Record Group 1: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was formed in 1988 with the merger of the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (1976-1987), the American Lutheran Church (1960-1987), and the Lutheran Church in America (1962-1987). This 5 million member denomination is divided into 9 regions and 65 synods. The archival headings described below comprise collections gathered by the Region 3 Archives since 1988. While some of the span dates below indicate pre-1988 material, these records were gathered and maintained by the Region 3 Archives in their original order and so left intact. The variety of these materials reflects the broader collection strategy of the Archives since the beginning of the ELCA.

Of special interest to researchers are the congregational and the biographical files (indicated below). The files on congregations document the Lutheran church in this country at the "grass-roots" level as no other record is able to do. The +2,500 files on both existing and closed congregations include a range of materials from news clippings and history booklets to photographs and other audio-visual materials. The +2,000 biographical files contain a wide range of items documenting the lives of prominent and clergy and lay persons in the Lutheran church. These files exist along side of, and make reference to, the larger collections of personal papers described elsewhere in the Luther Seminary Archives inventory and in the Region 3 Archives inventory.

Synods, 1930-present 75.0 cu. ft.
Congregations, 1850-present 72 .0cu. ft.
Biographical files, 1840-present 17.0 cu. ft.
Institutions and organizations, 1920-present 65.0 cu. ft.
Global missions-Tanzania and Liberia, 1950-present 15.0 cu. ft.