newspapers & journals
A wide base of primary sources provides for the best interpretation and understanding. These sources include:
Church minutes of elders, deacons, and committee meetings should be preserved to protect the congregation and her leaders in legal matters.
Legal papers such as deeds, mortgages, bills of sale, contracts for equipment. Copy the originals and keep them in a safe or a safety deposit box. Use the copies for most of the researchers' needs.
Financial records for income and outgo.
Reports issued by ministers, elders, committees, relating to church work, surveys, activities, plans, and projects need to be kept. Dates are needed on all papers.
Blueprints of buildings should be kept to show where electrical, plumbing, and computing lines are located, where the weight-bearing columns are, or the size of a given space for carpeting or other replacements. The architectural style of the building tells something about the identity the congregation wishes to project.
Membership rolls including how an individual was received by baptism, or by transfer of membership, and the date of the event.
Staff correspondence dealing with policies, functions, personnel, plans and programs. Much is written in letter that is not made public until years later, usually after the death of the writer.
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