Archival Collections

ELCA Region 3 Archives Inventory

The Region 3 Archives constitutes one of the largest collections of American Lutheran material in the United States.Beginning with largely Norwegian, Danish and Swedish Lutheran records (the 1840's and on) and continuing to the present, the collection documents the full range of activities that marked the predecessor church bodies to the current Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The finding aids were created to describe our holdings to the subseries level (in effect, to the "box level"), though there a few exceptions where greater detail has been used. The inventories are intended to provide an overall sense of our collections' scope. While we hope that these finding aids will be helpful, we realize that some researchers will need us to provide greater detail than the inventories currently give. We invite these researchers to send their questions directly to the archives staff via e-mail, phone or mail.

Luther Seminary Archives Inventory

Luther Seminary traces its beginnings to 1869 with the founding of Augsburg Seminary. During its more than 125 years of history the school has been witness to, and has participated in, most of the significant developments in American Lutheranism. Just as the 19th century saw the arrival of so many European groups to this country and the formation of a multitude of ethnic Lutheran churches, the 20th century has seen the consolidation of these formerly separate groups into fewer and larger Lutheran synods. In its own "family history" Luther Seminary bears this out. Through consolidation and merger, no fewer than 6 theological institutions came to be a part of the current Luther Seminary.

Not surprisingly, the school's archival collections mirror this complex institutional history.The collection is most complete in all record groups for material following 1917, when one of the larger mergers occurred (3 church bodies and 3 seminaries came together). Pre-1917 seminary materials (for the 3 schools of the merging bodies and for Augsburg Seminary, then separate) are less plentiful but available for research. It should be said that most record material will be in the Norwegian language well into the 1920's and in some cases as late as 1930 (e.g., Augsburg Seminary records).Some of this has been translated, but much remains in its original language.