Frequently Asked Questions


We field numerous questions on a daily basis, and here are some of the most frequent. 

Should you not find the answer to your question, please contact us directly.


Q: What sort of things should my church preserve?

A: We have a comprehensive list of valuable objects often preserved, found under "Frequently Saved Documents" here.


Q: Can I visit the archives to conduct research?

A: We hope that you will.  We always ask, though, that you make an appointment before visiting.


Q: Do you have genealogical records on one of my family members?

A: For the most part, our collections do not support genealogical research unless the ancestor was a southern Lutheran pastor. Typical Lutheran registers do not have many details of parentage. We house only a few actual church registers from the 1700s and early 1800s. Many registers saved on microfilm were already deteriorated when they were filmed.


Q: Do any of your documents predate the ELCA?

A: Yes. We have synodical minutes, for example, that are more than 200 years old.  We also have periodicals that date back to the 19th century.