Preserve your Legacy
A church’s records are priceless and irreplaceable. Should the worst happen to a church – whether fire, tornado, or flood– if a church’s records aren’t properly archived, you could stand to lose all the records that document the church’s history. The following guides provide methods and practices to leave a lasting legacy. Just a few simple changes can provide stories that future generations will remember for years to come.
As clerks it is our highest calling to preserve the history of our congregations. Among the denominations of the United States the Presbyterians are known as the “gold standard” of record preservation and that is thanks to our hardworking clerks and the extensive resources we have available to us through the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, PA. Every record of significance for the Presbytery of South Dakota (and its predecessors) are safely housed at PHS, which means our entire story and history are safe and will be for generations to come. And if you need access to these files we may simply call or e-mail their reference desk and within 24-48 hours we often have a response with direct references from the relevant materials needed to provide us with the answers that we need.
We all know it is fun to have the original records in our possession. To, on occasion, open the old books and to see, feel and smell the history residing in our hands in that moment. It’s breathtaking and you can feel the enormity of your history within that entire experience. But, the next time you hold those records take a moment to think, what if the unexpected happens and no one in the entire future of our congregation ever experiences that moment again? Or even worse, what if no one ever has the opportunity to read nor see your story again? Yes, oral tradition will hold fast for a while, but eventually that too will die.
The Presbyterian Historical Society has recently created an incredible video, which is linked below. Take a few minutes to see that great care they provide for our records:
If you have any questions about records preservation we are happy to help.
Below are more resources to help you in your record keeping.
Resources for Preserving Records
The Presbyterian Historical Society provides countless resources and services for preserving church records. Learn about digitizing records; storing records of permanent value; and advice on records retention, storage, and preservation
Sells discounted minute books and paper. High quality, archival materials that will last long into the future
Want to learn more
Check out our Newsletter
We’d love to meet you and learn more about you. Click the link below to find out how to get in touch.