Religious heritage and archives

Religious heritage and archives
06 Feb 2018, 17:45 to 06 Feb 2018, 19:45
IHR Seminar Room N304, Third Floor, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

David Trim , Seventh Day Adventists

Owen Roberts , The Methodist Church

Speaker: David Trim, Director of Archives, Statistics, and Research, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Abstract: The usual challenges in organisational archiving are multiplied in an eschatologically minded religious movement which prioritises mission and growth over consolidation. The Seventh-day Adventist Church, founded in 1863 in the United States, and originally a small movement limited to the American Midwest, has grown into a denomination with more than 20 million members and a presence in almost all the world’s countries. As it expanded, it faced the challenges of creating sound administration, including a records management programme. The General Conference (the overarching Seventh-day Adventist organisation) created an Archives in 1973, giving it responsibility not only for a records management programme at the Church’s world headquarters (outside Washington DC) but also for encouraging, supporting, and coordinating administrative archives around the world. This presentation briefly describes the history of this ambitious (and, to date, still not entirely successful) development of archives and records centres around the world.

Speaker: Owen Roberts, Heritage Officer, The Methodist Church of Great Britain Abstract: The British Methodist Church has extensive archive material dating back to the early 18th century, including two internationally renowned collections held at two respective university libraries, various significant specialist collections, and a vast wealth of localised church records held at every local government-run archives service. The material ranges from the latter grass roots treasures to the correspondence and journals of the founders of the Methodist movement; periodicals and other publications; organisational records as the movement grew into a structured national church and subsequently divided into several separate denominations; the records of multiple major institutions, smaller agencies (and countless committees) for missionary work, social action, education and ministerial training. Since the formation of the Methodist Heritage Committee in 2008, the Church has sought to identify contemporary engagement opportunities through all aspects of its heritage; this presentation will highlight the role archives play in this developing work.


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