This volume has been produced as a special project of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Commission on Baptist Heritage during the 1985-90 BWA quinquennium. The Manual is designed to assist Baptist bodies, agencies, and institutions in establishing and operating an archives in order to preserve and make available for study archival records, publications, and other historical materials pertaining to their life and work. The BWA Commission on Baptist Heritage is pleased to publish this volume in response to the request of many BWA member bodies for assistance in developing a Baptist archives.
Eljee Bentley, archivist of Woman's Missionary Union, Auxiliary of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Lynn E. May, Jr., executive director of the Historical Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, both members of the BWA Commission on Baptist Heritage, prepared and published the Manual at the request of the BWA Commission. Appreciation is expressed to Bill Sumners, archivist and director of library and archives for the Historical Commission, SEC, who assisted in planning and publishing this volume. Bentley prepared the manuscript and May edited it with assistance from Sumners.
The Manual provides step by step guidelines for developing and operating a Baptist archives. The Appendices include basic forms needed for the operation of an archives. It includes examples of completed forms as well as blank forms which can be photocopied, adapted, and used by any archives.
The BWA Commission on Baptist Heritage is indebted to one of its members, James E. Scirrat, and his congregation, the East Meadows Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas, for their gift of $500.00 which helped to fund the publication of this Manual and the International Directory of Baptist Archives/Libraries. Their generosity is deeply appreciated.