Congregational Records

Congregational Records of Presbyterian Churches at Columbia Theological Seminary:
The congregational records collection at Columbia Theological Seminary includes both records that were transferred from the Presbyterian Historical Society – Montreat in 2007 and records that have been deposited at the seminary since then. The denominations represented are current PC(USA), former PCUS, and ARPC congregations.

Records we accept:
Session minutes and registers are of chief importance, but we also hold minutes of other church councils, including deacons, trustees, women’s associations and youth groups. Records are housed in a controlled archival storage area with security systems. Congregations retain ownership of the records on deposit and may request the return of records at any time with written authorization from the clerk of session.

How to deposit congregational records at CTS:
The CTS Special Collections and Archives department continues to accept materials on deposit, including records of active and dissolved congregations. For information about depositing records at Columbia Seminary, please contact the archivist.

How to preserve congregational records:
Preservation of congregational records requires taking care in how they are created (such as using acid-free paper) as well as how they are maintained over time. The archives at CTS follows the guidelines for records creation, retention, and preservation that are posted on the Presbyterian Historical Society website. Information about creating long-lived records is available here. Records retention and management information is available here. Information about having records imaged (scanned or filmed) to create security copies is available here.

Presbyterian Historical Society Preservation Grants:

Congregations can apply for Heritage Preservation Grants of up to $500 here.

How to locate descriptions of records already deposited at CTS:

Catalog records for archives materials can be searched for in the archives online catalog. Cataloging is an ongoing process; some of the collections in the archives are not yet described in the online catalog. If you do not find what you are looking for, contact us.