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Archives of Ohio United Methodism

AOUM History & Background

Efforts to preserve the history of Ohio Methodism began in 1839 when a group of Methodist ministers incorporated the Western Methodist Historical Society in Cincinnati. Its purpose was to "collect and preserve...materials for a complete and authentic history of the Methodist Episcopal Church west of the Allegheny Mountains..."

Hundreds of priceless books, letters, journals and manuscripts were collected.

In 1859 the society found a permanent home for its materials at Ohio Wesleyan University. These original materials remain a part of the Archives at Beeghly Library and exemplify the longstanding commitment between the University and the Church.

Through the efforts of many groups and individuals over the years, the original materials have been augmented to build a large and impressive collection representing the evolving history of Ohio United Methodism.

The current collection is the official archives for both the East and West Ohio Conferences of The United Methodist Church and is inclusive of all antecedent denominations and groups whose heritage is a part of these two conferences. The Western Methodist Historical Society, renamed by corporate change several times across the years, still exists as a separate organization whose primary purpose is the education of local church historians. Its current name is the United Methodist Historical Society of Ohio.

Financial support for the Archives of Ohio United Methodism comes from the East and West Ohio Conferences of The United Methodist Church and Ohio Wesleyan University.

AOUM Purpose

The Archives of Ohio United Methodism at Ohio Wesleyan University exists to gather, organize, preserve, and interpret the historical foundations of The United Methodist Church especially in the East and West Ohio Conferences and related areas. Specifically, the Archives is organized to:

  • Assist the historians of local United Methodist churches in gathering appropriate information and interpreting the history of their churches
  • Meet the needs of scholars researching the history of The United Methodist Church particularly in Ohio
  • Assist the East and West Ohio Commissions on Archives and History in the interpretation of United Methodist history to individual United Methodists and to local churches
  • Provide a unique resource for study at Ohio Wesleyan University, one accommodating students pursuing studies in fields related to areas collected by the Center
  • Meet the needs of those pursuing genealogical studies of families whose ancestors include United Methodist clergy serving in Ohio

AOUM Staff

Sharon Monigold is the archivist of OWU's Archives of Ohio United Methodism. She has the opportunity to combine her love for both history and library work - a double blessing for Ohio Wesleyan and myriad other church members, research scholars, and genealogists seeking her wisdom.

You can reach Sharon at or by phone at 740-368-3285.