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Religion Collections in Libraries and Archives:
A Guide to Resources in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia

Table of Contents - Preface/Acknowledgements - Abbreviations
Lists of Entries: District of Columbia - Maryland - Virginia

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Archives

Address: 12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904
Telephone Number: (301) 680-5020
Fax Number: (301) 680-5038
Contact Persons: Dr. David Trim, Director, Office of Archives and Statistics

Access Policies

Hours of Service:
Monday -- Thursday 8:30 a.m. -- 12 p.m., 1:00 p.m. -- 5:30 p.m.
Open to the public: Yes, appointments are required.
Photocopying: Yes
Interlibrary loan: No

Publications and printed materials (including Yearbooks), General Conference Session, and General Conference Committee minutes are accessible to all researchers on the website. Other committee minutes, correspondence and general files are accessible to researchers, but require an appointment.

Reference Policy:
The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Archives will respond to telephone questions about its holdings, policies, access to materials, etc. Mail and email reference questions are accepted.

Borrowing Privileges:
Not a lending institution.

None. Information about the holdings of the Archives of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is not available through other sources. The institution will provide information describing its holdings.

Background Note:
The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is the world administrative center for the denomination. Its Archives houses records covering the entire period of the church's history from the 1850s. Patrons are able to trace the development of the church through these records, which include legal instruments, minutes, reference files, reports, correspondence, publications, recordings, films, and photographs. The Archives is commissioned to preserve all materials produced by the General Conference. It does not contain local congregational records.
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Description of Collections

The holdings of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Archives total over 10,000 linear feet and are divided into four broad categories: record groups, periodicals, personal collections and audio-visual materials. The strengths of the collection are in record groups and periodicals.

Books and monographs:
Holdings include a limited number of monographs on Seventh-day Adventist history as well as some collections of private papers of denominational leaders.The Archives has borrowing privileges to the Review and Herald Library located at Hagarstown, MD, which is a major library for works published by Seventh-day Adventists. Various dissertations about Seventh-day Adventism are also part of holdings of the General Conference Archives. The Review and Herald Library has a card catalog, which it will search for Archives staff.

Periodicals and newspapers:
The collection holds approximately 400 titles. The Periodical holdings of the General Conference Archives consist mainly of Seventh-day Adventist English language publications, especially those originating in North America. Topics include evangelistic, health, educational and mission focus of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Indices are available for some of the periodicals prior to 1980. Many have been indexed from the period 1980 onward.

Archives, manuscripts, correspondence and oral histories:
Record Groups have been established for all administrative units or distinct functional units of the General Conference, its institutions, and its divisions. These record groups number more than 100, and are contained in approximately 8,000 linear feet of materials. The main groups are: Administrative and Legal Entities; Presidential; Secretariat; Treasury; and General Departments. Holdings are especially rich in the early 20th century correspondence between the church world headquarters and missionaries in various areas of the world. Direct correspondence with missionaries lessened after the local mission areas became organized. Correspondence with the General Conference at that point can be traced through administrators in the organized areas. A complete collection of SDA Yearbooks provides source information to correspondence. Extensive obituary and retirement files provides biographical information on denominational leaders. Statistical and financial reports about the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its institutions from 1863 to the present are available.

The Director of the Office of Archives and Statistics is Dr David Trim. Mr. Peter Chiomenti is assitant director with the responsibility for Archives. Mrs. Eucaris Galicia has charge of the reading room.

Video and sound recordings:
Over 1,000 films and tapes of various church business sessions, evangelistic sermons, health seminars, Bible conferences, and mission reports are available to researchers.

Paintings, photographs, slides, and prints:
Between 5,000 and 10,000 photographs and slides of denominational institutions, church leaders, and mission areas.

A guide to photographic holdings is being prepared.

Subject Headings

Conscientious objection; Creationism; Education and religion; Eschatology; Evangelicalism; Five-Day Plan to Stop Smoking; Health--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Kellogg, John Harvey, 1852-1923; Millerite movement; Missions and missionaries; Ordination of women; Religion and state; Seventh-day Adventists--Doctrine; Seventh-day Adventists--Education; Seventh-day Adventists--History; Seventh-day Adventists, General Conference of--Finance; Televangelism; Theological education; White, Ellen Gould Harmon, 1827-1915; Women and religion.


Horn, Jason. "Seventh Day [sic] Adventist Archives", The American Archivist 17 (1954): 221-24.

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  September 13, 2011
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