Under an agreement between Virginia Theological Seminary and the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, the seminary's library in Alexandria, Virginia as been designated as the home for the documents illustrating the history of the church's African Americans.
In the new archival project, the African American Episcopal Collection will include a variety of media--oral histories, institutional records and other documents, as well as photographs--chronicling the lives and experiences of blacks in the church. The agreement also includes a plan to expand the collection, obtain additional funding and materials, and improve its accessibility. This summer the library will construct additional archival space to accommodate the collection.
The seminary library is named in honor of the Bishop Payne Divinity School, a seminary for the education of African and African American Episcopalians that merged with Virginia Seminary in 1953. The primary goal of the new collection is to make its materials available for both scholarly research and education of the wider church.
The seminary is asking that prospective donors to the collection or those who want additional information about the collection contact head librarian Mitzi Budde or archivist Julia Randle at 703-461-1731.