Skip to content

Advice on Records

What do we do with our records?

This is a question that we hear again and again.

Where are your records at present?

  • In a box under the table in a damp vestry.

  • In a cupboard under the stairs.

  • In the Church Secretary’s attic.

  • In the Church Treasurer’s garage.

Download a FREE copy of our leaflet What do we do with our records?

If these are the answers to this question then it is time you did something about them

What should you keep?

  • All Minute books for the Trustees, Church and Deacons meetings, Sunday School, Youth organisations, etc.

  • Church Members Lists.

  • Copies of Trust Deeds and any other legal documents.

  • All Account Books beyond the necessary six years which the Charity Commissioners and Inland Revenue demand.

  • All leaflets and newspaper cuttings of special events.

  • Photographs of the Church, and its organisations, and special events.

  • Architects Drawings and Bills of Quantity for new buildings or extensions.

  • Copies of any history that has been written about the Church.

How should you keep them?

  • Identify and date (carefully on the back) all photographs if you can.

  • Remove all paper clips, and staples that are liable to go rusty.

  • Put loose papers into folders as flat as possible – creases will eventually cause disintegration.

  • Pack books and folders into archival boxes that can be purchased from good stationers.

  • Label the folders and boxes so that you can find what you have put in them.

List of material deposited in the Anyshire County Record Office on 15th March 2005

  1. Church Meeting Minutes 1900-1935

  2. Church Meeting Minutes 1936-1992

  3. Deacons Meeting Minutes 1900-1935

  4. Deacons Meeting Minutes 1936-1992

Where should you keep them?

In a cool, dry, and secure place if you are determined to keep them on Church premises.

By far the better arrangement is to hand your Church records over to the local County Record Office for safe keeping. In such a place the conditions are right for preservation, and security. You should make an agreement with the record office that allows access at any time by the Church. The records will also be available for supervised researchers. Before it is signed, make certain that the access described in the agreement is what the Church wants.

The address of your local record office can be found in the telephone directory under the County Council, Metropolitan District or Unitary Authority.

Before you hand the records over, make a list. This is important, as most record offices have a backlog of material to be catalogued, and it helps them if a list is provided.

The Church should keep a copy of the list in the current Church Minute Book, and also send a copy of the list with a note of which Record Office they are deposited in, to the Strict Baptist Historical Society Librarian.  Please contact the librarian if you require further specific advice.

The content of this page is based on a leaflet produced by the Baptist Historical Society and is reproduced with their permission.