How To Submit Church Records

Records from Schoenbrunn Moravian Church in Ohio as they are stored in the vault of the Moravian Archives.

The Moravian Archives is the the official repository for the historical records of the boards, agencies, and congregations of the Moravian Church in America, Northern Province.

The numbers between brackets refer to the Book of Order of the Northern Province, latest edition.

The following records are to be transferred to the Archives when they are no longer in current use (¶1034.a), preferably at regular intervals (10 or 20 years). By transferring the records to the Archives the records will be open to public access, except for sensitive records that remain restricted for 75 years after their creation. These records are marked here with an *; they can only be used by written permission of the pastor or chairman of the board concerned. (If a congration closes, permission to see restricted records needs to be requested from the Provincial Elders’ Conference).
Materials should be organized in folders and placed in strong boxes (15 ½ x 12 ½ x 10 ½”). The height of the boxes is not to exceed 10 ½ inches. The folders should be labeled (e.g., “elders minutes, 1950-1955”). Please prepare a list of the content of the boxes. Sending us an electronic version of the list (e.g., by email) makes it easier for us to integrate the information into our records management system.

  1. Church Register (register of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burials) (¶1031.a)
  2. Minutes
    a. *Board of Elders
    b. *Board of Trustees
    c. *Joint Board
    d. Church Council
    e. materials given at church council (reports, etc.)
    f. minutes and records of other committees, such as Christian Education, Stewardship, etc.
  3. Financial Records
    a. annual budget (if not included in 2.e)
    b. annual financial statement (if not included in 2.e)
  4. Documentation
    a. directories of members (“Catalog” or Membership lists) (¶1031.b)
    b. *congregation diary (¶1031.c)
    c. memoirs
    d. register of church services
    e. histories of the congregation; histories of organizations within the congregation
    f. special brochures concerning any facet of church life
    g. programs and printed materials used for anniversaries, dedications, etc.
    h. photographs (please identify people, occasion and year on back)
    i. building plans for church-owned buildings
  5. Newsletters

Do not hesitate to contact the archivist about any questions you may have!


Why Does the Archives Require Specific Boxes?

The shelf openings in our vault are 11 inches high. Larger boxes will not fit.
Sometimes congregations are creative and pack their records in boxes that came with television sets or garden hoses. In order to prevent unnecessary unpacking and repacking, we prefer you use the standard size bankers boxes.