooks.
The Very Rev. David B. Collins, dean emeritus of the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, served as President of the House of Deputies from 1985–1991. A graduate of the University of South, he served as dean of St. Philip's from 1966–1984. Episcopalians fondly remember his role as chaplain to the Atlanta Braves. In addition to housing official General Convention and House of Deputies records covering the period of Collins' tenure, the Archives' holdings of Dean Collins' papers include personal audio recordings of selected House debates and proceedings as well as copies of his 1996 autobiography, There is a Lad Here.
Elizabeth Catherine Deahl, born in 1894, was an Episcopal missionary to China. Born and raised an Episcopalian, she was a member of Grace Church in Alexandria, Virginia and worked for a short time as a teacher before applying to do mission work in the District of Shanghai. The DFMS appointed her a missionary to China in 1921. While serving, she met and married Dr. Mac Carlyle Fellows, who was also serving as part of the mission staff. Deahl resigned her appointment in 1924, but remained in China with her husband and their two children until her passing in Shanghai in 1933. Catherine Deahl's papers were donated to the Archives along with a trust fund to support mission documentation by her daughter, Catherine Fellows. The archive includes photographs and some family papers, research files created by Catherine Fellows, which document the history of many of the missionaries to China.
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas was ordained the 15th Bishop of Connecticut in 2010. From 1989 to 2010 he was a faculty member at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. During his career, he has served The Episcopal Church in a number of leadership roles, including as a member of Executive Council and the Chair of the Standing Commission on World Mission; as a past Convener of the Episcopal Seminary Consultation on Mission; a member of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion and has served on the Design Group for the 2008 Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops. He is also the author of the scholarly history of the Episcopal Church's foreign mission work: Fling Out the Banner (1996). In 2015 the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop honored Bishop Douglas by placing his name into nomination for that office. Bishop Douglas made the first donation of his papers to the Archives in 2010. The papers, which cover the period 1984-2010, include teaching records and educational course materials; professional communication; creative works such as writings and publications; subject files; and records related to his membership and work in official Episcopal Church and General Convention bodies as well as records related to Anglican Communion activities.
Elizabeth Dyer was the first woman deputy to General Convention. She was elected with voice and vote from the Diocese of Missouri in 1946 although not without objections. Her election was judged to be allowed due to the interpretation of the term "layman”; however, different interpretations appeared in subsequent General Conventions that barred women from being seated with voice and vote until full inclusion in 1970. Dyer, who was very active in the local Church was persuaded by clergy friends in the Missouri diocese who felt that it was time for women to have a voice in the convention. Her papers were donated by a third-party, and include original materials collected onsite at General Convention in 1946, correspondence, and clippings.
James Friedrich was the founder and chief creative force of Cathedral Films, Inc. He devoted his ministerial career as an Episcopal priest to Christian film production for Christian education, primarily for children. His films were widely distributed. Donated with the Cathedral Films corporate and moving image archive, Friedrich's papers include correspondence, production notes, photo albums and scrapbooks, clippings, study guides, and other files related to his leadership of Cathedral Films, ca. 1958‒1965.
The archive (1844‒1853) consists of the family letters of Elizabeth Boyd Graham while she served with her husband who was a missionary to China. The letters were written while Elizabeth and Richardson Graham were en route to China from New York and while living in Shanghai, China. The high sea travel is covered in detail as is the early Episcopal mission.
The Rev. Percy Stickney Grant served for thirty-one years from 1893–1924 as rector of the Church of the Ascension in New York. He is remembered as a prominent figure in controversies surrounding his 1907 establishment of an "Open Forum" on socialism and his views on divorce in the Episcopal Church. Born in 1860 in Boston, Grant graduated from Harvard and received his theological training at the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge. He was ordained a deacon in 1886 and a priest in 1887. Before becoming rector of Ascension, he served first as both an assistant and priest-in-charge at several congregations in Massachusetts. His personal papers include letters, photographs, writings, poems, sermons, publications, ledgers, college notes, sermons, correspondence, musical scores and copies of The Public Forum Weekly of Ascension Church of New York.
The Reverend William Baillie (Bill) Green was a priest, theologian, teacher, and ecumenist whose career became centered in the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest (SSW) in Austin. Through his early adult years, Green was a practicing Presbyterian and was ordained as a minister by the Presbytery of Westchester, New York in 1953. While he was teaching at Colorado Women’s College in Denver (1966–1970), he found himself theologically attracted to the Episcopal Church. After moving to the SSW faculty in 1970, Green was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1972. He died in April 19, 2011. His personal archive includes writings and sermons, prayers for which he was especially known, course teaching materials, research on Paul Tillich, and important records of his work in the Anglican‒Orthodox Theological Discussion.
