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Collections | Policies & Procedures | Services

Mission of the Archives

archivesThe mission of The Commission on Archives and History is the stewardship of faith memories with our Conference by collecting, preserving and making available to the public the publications, records and artifacts of The United Methodist Church in Wisconsin including data relating to the origin and history of The Conference and its antecedents.

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The Wisconsin Conference Archives houses the collection of historical materials concerning United Methodism in Wisconsin. Ancestral denominations of United Methodism in Wisconsin include: The Methodist Episcopal Church; The United Brethren in Christ; The Evangelical Association; The Methodist Protestant Church; and The Ethic Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church: The German ME; The Norwegian-Danish ME; The Swedish ME; and The Lexington ME (African) The collection consists of Minutes of Annual Conferences, disciplines, hymnals, periodicals and tracts, some local church records, and general reference books on United Methodist history. For a general overview of United Methodist history in Wisconsin, see The Cross and Flame, by William Blake, Worzalla Co., Steven Points, Wisconsin (1973), and The History of Methodism in Wisconsin by P. S. Bennett, Cranston & Stowe, Cincinnati (1890).

Several people have donated their photo collections, manuscripts, records and/or papers which pertain to Wisconsin United Methodist history to the Archives. In addition,we collect local church histories. We also collect professional and personal information on all ministers who has ever been assigned to a charge or circuit in the state.

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Policies and Procedures - Collecting Policy

The Commission on Archives and History shall collect and solicit the following materials:

  • Material relating to the origin and history of the Conference and its antecedents including official Conference and Church publications, the minutes of all conference boards and agencies, reports of District Superintendents and Conference camps and published and unpublished histories of the Annual Conference and its antecedents.

  • Encourage and assist local churches in preserving their records, compiling their histories and celebrating their heritage by providing workshops on archival topics including records management for the local church and acting as a responsible resource to direct the local church to others who can help in the preservation and history concerns.

  • Maintain the historical records of all abandoned or discontinued churches in the bounds of the Annual Conference and its antecedents [and the historical records of any active church that so requests it].

  • The depository will be located at the Wisconsin Conference Headquarters in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and will be open to the public during regularly posted hours.

  • Personal papers of clergy, missionaries, deaconesses and lay people associated with the conference and its activities may be donated to the Conference Archives. The Archives will accept manuscripts and printed material related to the history of the Annual Conference, United Methodism and their denominational antecedents.

Policies and Procedures - Access and Use Policies

All patrons must read, understand and sign a copy access and use policies before gaining access to collections. These policies include:

  • One volume or one container of records will be issued to each patron at one time. When the use of that volume or box is competed it will be returned to the reference desk and another volume or box obtained. A patron may request more than one container or one volume; these will be held at the reference desk with only one container or volume used at a time.

  • When the patron has completed his or her work or is leaving the room temporarily the container or volume shall be returned to the archivist at the reference desk.

  • Volumes or manuscripts may not be marked, altered or defaced.

  • Only pencils may be used when taking notes.

  • User may bring in their own laptop computers to use for research purposes.

  • Cameras may be used as the archivist sees fit.

  • Gloves must be worn when handling photographs.

  • All materials are to be placed flat on the tables and are not to be held in the lap or propped against the edge of the table.

  • Only one folder of loose papers may be opened at one time in order to avoid mixing.

  • Papers are not to be rearranged under any circumstances. If a patron thinks something is out of order, she or he could call it to the archivist's attention.

  • Items may not be checked out or removed from the archives. Materials may be loaned out for exhibits only with the permission of the archivist.

  • Briefcases, coats, notebooks, envelopes and folders may not be taken into the research area. All personal items except pencils and papers should be stored in the designated area.

  • Food and drink is not permitted in the archives research area.

  • The patron is responsible for compliance with all copyright regulations.

  • The archivist or an assistant will page all materials, browsing the stacks is not permitted.

  • Anyone who violates these regulations may lose access privileges to the Archives.

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Archives Services

The Archives serves all who are interested in the history of United Methodism in Wisconsin. In the past, we have helped researchers, church secretaries, local church historians and genealogists. We especially welcome questions concerning proper document preservation and management at the local church level. If you have you a specific research inquiry and are unable to visit the Archives yourself, we recommend that you submit a detailed request by letter and be patient. Staff time is limited but we will respond as soon as is possible.

Contact the Archives

The Archives of the Wisconsin Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is located in Suite 102 of Conference Headquarters at the corner of Windsor and Bird Street in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Sun Prairie is ten minutes northeast of Madison on Hwy 151. The Archives are open Monday and Thursday morning from 9:00 until 1:00 p.m. Please call ahead to confirm that we are open or to make an appointment.

Send your questions to:

Lynn Lubkeman, Archivist
Wisconsin Conference Archives
750 Windsor St.
Sun Prairie, WI 53590



Phone: (608) 837-7328
Messages may be left on our voce mail during normal Conference hours.

Fax: (608) 837-8547


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created 2 April, 2003        updated 22 July, 2013

The space for this web site has been provided courtesy The Capital District, Wisconsin Conference United Methodist Church The content of these pages are the responsibility of Sandy Kintner. Please send feedback to