Our mission is to document and preserve the history of Lutheranism in the South and Caribbean; function as a depository of historic records for its partners; offer archival, educational and interpretive services; and to provide a central source of collection inventories for the synods, congregations, agencies and institutions of Region 9 of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
The Crumley Archives has responsibility to acquire the permanently valuable records of the ELCA organizations of Region 9, and the obligation to care for them indefinitely and to commit resources to their continuing care. The Archives has the right to administer the collections as it sees fit, which includes the right to deaccession or dispose of material deemed non-archival in character.
Deaccession will occur if the material does not meet the criteria of the acquisitions policy, imperils the well-being of the collection, duplicates material already present in a collection, or is irrelevant to the mission of the Archives.
All records brought into archival custody shall be arranged and described according to archival principles to the extent necessary to make them available for research. This includes registration of MARC (machine readable catalog) records for the major series in the collection with the National Manuscripts Collection of the Library of Congress, maintenance of an in house Archives catalog database, and production of written finding aids. Records are inventoried and placed in usable physical order. Collections are separated by provenance.
Fee Policy and Schedule:
Please view our fee schedule for details of research, collection processing, and consultation costs.
Collection Development Policy:
Documents shall be consistent with the purposes of the Archives, possess potential research or exhibition purposes, be in good condition, and fit within the storage space capabilities of the Archives. Ideally, only two copies of the same material will be retained due to space limitations. Loans to and from the Archives will be discouraged. It is the Archives' objective to maintain permanent physical custody of these materials.
Though we primarily handle and prefer physical material, the Archives recognizes that an increasing number of documents are born-digital or digitized for access and other uses. The preferred archival format for storing documents in this Archives is on acid-free paper, or secondarily, on microfilm. Reasonable efforts will be made to transfer digital documents to paper format and to encourage the creators of documents in our collection to make paper copies prior to transferring materials to us. Where feasible, digital formats will also be saved. Some digital formats without paper versions are also preserved in our collections, until such time as they are needed or when resources become available to migrate them to more permanent media. Generally, digital documents are stored with non-digital documents in the same series, creator and provenance; only microfilm and larger photographic collections are stored separately in housing appropriate to them.
Artifacts such as portraits, statues, plaques, etc., are kept in our Archives. Because our space is limited, we must be extremely selective when it comes to accepting items that might be better maintained in a museum. Depending upon the significance and quality of the item in question, the Archives will make a value judgment.
Frequently saved documents
The Archives is an excellent location for housing duplicate or backup copies of parish registers in microfilm, paper, or digital format. The Archives will accept small outright donations of congregation records as well as other southern Lutheran archives at any time to add to the collection. Congregation files are kept on each active and disbanded Lutheran congregation in the region. Donated copies or photocopies of the following materials are especially welcome. Here are some examples of frequently saved documents. For more information, please visit our Preservation page.
Parish registers – especially pages about officers, pastors, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, burials and church historical events
Histories of the church
Anniversary booklets and memorabilia
Council minutes (before 1900; samples of succeeding years)
Annual reports or yearbooks of the congregation (sample years)
Bulletins of celebratory services
Cemetery plot listing
Clergy biographies, call letters and photographs
Major news stories and clippings about the congregation
Organizational charter and list of charter members
Materials related to mission startup
Selected photographs of facilities, important events and membership activities (dated and identified)
Other records and items unique or important to the congregation
Fragile records requiring special care