United Methodist Archives and History Center of the United Methodist Church
36 Madison Avenue on the campus of Drew University, Madison, NJ
The Archives and History Center was officially opened on October 2, 1982. It contains a museum, a library, a spacious archival vault, and the administrative offices of the General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church. The Center houses a large collection of books, documents, records, photographs and artifacts relating to United Methodist History.
The General Commission on Archives and History
Organized in 1968 the General Commission on Archive and History is one of the general agencies of The United Methodist Church. Its offices are located in the Center. Its purpose is "to gather, preserve, hold title to, and disseminate materials on the history of The United Methodist Church and its antecedents." Through its publications, workshops, research services and other programs the staff of the General Commission seeks to fulfill its mission to help the Church remember its roots and development. The staff is prepared to offer assistance and to visit local churches with programs as time and resources permit.
Exhibits in the museum feature some of the historical treasures of United Methodism. Exhibits are changed regularly and occasionally include unusual items on loan from other collections. Confirmation and church school classes, women's and men's organizations, and other church and community groups are invited to visit the museum and to inquire about its programs. It is advisable to call or write the Center before bringing a group to visit.
The Center includes a joint research library containing the collections of the General Commission on Archives and History and the Wesley and Methodist Collections of Drew University. The library houses one of the largest collections of Methodist materials in the world and certainly the most comprehensive of such collections. It is rich in the books, pamphlets and manuscripts of John Wesley and his associates in the 18th century Evangelical Revival. It is particularly strong in the documents of early American Methodist, Evangelical, and United Brethren Churches as well as in their periodical literature and official printed records. The library also contains important collections of materials pertaining to women and ethnic minorities.
The Archives houses mainly non-print primary resources such as papers and records of the general agencies of the denomination and its antecedents, the papers of individuals, and other collections. They consist of correspondence, reports, journals, minutes, audiovisuals, artifacts and documentary material of whatever form which relate to United Methodist heritage. This Archives section also administers the preservation and conservation techniques necessary to extend the life of permanent reference documents.
The Archives and History Center is situated on the campus of Drew University, 36 Madison Avenue (New Jersey Route 124), Madison, New Jersey. Train service to Madison via New Jersey Transit is available from Hoboken or New York's Penn Station. Newark International Airport is approximately 25 miles from the Center. Hotels, motels, and a reasonably priced retreat center are nearby, but beyond normal walking distance. A map of the Drew campus with travel instructions and a list of local hotels/motels is found at www.drew.edu/map.