Memory Work:
A Guide for ELCA Congregational Archives and History

Suggestions for Congregational Records Collection

General Material

A. Constitution and by-laws
B. Articles of Incorporation
C. Legal property papers
D. Official registers of pastoral acts
E. Histories of the congregation

Administration

A. Church Council Papers

1. Agenda and minutes
2. Annual meeting records - agenda and minutes
3. Church Council committees and boards

a. Agenda and minutes
b. Official correspondence

4. Letters of Call - personnel contracts
5. Ad Hoc committees

a. Agenda and minutes
b. Official correspondence

B. Pastors' Papers

1. Official correspondence
2. Reports to Council
3. Sermons

C. Financial Reports

1. Reports and Audits
2. Financial statements - ledgers
3. Financial contracts and mortgages
4. Special offerings/benevolence

D. Physical Plant

1. General plans and blueprints
2. Building program committee

a. Agenda and minutes
b. Official correspondence
c. Specific expansion plans and blueprints

E. Publications

1. Annual reports
2. Statistical reports/parochial reports
3. Newsletters
4. Membership directories
5. Brochures and pamphlets

Auxiliaries

A. Women of the ELCA

1. Constitution and by-laws
2. Agenda and minutes
3. Official correspondence
4. Treasurer's reports
5. Records of events and activities
6. Newsletters and mailings

B. Men's group

Same sub series as above

C. Altar Guild

Same sub series as above

D. Memorials

Same sub series as above

Worship

A. Service records

1. Bulletins and programs
2. Miscellaneous liturgical material

B. Musical Groups

1. Choir(s)

a. Concert-special event programs/bulletins
b. Records of events and activities

2. Instrumental groups

a. Concert-special event programs/bulletins
b. Records of events and activities

Education

A. Sunday school

1. Class and teacher lists
2. Curricula samples
3. Records of events and activities

B. Confirmation

1. Class and teacher lists
2. Curricula samples
3. Records of events and activities

C. Vacation Bible School

1. Class and teacher lists
2. Curricula samples
3. Records of events and activities

D. Adult education

1. Adult forums - speaker lists
2. Bible study

a. Class lists
b. Curricula samples

F. Scholarships

1. List(s) of recipients
2. Official correspondence

Youth

A. Agenda and minutes
B. Official correspondence
C. Treasurer's reports
D. Records of events and activities
E. Newsletters and mailings

Church-wide Support

A. ELCA relationship

1. Synod office - congregation records
2. Church-wide - congregation records

B. Mission/missionary sponsoring records

Special Ministries

A. Records of senior citizen programs - in church
B. Records of church use by community service organizations

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.