John Eldridge Hines served as the 22nd Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church from 1965‒1974. While Bishop Hines did not keep most of his personal papers, his children donated some items that survived including the signed copy of his Prayer Book, some sermons, and memorabilia. Related collections include a biography project of oral history interviews about Bishop Hines facilitated by the Bishop John Spong. A more detailed biographical profile is found in the Archives online web exhibit, The Church Awakens.
Rogers Israel was the first bishop of the Diocese of Erie (now Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania), elected in 1910. He was ordained a priest in 1886, served as rector of Christ Church in Meadville, PA and then St. Luke's Church in Scranton from 1892 to 1911, leaving there to become bishop of the diocese. While serving as diocesan bishop from 1911-1921, Israel was a chaplain during World War I, and at the age of 63 served in Europe, at the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in France. Israel's papers, 1916-1925, include letters, photographs, clippings, transcript, published items and clippings, a scrapbook, and background resource files for "The Bishop Who Went to War," by Duncan Steck. A copy of that biography is also in the Archives' book collection.
Born in 1786 in Middletown, Connecticut, Samuel Farmar Jarvis was the first historiographer of the Episcopal Church. He was the son of Bishop Abraham Jarvis of Connecticut. Ordained in 1811, he served as rector of several New York and Boston churches in his first 15 years of ministry, including St. James’ Church in New York City (1813-1819), and St. Paul’s Church in Boston (1820-1826). During this time period, he was also appointed the first professor of biblical learning at General Theological Seminary, shortly following its establishment. After traveling Europe on a tour of its most important libraries, Jarvis returned to America in 1835 to serve as a professor at Washington (Trinity) College and then as rector of Christ Church, Middletown from 1837 to 1842. The General Convention named him historiographer in 1838, directing him to produce a history. One volume, The Church of the Redeemed, was published in 1850. Jarvis died in Middletown in 1851. He has been remembered as “a theological writer of distinction,” and also for his notable private library. The Jarvis Papers, donated to the Archives by the Diocese of Connecticut, include unpublished manuscripts, notebooks of his wife, Sarah Hart Jarvis, and correspondence, which complements his correspondence in other Archives' collections. A substantial portion of the papers includes an inventory of purchases made in Italy, which he seems to have created in relation to a divorce petition sought by his wife. The Papers total six cubic feet, and include an oversize, framed oil portrait of Jarvis.
The Rev. Howard A. Johnson was a prolific writer and theologian and an accomplished traveler, and his interest in Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard led him to collaborate with well-known Kierkegaard scholars. He popularized the world-wide Anglican Communion among Episcopalians who were unfamiliar with the extensive reach of related national church bodies recognized as connected through the Church of England. Johnson’s papers, spanning the period 1932 to 1974, document his educational experiences; writings; correspondence; collected recordings, and a substantial collection of files related to his book project, the "Global Tour of Anglicanism."
Bishop Paul Jones is revered for being a prominent voice and courageous leader in the peace movement of the Episcopal Church. In April 1918, he was forced to resign his post as Bishop of Utah because of his outspoken opposition to World War I. He later founded the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and the Episcopal Peace Fellowship before his death in 1941. He is remembered on the church’s Calendar of Saints on September 4. His papers include correspondence, sermons, a diary, and printed pamphlets, particularly from the period 1917-1918.
The Reverend Daisuke Kitagawa was a priest, author and lecturer, whose life work included a commitment to ecumenism, peace and social justice, ministry to minority populations, and service as an appointed and respected leader of Executive Council as well as the World Council of Churches. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Kitagawa was interned and became Priest-in-Charge of Episcopalians at the Tule Lake relocation center in Newell, California. One of the more significant aggregations of material within the collection is a series of papers covering both internment and resettlement materials from 1942 until 1955. Other items include biographical and education materials, including records from his education and research in Japan, writings, anti-war activities, records of his leadership in the World Council of Churches, and family papers including his son, the Rev. John Kitagawa.
