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Related Afro-Anglican Collections at The Archives of the Episcopal Church

The Archives has an extensive collection of records documenting the Afro-Anglican experience in the Episcopal Church. At the organizational level, the Archives holds the records of the American Church Institute for Negroes, records of the Christian Social Relations Department, the Office of Black Ministries, the Bishop Tuttle School, and other national Church offices and agencies involved in promoting social and public policy reform, including the Church and City Conference and the national Joint Urban Program. The records of the Executive Council and Office of Presiding Bishop are also central to measuring the uncertainty of the institutional response to the new paradigm of church.

The Episcopal Church underwent an extraordinary realignment of its mission priorities in the late 1960s, mainly because of the Civil Rights movement. The Church of today has been shaped by the legacy of the African American struggle. The Episcopal Society for Racial and Cultural Unity (ESCRU) served to rivet the attention of the Church’s hierarchy and white leaders to recognize the deep divisions and injustices that could no longer sustain a Church operating transparently in the modern world. Women, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and gays and lesbians have since built upon this institutional awakening to demand full voice and representation to access the community’s gifts fully and without prejudice. The ESCRU archive and the large archive of the General Convention Special Program are pillars of historical documentation marking profound turning points.

The Archives has acquired a substantial collection of personal papers, including those of ESCRU founders John Morris and activist Henri Stines. Related records and papers of activists priests who opposed racism wherever it occurred in the Church include bishops Daniel Corrigan and Walter Dennis, the reverends Daisuke Kitagawa and Seiichi Michael Yasutake, both Asian-American clergy who advocated for civil rights; and the papers of bishops William ScarlettPaul MooreWilliam SpoffordJohn Shelby Spong, and John Allin who, each in his own way, sought to end the affliction of a divided house. Personal papers of leading figures introduce an element of humanity to the institutional story.

Complementing these materials are the Church’s archives on its missionary work in Liberia, including the records of the Diocese of Liberia, files documenting the addition of Jonathan Daniels to the Episcopal Church calendar, original photographs and microfilm of Alexander Crummell’s papers, the research papers of John Spong on John Hines, of civil rights historian Gardiner Shattuck, and the Archives’ extensive research collections of Episcopal Church Documents-in-Print.

The Archives of the Episcopal Church continues to document and gather records and personal papers, and support research on the Afro-Anglican Church. Inquiries are welcome.