The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is the world
administrative center for the denomination. Its Archives houses
records covering the entire period of the church's history.
Patrons are able to trace the development of the church through
these records, which include legal instruments, minutes, reference
files, reports, correspondence, publications, recordings,
films, video and audio tapes, and photographs. The Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research
is commissioned to preserve all materials produced by the
Holdings of the General Conference Archives presently total
over 10,000 linear feet, and are stored primarily in a fireproof,
climate-controlled vault. They are arranged according to the
following general categories:
Administrative Records. Each distinct
administrative or functional unit of the General Conference,
its institutions, and its divisions is represented. They are
classified under these headings:
Administrative and Legal Bodies
Bureaus, Associations, Services, etc.
General Conference Institutions
Seventh-day Adventist Professional Groups
Included among the many important documents in this category
are records of the Foreign Mission Board, proceedings of the
1919 Bible Conference, and correspondence of the early presidents,
secretaries and treasurers of the General Conference. In these
administrative records are found the story of Seventh-day
Adventist missions, the saga of the church's growth and development,
graphic portrayals of its wrestling with theological concepts
and issues, the images of its hopes and dreams--illustrated
thousands of times in decades-old documents.
Personal Collections. These are
nonofficial papers of former General Conference staff members
and others who have made a contribution to the purposes of
the church. There are nearly 100 personal collections housed
in the Archives.
Published Records. This broad category
includes several hundred monographs, a large collection of
pamphlets, department and service publications, and brochures.
Periodicals. The General Conference
Archives contains one of the largest and most complete collections
of English-language Seventh-day Adventist periodicals to be
found anywhere. There are over 750 titles, many of them beginning
with the first issue.
Audio-Visual Materials. This category
includes photographs, films, slides, tape recordings, videotapes,
and evangelistic and prophetic charts.
More detailed summaries of selected holdings are available
Most archival materials more than ten years old are available
to responsible researchers and church leaders. A few items
are restricted; among them are personnel and legal files.
These are preserved for administrative use.
The research room provides study tables, numerous finding
aids, microfilm and microfiche readers, a photocopying machine,
and the services of a full-time archives specialist. There
is a small library specializing in denominational history.
Hours are 8:30-11:45 am and 1:00-5:15 pm, Monday through
Thursday; morning hours only on Friday. Inquiries are welcomed
from anyone wishing to conduct research at the General Conference
Office of Archives, Statistics, and Reserch (contact: Peter Chiomenti).
The General Conference Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research is one of two research facilities
at the General Conference. The other is the Ellen
G White Estate, which also operates a number of research
centers on college and university campuses around the world.
The White Estate headquarters is adjacent to the General Conference
Archives and its collection complements that of the Archives.
Scholarly research on almost any denominational topic should
include the resources of both organizations. In addition,
there is a full-service library located on the first floor
of the General Conference headquarters building.
Seventh-day Adventist research facilities with archival holdings
related to the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
Heritage Room - James White Library, Andrews
University (Berrien Springs, Michigan)
Heritage Room - Loma Linda University (Loma
Heritage Room - Oakwood College (Huntsville,
Other Seventh-day Adventist research resources include:
Adventist Periodical Index