Episcopal missionaries James Hubard Lloyd and Mrs. Louisa Myers Lloyd lived and served in Japan for almost three decades, in the missionary district of Kyoto. They were assigned in 1915. James Lloyd had pastoral supervision over several outstations, particularly Wakayama: at one point he was the only foreign missionary in the Wakayama Deanery. The Lloyds continued their service until 1938, at which time they returned to their retirement home in Virginia. The Rev. Mr. Lloyd died in 1951, and Mrs. Lloyd passed in 1977. The family papers, 1903-1951, include a collection of manuscript and typescript correspondence, and some photographs.
Civil rights leader the Reverend Canon Thomas Wilson Stearly Logan, Sr. devoted over sixty years to the Episcopal Church. He spent his ministry in dedicated serving on commissions and community groups as well as in parochial leadership, serving as rector of Calvary Church in Philadelphia from 1945-1984. Upon his retirement in 1984, he received the title Rector Emeritus. Logan passed away, at the age of 100, in 2012. At that time he was the Church's eldest serving African American priest. Logan was a leading advocate and strong voice for equality and participation of African-American clergy in the life of the Church. His papers, 1908-2007, include photographs, transparency slides, and audio tapes. The papers also include information from Logan's period as president of the Church Workers Conference 1951-1961 and the earlier Conference of Church Workers Among Colored People and the Church Workers Conference, which were precursors to the Union of Black Episcopalians.
Ordained in 1954, the Rev. Leonel Lake "Lee" Mitchell was an Episcopal priest and Professor of Religion. Specializing in Liturgics, he taught at the University of Notre Dame, Berkley Divinity School, and Seabury Western Theological Seminary, where he retired as Professor Emeritus. In his 18 years of service as a parish priest in New York, he was a leader and activist, remembered for his ability to unite and provide a calming influence during times of tension. A scholar and author of ten published books, as well as many liturgical tracts, Mitchell is also remembered for his contributions to the 1979 revision of the Book of Common Prayer. His papers, which cover the period 1958-2012, include sermons and writings, subject and research files, course materials, books, and some audiovisual records.
The Rt. Rev. Richard Bland Mitchell was the eighth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas. He was elected in 1938 and retired in 1956. He is remembered for his leadership in carrying the diocese out of a difficult period into a renewed era of growth, particularly in the establishment of new congregations, and for authorizing the land purchase for the building of that is now known as Camp Mitchell. Mitchell is also remembered for raising his voice in support of the Supreme Court's ruling on Brown v. Board of Education, and following his retirement, he briefly served as Chancellor of the University of South. He died in 1961. The Personal Papers of Bishop Mitchell include a substantial collection of personal objects, diaries, books, correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, clippings, administrative and financial papers, and other family memorabilia, from the late 19th century to 1961.
Bishop Paul Moore, former Suffragan Bishop of Washington, D.C. and later Bishop of the Diocese of New York, spent his ministerial career as a social activist. He was nationally known in his lifetime as an advocate of civil rights and for his outspoken liberalism that favored a missional strategy for the Church of confronting social injustice. As an independently wealthy scion, he had important influence on civic life of New York and was a convincing advocate for moving the Episcopal Church out of the comfort of its establishmentarian status. His papers document his activities outside the diocese from 1937 to 2003 and include a substantial collection of sermons, writings, correspondence, subject files, photographs and audiovisual materials, book notes, travel files, and scrapbooks.
Born in Reigate, England in 1927 and educated at Oxford, Nigel Renton emerged as a prominent lay leader in The Episcopal Church after settling in California in 1957. He was soon involved in Church politics on the national level, elected by the Diocese of California to serve as first alternate lay deputy to the 67th General Convention in 1982, and three years later, as a full deputy. He was a familiar presence on the House floor until 2006, acquiring the nickname the “Terminator” for his success in drawing debate to a close. Renton’s activity in Church governance also included a passion for the development of Episcopal liturgy and worship. His papers, which cover topics of liturgy and governance for the period 1962-2008, help document lay participation in Church life after the adoption of a new Book of Common Prayer in 1979.
Musician, composer, and author Dr. Russell Schulz served as Professor of Liturgical Music at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, from the 1970s until his retirement in 2010. His contributions to the national Church include his chairmanship of the Hymnal Music Committee for the 1982 Hymnal of The Episcopal Church. His papers range from 1974 to 2010 and document primarily his work with the Hymnal Committee, but also include articles and writings, some music compositions, notebooks, and correspondence.
