Memory Work:
A Guide for ELCA Congregational Archives and History

Preparing Records for Microfilming

Church records have been found in places like the furnace room in the church or a closet at the home of a church member. The first step in preparation is to be sure you have located all the records. Organize the records in chronological order by their type: minutes, ministerial records, bulletins, etc.

If there has been a merger of churches, organize records for each church separately. Add information about when and how the merger took place. If there is a specific sequence you want the records in, make a list giving the order they should appear on the film.

For each book or group of records make a title sheet or "target" (see below). The target should include the type of record and dates: (ANNUAL MEETING MINUTES 1956-1966). If there is information out of sequence you may wish to note this, e.g., "Marriage records are continued at end of book." Blank pages are not microfilmed. You may want to list the blank pages on the title sheet so the user knows that these pages are not missing, There may be some older books in a foreign language. It is a good idea to identify the language and include a copy of the translation if it is available. It is important to provide enough information so a user of the records can identify what they are looking at.

Please contact Paul Daniels at the Region 3 Archives if you have any questions about the microfilming process.

Target example




1900 THRU 1965


Special Notation: Pages 455-500 are blank and do not appear on the film.

Memory Work: A Guide for ELCA Congregational Archives and History is prepared by Paul Daniels, Archivist and Curator of the Luther Seminary and ELCA Region3 Archives. ©1991, Revised 1998, 2001 and 2003. Reproduction and sharing is permitted, provided this credit is included.