In 1994 the Board of the Archives resolved to give special attention to an acquisitions, research, and educational emphasis on the historical contribution of the African American Church within our faith community. This commitment is part of the Episcopal Church's effort to actively confront institutional racism and make visible to the people of the Church the conflicted story of its participation in and rejection of racial division and prejudice. The national Church Archives recognizes this task as a process that involves and challenges all Episcopalians to re-examine their history as well as the stories that are part of community’s identity. The Archives’ mission is to reach a greater understanding of the Church’s spiritual and cultural heritage, drawing on evidence of its continuing evangelization to people of color and the descendants of the African diaspora.

The Archives of the Episcopal Church is the Church’s official archival agency, supported by the General Convention and mandated to document the full diversity of the Church community.  The Archives is home to a number of African American historical collections that form a corpus for research and education. The following is a select list of major manuscript collections found in the Archives. Other key sources held by the Archives include published works of Episcopal Church agencies and members, oral histories, and photographic collections.

Organizational Records Relating to Civil Rights

Department of Christian Social Relations
Office of Black Ministries
The Bishop Tuttle School
Haiti Mission Papers
Liberia Mission Papers
Panama Mission Papers
The Special Program of the General Convention
American Church Institute and related Black Colleges
Bishop Payne Divinity School
Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity
Home Department: Negro Work

Papers of Prominent African American Episcopalians

The Right Reverend George Daniel Browne
The Reverend Tollie Caution
The Reverend Alexander Crummell
The Reverend John Edwin Culmer
The Right Reverend Walter Dennis
The Right Reverend Edward Demby
The Reverend Samuel David Ferguson
The Reverend Theophilus Momulu Gardiner
The Right Reverend James Theodore Holly
The Reverend Canon Thomas Logan, Sr.
The Reverend Canon Henri Alexandre Stines

The African American Archives can be read alongside the personal papers of other minority and white figures who fought for civil rights and change in the church’s direction on race.

The Most Reverend John Maury Allin
The Most Reverend John Hines
The Reverend Daisuke Kitagawa
The Reverend Jack Morris
The Right Reverend Paul Moore
The Right Reverend Will Scarlett
The Right Reverend Bill Spofford
The Right Reverend John Shelby Spong