The Episcopal Archivists is an advisory group to The Archives of the Episcopal Church. Episcopal Archivists work in a professional ministry to support the Episcopal Church as an inclusive Christian community with a rich heritage and an abundant faith in the future. The Church’s archivists recognize a common enterprise to safeguard and promote the modern texts that shape the Episcopal identity and document our collective memory. In this spirit, the Episcopal Church’s archives are the union of our spiritual culture and historical legacy, always in service of God’s mission.
If you are a diocesan or parish archivist of The Episcopal Church, this site is for you. Its purpose is to provide resources, professional expertise, and a platform for shared experience. If you have a question or suggestion, please offer it. Be in touch with us.
Episcopal Church’s Archives: Annual Reports
- Diocese of Olympia–Archivist’s Report for 2013
- Diocese of Maryland–Archivist’s Report for 2013
- Canonical Archivist’s Report on Operations, Board of Archives, Jan-Sep, 2014
- 11.11.2014. Church’s Legacy from Slavery. On All Saints’ Day, November 1, 2014, the Diocese of Maryland sponsored The Trail of Souls, a physical pilgrimage to five places throughout the diocese, with an additional 20 parishes supplying historical sketches for the pilgrimage brochure. Each participating parish had used the diocesan archives to delve into their sometimes painful past as they studied the history of slavery and its legacies. Archivist Mary Klein conducted two in-depth seminars for parishes as well as assisting in the archival research for each of the participating parishes, and received thanks for her leadership role. Her participation and that of the diocese was in direct response to the 2009 General Convention’s call for every diocese to address the sin of racism, the impact of slavery on the Church, and the benefits the Church derived from that institution. The Pilgrimage may now be taken virtually, as the diocese becomes reconciled to a painful past, while at the same time giving thanks for the changes which have occurred, and works for a brighter tomorrow.
- 11.06.2014 Diocese of Olympa Convention workshop: “From the Basement to the Cloud: A Q&A with Diocesan Archivist.” The workshop presented by Diocesan Archivist Diane Wells, was an open- ended occasion to bring meet personally with Diane and discuss specific, grounded problems in managing congregational records. As the workshop noted, “Caring for our documentary heritage is important to understanding the church’s mission and to “seeing” our Christian past. If you have records, you probably have questions. Ask me and I’ll help.”
- 06.04.2014 An Episcopal Genizah. Like many large archives that have inherited numerous legacy collections, surprises are always around the corner when cleaning out the benignly ignored corners and nooks. A recent investigation of one of the caches of unidentified papers left from the Historical Society days of managing the Church Archives uncovered folded-up documents of random association, from a 1784 broadside to the Clergy and laity of Pennsylvania to the Papers of Elizabeth Boyd Graham, a 19th century missionary to China. The formerly hidden archive has produced over a dozen “new” small collections that are now described and open to researchers.
- 04.15.2014 Digital Archives at the Diocese of Olympia. Staff members at the Diocese of Olympia may now deposit electronic documents in a newly created digital archives. Archivist and Records Manager, Diane Wells and Internet Strategist, Kerry Allman have designed a digital repository to meet the diocese’s growing need for a centralized location for its electronic records. Electronic records are sorted by diocesan department and access is also provided on a departmental basis. Once deposited in the digital archives an electronic record cannot be edited or altered in any way. This is an in-house repository meant for the use of diocesan staff and is not open to the public. For more information, contact Diane Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 06.04.2014 Like many large archives that have inherited numerous legacy collections, surprises are always around the corner when cleaning out the benignly ignored corners and nooks. A recent investigation of one of the caches of unidentified papers left from the Historical Society days of managing the Church Archives uncovered folded-up documents of random association, from a 1784 broadside to the Clergy and laity of Pennsylvania to the Papers of Elizabeth Boyd Graham, a 19th century missionary to China. The small genizah has produced over a dozen new “collections” that are now open to researchers.
- 12.04.2013 Truth and Reconciliation in Maryland. The Archives of the Diocese of Maryland and their Truth and Reconciliation committee will sponsor an afternoon of book signing, lecture, and discussion on Sunday, March 9, 2014, featuring Dr. T. Felder Dorn and his book Challenges on the Emmaus Road: Episcopal Bishops Confront Slavery, Civil War and Emancipation. The book focuses on the ways Episcopal bishops, both North and South, confronted and responded to the difficult issues of their time. Dr. Dorn used the Diocesan archives to research the role of Maryland’s bishop, William R. Whittingham, in his struggles to hold a divided diocese together and his role in the reunification of the Episcopal Church.
- 11.28.2013 Bon Voyage. Many thanks to Archivist Gwynedd Cannan who recently retired as Archivist of Trinity Church, Wall Street. Gwynedd was a great supporter of the Episcopal Archivists group and she turned around a moribund program at Trinity into a very fine full service archive and records management program. We are sad to see her go, but happy for her new life in Somerville, Massachusetts where she will take up her love of medieval history, theater, and French.
- 10.29.2013 New Standard. The Diocese of Olympia has just published a new edition of its diocesan Records Management manual with a special section on email and social media practices. Archivist and Records Manager Diane Wells is a leader in developing and maintaining a diocesan program that enriches the historical life and advances good stewardship of information resources for mission and ministry. See the Standards and Resources page for a link to the manual. Congratulations to Diane for her great work!
- 07.01.2013 Best Practices. A new resource has been posted by the Episcopal Archivists. It is a simple set of guidelines for 8 overarching concerns: Physical Custody, Electronic Records, Digitization, Retention, Storing Paper Archives, Security and Access, Protective Care, and Organization. A simple checklist of best practices answers many elementary but important questions that parish and diocesan administrators ask about the management and care of archives, records and electronic data. Check it out under our Standards and Resources page: Working with Limited Resources to Create a Basic Parish or Diocesan Archives
- 01.20.2013 Episcopal Archivists meet in New York City for its 10th annual meeting, sharing insights and program planning for diocesan and parish archives and completing this website for external publication. Let us know if you have some news to share about your diocesan or parish archives.
- 01.18.2013 Trinity Wall Street Archives Recovers from Hurricane Sandy. Trinity Archives is working with conservators to restore 19th century portraits of founding clergy that were damaged by flood waters. The paintings, which were in the Archivist’s way, are now in her office drying out.
- 01.12.2013 Maryland Diocesan Archives Accepts Active Parish Records. Finding themselves without adequate space or staff to keep their oldest archives safe, three active parishes have taken up help from the Diocese to secure their historical records rather than giving them away to repositories less interested in the Episcopal Church’s history. Included in a recent acquisition is a copy of the famous “Vinegar Bible.”
- 01.02.2013 Diocese of Olympia Begins Digitization of Refugee Program Records. Having secured special funding from the Diocese, the Archives has initiated the first stage of a project to digitize the rich archives of the Refugee Resettlement program in the Seattle area. The collection documents the Diocese’s involvement since 1978 in resettling asylum seekers and refugees, providing training, employment, and integration into American life.
- 12.28.2012 Church Archives Adopts a New Classification Scheme. The Archives of the Episcopal Church announced the completion of an intellectual arrangement — the first revision since 1962 — for the organizational records and special collections. The scheme mirrors the Church’s structural and programmatic history and allows the Archives to create a more robust online catalog experience for users. The online catalog is in progress and due for a first release in 2013.