Collections

Cataloging of the Archives collections is in progress. For detailed descriptions of cataloged collections, please visit Wesley, our catablog. Questions about materials that do not yet appear in Wesley should be addressed to the conference archivist at archives@nyac.com or 914-997-1570, ext. 128. 

The Archives houses documentary material such as records, minutes, journals, diaries, reports, pamphlets, letters, papers, manuscripts, maps, photographs, audiovisuals, and recordings pertaining to the New York Annual Conference when no longer needed by the generating body for current operation. 

A general description of our holdings is provided here, but please note that coverage is not comprehensive within the areas listed below. In particular, the records of many closed Methodist churches in the New York area are held in other area repositories, most notably in the New York Public Library's Methodist Episcopal Records, 1791-1945. We accept research requests by email or phone, and will make every effort to help you locate records.

General Description of Holdings

Collections held in the Archives fall into several categories:

  • Annual Conference records - These include handwritten and published journals of yearly Annual Conference meetings, as well as printed and audiovisual records of the Annual Conference sessions themselves. The Journals summarize the Annual Conference meeting, list members of boards/commissions/agencies, record pastoral appointments, and provide summary financial information. We hold Journals of the New York Annual Conference (formed from the New England Conference in 1800) and the New York East Annual Conference (formed from the New York Conference in 1848 and reunited with it in 1964). Also included are some Journals from annual conferences no longer in existence that had churches located in the New York area, such as the Swedish and East German conferences of the Methodist Church, as well as conferences of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Protestant Church.
  • Records of boards, commissions, and agencies of the Annual Conference
  • Records of the general officers of the Annual Conference -  these include the District Superintendents, Program Secretaries, and the Conference Secretary.  
  • Closed local church records - The Discipline of the United Methodist Church directs that when a church closes, its records come to the Conference Archives. If a church merges into another church, its historical records go to the new merged church. Older records from churches that are still open are most often held at the church itself. The conference archivist can usually provide information about historical church mergers and the current location of older church records.
  • Local church histories, clippings, and pictures. These are maintained in the Local Church Vertical File. 
  • Periodicals published by the Conference or relating directly to the Conference. Includes issues of the conference newspaper, The Vision, as well as early issues of The Christian Advocate and Journal
  • Reference materials - Includes books relating to the history of Methodism in general and in the New York area and the Northeast Jurisdiction, as well as books written by Conference members, copies of older Disciplines, General Conference minutes, some Conference Journals from neighboring annual conferences, and Methodist hymnals.