The Archives of Ohio United Methodism (AOUM) has a local church history file for every current UMC church in the East and West Ohio UMC Conferences. In addition, there are such files for Ohio UMC churches that have closed and Ohio churches of our predecessor denominations (Evangelical, United Brethren, Methodist Protestant, EUB, and Methodist) that have closed.
Note: These files do not contain membership records (baptisms, funerals, marriages).
These files contain materials that have been donated by local church historians and church members as well as research done over the years by Archives staff. Content includes published and unpublished church histories, bulletins and programs from special events, newspaper clippings about the church and its members, photographs or images of the church building, pastor lists, photo directories, and anniversary celebration materials. None of this material is "one-of-a-kind". The files contain extra or duplicate copies of documents that will help researchers learn about the history of the church. Membership records (baptisms, funerals, marriages) of active congregations are kept at the local church, not here at the Archives. The only membership records we have are those of closed churches. A few active churches have microfilmed their membership records and have provided copies to the Archives.
The local church history files are separated into two groups - West Ohio Conference and East Ohio Conference. Within each conference group, the files are organized by county, then by church name.
The following finding aid is the list we use to locate church histories in our files. We are aware that there are errors in the list and those are corrected when found. However, the list is primarily a location tool to help us find the correct file in our extensive filing system!
Manuscripts are sorted into five major categories:
Finding aids are available for some of the manuscripts in the Personal Papers category.
The current finding aid is incomplete. Other Conference and District manuscript collections will be added during the coming year.
The Archives of Ohio United Methodism (AOUM) has an extensive collection of topical vertical files containing pamphlets, articles, photographs, brochures and ephemera related to Ohio UMC Conferences, districts, institutions, events, commissions, and groups. There are also topical files related to the larger UMC community, including missions, theological and organizational issues, and social questions.
The Archives of Ohio United Methodism (AOUM) has a collection of vertical files containing biographical information and photographs of pastors, bishops, missionaries, and administrators. If a separate manuscript collection of personal papers related to an individual has been cataloged, a link to the catalog record is provided. These files contain material that is considered "public record." They are not personnel files. Files exist because we have been asked to research a particular person in the past or we have found material about an individual, either living or dead, that we think will be of interest to future researchers. Information about people is available to us from many different resources beyond the "people files", including conference memoirs and denominational newsletters. If a "people file" does not exist for a person, it does not mean that he or she is unimportant. Most of the files relate to individuals who have played significant roles in Ohio UMC history, but there are files on many national UMC leaders as well.
The collection contains Dr. Roy B. Leedy’s supporting research material on the people, churches, and events related to the history of the Evangelical Association/Evangelical Church in Ohio, used for his 1959 book The Evangelical Church in Ohio. Also included are one-of-a kind manuscripts, letters, and documents related to the life of Bishop John Seybert, and the early pioneers of the Evangelical Association in Ohio.