Congregational Records of Presbyterian Churches

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), and former PCUS.

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 Columbia Seminary

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

The archives at Columbia Seminary follows the guidelines for records creation, retention, and preservation maintained by the Presbyterian Historical Society.  Preservation of records requires general caretaking over time; using acid-free paper and storing records in a cool, dry place are simple steps you can take today!  More Information about conserving and digitizing records that may already be at risk can be found at the Presbyterian Historical Society.

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 Columbia Seminary

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.

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