The mission of The Commission on Archives and History is the stewardship of Conference faith memories. We collect, preserve and make available the publications, records and artifacts of The United Methodist Church in Wisconsin, including data related to the origin and history of our Conference and its antecedents. The collection consists of Minutes of Annual Conferences, Books of Disciplines, hymnals, periodicals and tracts, local church records and general reference books on United Methodist history.

Several people have donated their photo collections, manuscripts, records and documents that pertain to Wisconsin United Methodist history to the Archives. In addition, we collect local church histories, as well as professional and personal information on all clergy who have ever been assigned to a charge or circuit in the state.

The history of United Methodism in Wisconsin is rich and deep. Ancestral denominations of United Methodism in Wisconsin include: The Methodist Episcopal Church, The United Brethren in Christ, The Evangelical Association, The Methodist Protestant Church, The Ethnic Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, The German ME, The Norwegian-Danish ME and The Swedish ME.

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 a specific research inquiry and are unable to visit the Archives yourself, we recommend that you submit a detailed request by letter and we will respond to your request as quickly as possible.

Archives Policies

Collecting

The Commission on Archives and History will:

  • Collect and solicit 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of all conference boards and agencies, reports of District Superintendents and Conference camps, and published and unpublished histories of the Annual Conference and its antecedents.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. The CAH will also provide workshops for on archival topics--such as records management--and direct the local church to others who can help in the preservation of materials and other historical concerns.
  • Maintain the historical records of all abandoned or discontinued churches in the bounds of the Annual Conference and its antecedents, as well as the historical records of any active church upon request.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Access and Use

All patrons must read, understand and sign a copy of the 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 completed, 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; but 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 through all materials; browsing the stacks is not permitted.
  • Anyone who violates these regulations may lose access privileges to the Archives.