Archives presentation & notes
African American Leaders and Congregations
African American perspectives and experiences remain under-represented in the annals of Presbyterian history. This collecting initiative redoubles PHS's efforts to document Black lives, work, and witness in an increasingly multicultural Church—from the organization of the First African Presbyterian Church in 1807 to the election of the first African American stated clerk of the PC(USA) in 2016.
We are bringing human and capital resources to bear on collecting records of the Black Presbyterian experience--both the personal records of longtime church workers, and the original records of Black congregations. PHS seeks to represent in the archives the Black throughline: the integral presence of African Americans in what the authors of the historical volume Periscope called a “historically racist ecclesiastical body.”
Congregations are encouraged to use our deposit and digitization services. Historically Black congregations can have select volumes of their original session minutes and registers imaged at no cost -- up to 1500 pages can be digitized for free. For information about deposit and digitization, please email Records Archivist David Staniunas.
Visit the African American History collection in Pearl.
Forms and other resources
Forms and brochures for PHS at large, for our Heritage Preservation Grants, and for digitization orders [PDFs]
An Excel church register, formatted for Cokesbury binder pages, made by the Presbytery of San Diego about 2010 [XLS]
And an Excel records log, made by Paula Mann of the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii [XLS]