Theologian and author John Shelby Spong served as Bishop of Newark from 1979 to 2000. Throughout his career, as first priest and then bishop, he became a strong progressive and at times controversial voice in the Church who championed women's and gay rights, and questioned long-established doctrines. The Spong Papers, 1952-2011, include correspondence, sermons, literary manuscripts, events files, scrapbooks, and audiovisual materials.
The Rev. Canon Henri Alexandre Stines, born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on October 29, 1923, was a dynamic and formidable preacher, parish builder, multilingual liturgist, and proponent of racial equality and nonviolence during the Civil Rights era. Through his direct ministry in urban congregations such as Grace Episcopal Church in Detroit, Church of the Atonement in Washington, DC., and Trinity Episcopal Church on the south side of Chicago, Stines was an outspoken critic of racism and sexism in the Episcopal Church. From 1964-1966 he served as a director for the Episcopal Society of Cultural and Racial Unity (ESCRU). The Stines Papers, 1944-1995, include correspondence, sermons, printed material, legal documents, and photographs. [read more]
The Rev. Dr. Frank Sugeno was a teacher, historian, author and ecumenical advocate. A Seattle native, he joined the faculty of the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in 1964, where he taught full-time for nearly thirty years in the areas of church history and missiology. The Sugeno Papers include organizational files, especially pertaining to the Seminary Consultation on Mission (SCOM), African Anglican Seminary Network, Episcopal Council for Global Mission (ECGM), and the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church.
Ellen Sitgreaves Vail Motter is memorialized by the donation of the Bowman-Vail papers to The Archives of the Episcopal Church. Ellen Motter was the daughter of Ellen Ledlie Bowman Vail and Thomas Hubbard Vail. The collection consists primarily of the correspondence of Samuel Bowman and Thomas Hubbard Vail, 1840–1886. Letters, photographs, and printed material illuminate the bishops’ ministries, the development of the Diocese of Kansas, and the relationships among other bishops and church leaders.
The Rev. Canon Edward West was born in Boston in 1909. West was a theologian, author, designer, and recognized iconographer. He served the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for over forty years, eventually retiring but remaining on as master of ceremonies until his death at age 80. Correspondence, creative works, printed materials, audio recordings, and photographs, 1929 (bulk 1944-19750) to 1990, document West’s education, chaplaincy/military service, scholarship, renovation and design work, and career in the clergy. Of note are the materials recording his designing of the Compass Rose (1954), the official symbol of the Anglican Communion.
John Worrell was a priest who spent most of his ministry in the Diocese of Texas. Worrell is remembered for the independent publication he established in retirement, Nevertheless: A Texas Church Review. In addition to a full run of Nevertheless, the papers include correspondence, subject files, some audio recordings and publications, and document his early ministry in the late 1950s, his support for racial integration at St. Philipp’s in Beeville, TX, as well as his later involvement in student ministry through Autry House at Rice University.
The Rev. John Robert Wright, born in Carbondale, Illinois on October 20, 1936, was ordained a deacon in his home Diocese of Indianapolis on June 11, 1963 and made a priest on June 29, 1964. With notable exceptions, his ministry in the Church has centered around scholarship and teaching in an academic tradition with specialization in Church history and ecumenism. The Wright Papers include articles and writings, sermons, correspondence, subject files, biographical papers, and other personal collections for the period of 1950- 2011. His leadership and theological contributions are strongly represented in the archive, particularly his authorship of the covenant proposal, Called to Common Mission, the crafting of full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and his theological defense of the ordination of women.
The Rev. Seiichi Michael Yasutake (b.1920, d.2001), the first Nisei (second generation Japanese American) Episcopal priest ordained in the Diocese of Chicago, worked extensively in the fields of civil and human rights, racial justice, the sovereignty of indigenous peoples, and the rights of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience through Episcopal, ecumenical, and non-religious organizations. The two national organizations he founded and led, the United States-Japan Committee for Racial Justice, and the Interfaith Prisoners of Conscience Project, sought to redress injustices caused by individuals, businesses, cultures and governments. The papers cover the period 1939 to 2001 and consist of correspondence, journals, photographs, writings, and organizational records that document Yasutake’s life and work.
In carrying out its canonical responsibility to document the historical dimension of the Episcopal Church, the Archives actively acquires and gathers into collections records that fall outside the normal archival relationship with individual donors and organizational donors. These special collections are centered around records-in-print and literature that have been distributed as part of the Church’s communication and publication efforts to evangelize, advocate, and teach the Christian faith.
