Archives & History Reports (1960-69)

1969 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The purpose of the Commission on Archives and History is to preserve the records and history of the distinguished past of Louisiana Methodism.  Our activity has been centered in creating a valuable and usable archival collection at Centenary College.  I believe that during the past year we have accomplished a great deal of the purpose of the Commission.

Several points should be mentioned.

     1) The complete file of the official journals of the Conference from its inception in 1847 has been microfilmed, and microfilm of these invaluable records are now on deposit at the LSU Library in Baton Rouge and at Centenary, thus assuring the preservation of these documents.  This was accomplished at no cost to the Conference.
     2) A microfilm copy of the entire file of the New Orleans Christian Advocate, for almost 100 years an official publication of the Louisiana Conference, has been acquired and deposited in the Centenary Library, making available this important part of our history, previously unavailable in Louisiana.
     3) Minute Books of the Annual Conference covering the years 1862-1874 thought previously to be lost, have been located and deposited in the Methodist Archives at Centenary.
     4) Many church records dating back to the earliest years of New Orleans Methodism have been deposited in the Methodist Archives.  These had been stored in the Felicity Church in New Orleans, and had been damaged by the hurricane of a few years ago.
     5) We continue to receive histories of individual churches in Louisiana, and have catalogued those received in the Centenary Library.  We would urge each church which has not yet done so to prepare a comprehensive record of its origins and development.
     6) Through gifts and purchase, we have added to the Methodist historical collection at Centenary over 100 volumes, pertaining to the Methodist past in this area.

     During the ensuing Conference year, we hope to continue a program of acquisition and microfilming of Louisiana Methodist records, and would urge those of you who know of particular sources of documentary material to acquaint members of the commission with them.  We hope to make the Methodist history collection at Centenary an outstanding resource of Louisiana Methodism.

     With the movement toward unification in our church, we hope to seek out materials on the history of some of our component Church groups in Louisiana, such as the Methodist Protestant Church, The Methodist Episcopal Church, the Evangelical United Brethren, and the churches formerly attached to the Central Jurisdiction of Methodism.

     Much of the work of collecting, cataloging, and making available documents and books relating to Louisiana Methodism has fallen on the staff of the Centenary College Library, and as Chairman of the Commission I wish to express my appreciation for their able and dedicated help to the Conference.  Also, such men as Dr. Bowden and Dr. H.L. Johns have provided invaluable assistance and guidance.