November 03, 2023

The Archives of the Episcopal Church is pleased to announce that the papers of Dr. Charles Radford Lawrence II and Dr. Margaret Morgan Lawrence are now open for research by appointment.

Charles Lawrence was the 27th President of the House of Deputies, serving from 1976 to 1985. He holds the distinction of being the first and only African American elected to this position. In his secular work, Lawrence was a distinguished professor of sociology.

The papers span a crucial period of turmoil and challenge in The Episcopal Church. They provide an important perspective on the radical adjustments in the institutional life of the Church during that era, and also of the remarkable influence of lay leadership, the voice of an influential scholar, and the practical experience and know-how of a church leader.

Lawrence served as a member of a number of General Convention committees, commissions, and boards. His most influential appointment was as Chairman of the House of Deputies Special Committee on the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood and Episcopate. He also served on the Executive Council's Special Advisory Committee on Church in Society, which he co-chaired with Bishop Paul Moore, Jr. Lawrence was a staunch advocate for women's ordination and included among his papers are source materials relating to the subject.

Both Lawrence and his wife, psychiatrist Dr. Margaret Lawrence, were influential in the study of race in America. Margaret's work centered on the long-term effects of racism on the health of black families, particularly children.

The 14 cubic foot collection was donated by Charles’s wife Dr. Margaret Morgan Lawrence and their three children, Dr. Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, Dr. Charles R. Lawrence III, and the Reverend Paula Lawrence-Wehmiller.

March 08, 2022

Social Justice Voice. The Archives is making a full text online version of The Witness magazine available in the Digital Archives. Founded in 1917 as an independent publication, The Witness was a leading and widely read journal of liberal Episcopal Church opinion.  It evolved after mid-century into the primary voice of progressivism among Episcopal  publications. Copyright was transferred with the archive, allowing us to offer the entire journal here.

Clerical Directory.  Parish historians, family historians, and individuals seeking to reconnect will find the online publication of the Episcopal Church's Clergy Directories a quick and valuable source of information on ordained ministers.  The digitized version of this resource covers the period 1898 to 1999.

January 25, 2021

The Archives has prepared a set of recommendations for local churches in developing a policy on making name and gender changes to Episcopal Church records.  These guidelines for policy development accommodate individuals’ requests to align name and gender entries with usage they have legally adopted in civil jurisdictions.  Name and gender identity in records is particularly sensitive in instances where individuals seek to safeguard their privacy, protect themselves from harm, or simply to revise records that do not accurately represent their identity. 

The guidelines were prepared at the request of General Convention (2018-A088) and approved for distribution by Executive Council at its October 9–11, 2020 meeting.  The Executive Council’s resolution and an additional bibliography of resources are available under the website’s “Text Center” tab above.  The Guidelines for Policy on Amending Church Records for Name and Gender Changes are available in Spanish.  The Church archivists welcome questions and comments on the guidelines.

May 14, 2020

The Archives is prompted by the new coronavirus to consider how past efforts have been addressed by The Episcopal Church.  Inquirers have asked how the Church addressed the influenza pandemic of 1918.  Responses to that pandemic were led by parishes and dioceses who provided relief services appropriate to the needs of their communities and the safety of their congregants.

Thanks to diocesan archivist Michael Krasulski for sending us his parishing gleanings.

Familiar themes emerge in recalling past parish and diocesan efforts.  Does your diocese or parish have a story about its experience during the 1918 pandemic?  Send us a story, link, or reference to add to our list.  Our findings are available alongside a compilation of stories on local experiences.

April 02, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the offices of the Archives are closed and staff are not accessing the physical collections.  If you have a research question, you may use the Archives’ Research Request Form to send it to our attention where it will be placed in a queue for future response.  Please consult the Digital Archives and other resources on the website for key governance information. All inquiries will be noted and we will endeavor to respond after the staff return to the Archives.

Non-research and non-reference questions may be sent through the Archives' Contact Form.  We wish everyone the very best in these challenging times and look forward to having the Archives research desk restored as soon as safely possible.

August 23, 2019

On August 14 the Archives and the Seminary of the Southwest announced the opening of an exhibit to mark the anniversary of Jonathan Daniels' death.  Entitled Jonathan Daniels: Called to be Fully Present, the exhibit draws on the Archives collections received in part from the recent acquisition of the Episcopal Divinity School Archives.  The exhibit features original source material and a narrative of Daniels' early life, his awakening, and death.  Special acknowledgment goes to intern archivist, Noble Brigham, who led the production and design team.  Noble is a senior at Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, PA.  The exhibit is part of an extended online exhibit, The Church Awakens, telling the story of African American Episcopalians from an historical perspective. Visit The Church Awakens to learn more about the life of Jonathan Daniels.

February 06, 2018

The Archives of the Episcopal Church has chosen Arkivum PERPETUA as their data archiving, preservation and safeguarding solution.  Arkivum PERPETUA is a leading end-to-end digital preservation solution that utilizes open standards and open source components to address the unique requirements and challenges of cultural heritage institutions.  [read more].

November 08, 2017

The Archives of the Episcopal Church has recently received the personal papers of Dr. Charles Radford Lawrence II, 27th President of the House of Deputies from 1976 to 1985. Dr. Lawrence is honored as the first and only African American President of the House. The 14 cubic feet collection was donated by his wife Dr. Margaret Morgan Lawrence and their three children, Dr. Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, Dr. Charles R. Lawrence III, and the Reverend Paula Lawrence-Wehmiller.

November 06, 2017

The Papers of the Rt. Rev. Everett Holland Jones (1902-1995), 4th Bishop of West Texas, have been processed and are now open for research.  The papers include a large collection of printed sermons, personal and family biographical papers, correspondence spanning 1921 to 1990, and course and lecture outlines.

November 06, 2017

Archives staff have recently completed the rehousing and preservation of an important collection of missionary correspondence with the Church in Liberia (1822-1952).