Vertical files begun in the mid-twentieth century by the then named Church Historical Society include occasional manuscripts and autographs, news clippings, ephemera, and visual images including prints and photographs, obituaries, biographical sketches, and some genealogies. Most of the files relate to ordained ministers with more recent additions covering women and lay persons. The collection holds approximately 4500 names and is used chiefly as a quick reference source.
An artificial collection of various Episcopal curricula for Sunday School and Christian education, including resources published by Morehouse-Barlow Company, Seabury Press, and various dioceses.
The national Archives attempts to collect editions of every congregational and diocesan history. These volumes are typically prepared to mark an anniversary occasion. They are useful for local history studies, biographical research, and topical studies in liturgy and worship practices, demography, and church architecture.
A vital primary source for re-creating the history of the Church in any region of the country lies in the hundreds of published newspapers and newsletters of the dioceses. These newspapers contain news of missionary founding, parish programs and celebrations, diocesan-wide events, and leadership in everyday ministries. Newspapers are a form of popular text where one can read the running narrative of the local Church's story across America. Preserving the story held in these texts has become a priority of the Archives. In addition to collecting diocesan newspapers/publications, the Archives has in the past partnered with dioceses to gather, document, and create a permanent digital copy of their diocesan newspapers.
Also known as "The Cameron Tracts," in honor of the bibliographic index compiled by former Diocese of Connecticut historiographer Kenneth Cameron, this collection of pamphlets includes approximately 3,000 volumes from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. As Cameron notes in the preface to his index, the collection is potentially valuable to any student of those periods, since the "political, literary and apologetical issues...were largely debated and won in pamphlet warfare." Cameron also noted the pamphlets' usefulness for research in the department of parochial origins and growth. The collection complements the Archives' collection of early Episcopal pamphlets (see entry below).
The Archives has at different times made a concerted effort to gather the occasional print and published record of the DFMS and official or affiliated bodies of the General Convention. Begun in mid-twentieth century as a subject vertical file, the collection today is organized by title and minimally cataloged with date, creator and publishing information. The earliest materials begin around 1920. The print record begins to noticeably decrease in volume after 2008.
The Archives maintains a collection of published serial journals, newspapers, and newsletters that were produced by Episcopal publishing houses or organizations that were not officially associated with the institutional church. Most of these publications are available from local research or seminary libraries.
Dating back to 1780, the Diocesan Journals Collection is the accumulating archive of the published proceedings of annual diocesan conventions and councils, which include the official record of the bishop diocesan’s reports and addresses, clergy and parish lists, annual reports of diocesan agencies, parish statistical reports, diocesan budgets, and directories. As a means of “providing for an accurate view of the State of the Church from time to time,” the General Convention of 1804 enacted Canon 11 requiring the submission of a parochial report at every annual diocesan Convention. These parochial reports together with Episcopal addresses and official acts, were presented to the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies and the House of Bishops at the General Convention and printed in the journals of diocesan conventions. The Diocesan Journals archive is a central documentary resource of the Episcopal Church and a cornerstone research collection of statistical, biographical, and evidential information on Church activities.
The Archives' pamphlet collection is an artificial collection of over 3,000 titles, documenting topics and issues of concern to the early-American and nineteenth-century Episcopal Church. The catalogued collection includes biographies, addresses, topical sermons, and tracts on ecclesiastical, liturgical and devotional matters. The pamphlets were prepared for public consumption and often refer to civil events that occasioned their publication.
The Prayer Book and Liturgy Collection is divided into three sections: Books of Common Prayer for use by The Episcopal Church; Books of Common Prayer for use in the Church of England; and Books of Common Prayer printed in foreign languages. This compilation of the Prayer Book continues a collection of mid-twentieth century and extends the scope of two two related collections: the Custodian of the Book of Common Prayer Collection, and the Alexander B. Andrews Prayer Book Collection.
The Afro-Anglican Archives are comprised of collections and exhibits that document the contributions made by the Church's descendants from the African diaspora... read more.
The Archives of the Episcopal Church maintains several twentieth century collections that speak to the Church’s attempt to tackle alcohol addiction as a disease with its roots in a falling away from faith in oneself and in God. The Episcopal Church, unlike other Protestant denominations, supported temperance, but did so without a full embrace... read more.
The earliest Episcopal Church missions to the Native Americans of note occurred under the direction of Bishop John Henry Hobart, who began missionary outreach in the early 19th century to the Oneida Indians of New York... read more.