The Rev. John Rawlinson, Ph.D., Archivist of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific with 20 years as Archivist of the Diocese of California, offered a free opportunity to learn about organizing and maintaining archives. Sessions via Zoom had contents applicable to congregational and diocesan records. Sessions were recorded for 5 Thursdays starting May 11. To view any of these sessions, click here.
Anglican and Episcopal History (AEH) considers the ministry of two deaconesses, the first five Black women ordained as Episcopal priests, and Tudor Dynasty confusion in the March 2023 issue. Readers also enjoy two church reviews and 22 book reviews.
Two studies call attention to largely overlooked and poorly documented ministries of deaconesses.
In the first, Joan R. Gundersen examines the life’s work of Deaconess Ruth Byllesby (1865-1959) whose ministry included the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Georgia, Michigan, Wyoming, and Vermont.
Gundersen, former archivist in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, notes “the training deaconesses received made them pioneers in the field of social work.” Her essay is titled “In Plain Sight, and Yet Visible: The Ministry of Deaconess Ruth Byllesby”
Readers then learn about the 37-year ministry of Deaconess Emma Britt Drant (d. 1932) in the dioceses of Southern Ohio, Hawaii, and California. Drant’s ministry included the Chinese diaspora in both Hawaii and California as well as work among victims of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
Retired priest John Rawlinson describes Drant as typical in being impoverished but “unique in pursuing most of her ministries without being closely supervised by a male priest.” His essay is titled “‘I… have $100 for my burial’: Deaconess Emma Britt Drant”
Qiana M. Johnson then examines the unique gifts and experiences of the first five Black women ordained as priests in the Episcopal Church—Pauli Murray, Mary Adebonojo, Barbara C. Harris, Sandye Wilson, and Gayle Harris—describing “a common thread in the lives of these women was work around civil rights and social justice.”
Deacon Johnson, assoc. dean of libraries at Dartmouth College, calls for further research regarding power with consideration for “what happens when authority is invested in people society has long held as being unworthy of authority, especially Black women.” Johnson’s essay is titled “Being First Two Times Over: The First Five Black Women Episcopal Priests”
John L. Kater takes readers to England during the Tudor Dynasty. He contends far-reaching Tudor Dynasty changes in the Church of England were not a “revolution” akin to reformed churches on the European continent. Kater points to the continuation of episcopacy; little structural change to organization of parishes, dioceses, and provinces; and basic rhythm of church life as remaining intact as examples. However, he notes “the theological understanding of many of the church’s services changed”
Kater is professor emeritus at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and assoc. professor at Ming Hua Theological College in Hong Kong, China. His essay is “Ministry and the Tudors: Change, Confusion, and Continuity.”
AEH also features two church reviews providing glimpses of Easter services at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Bolinas, part of the Episcopal Diocese of California, and at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago.
The March issue also includes 22 book reviews related to church history and Anglican scholarship. Among them:
Travel reimbursement grants are available to individuals who would like to use the African American Episcopal Historical Collection (AAEHC) for research. Faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, independent researchers, and Episcopal clergy and laypersons are encouraged to apply. Funds may be used for transportation, meals, lodging, photocopying, and other research costs.
The application deadline is April 14, 2023. Travel must occur between August 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024.
The AAEHC is a joint project of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church and the Virginia Theological Seminary. Through documents, institutional records, oral histories, personal papers, and photographs, the collection documents the experiences of African American Episcopalians. Individual collections contain significant references to religious faith and involvement in the Episcopal Church, particularly at the regional, diocesan, and local levels.
The following list details some of the topics that are among the collection’s strengths:
For more information, visit http://www.vts.edu/aaehc.
Download the application form here.
Submit the application form online here.
The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church invites applications for grants to be awarded July 2023. Grants are awarded for pursuing the Historical Society’s objectives, especially promotion of the preservation of the particular heritage of the Episcopal Church and its antecedents. This includes any part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Applications must be submitted by May 1st to be considered with awards announced in July.
Applications for a regular grant may be from individuals as well as academic and ecclesiastical groups. Requests may support significant research, conferences, and publication relating to the history of the Episcopal Church as well as the worldwide Anglican Communion. A typical request may include funding for travel to visit an archives or other resource, dissertation research, seed money or support for a larger project. Examples of past awards include dissertation research, publication of books and articles, support of documentary films, and history conference support. Awards generally are $500-$2,000, depending on the number of awards approved and funds available.
For details including application instruction and information, visit hsec.us/grants.
Applications for the triennial Robert W. Prichard Prize for the best dissertation which considers the history of the Episcopal Church or Anglican Communion will be next requested in 2025.
The Episcopal Archives are located in Austin, Texas, currently housed in temporary quarters after relocating from their home of 60 years on the campus of the Seminary of the Southwest. HSEC Director of Operation Matthew P. Payne recently met with staff at the Archives to get an update.
Shortly after the 2021 move, Archivist Mark Duffy retired after decades of service. Whitney Hughes has been hired to serve as Interim Director. She joined the Archives in 2014 as the Archivist for Digital Content and Information Management. Holding a Masters of Science in Information Studies from the University of Texas, her focus has been on digital archives and the preservation of electronic records.
Whitney continues to manage the digital archives, oversees the systems infrastructure and in-house applications, and is instrumental in the development of a digital repository. As interim director she manages the overall operations of the Archives.
The Archives continues to support the General Convention mandates, including two particularly significant resolutions passed at the 2022 Convention, A127 (Resolution for Telling the Truth about The Episcopal Church’s History with Indigenous Boarding Schools) and D026 (Create a Task Force on LGBTQ+ Inclusion).
The Archives is currently working on several significant digitization projects, including the Board of Mission and National Council minutes, the Spirit of Missions publication, and records of the Women’s Auxiliary and United Thank Offering. We’re particularly looking forward to offering a full run of The Spirit of Missions as a robust and searchable digital archive database in the near future.
The Archives will be launching a public, online catalog in the coming months as yet another window into the historical records of the Church. The catalog will include descriptive records of the collections, focusing primarily on the collections that have significant historic value for researchers and will include authority records with detailed histories of the record creators.
The Archives staff is conducting a full audit of the Diocesan Journal collection, approximately 550 cubic feet of records. This audit will help identify missing editions, address any emergent preservation issues, and better consolidate the collection to maximize shelving space. Once completed, the Archives will be reaching out to the Dioceses to request any missing diocesan journals.
You are invited to learn more at episcopalarchives.org.
Since its beginnings in the 1930's, there have been book reviews. For over four decades, there have been church reviews. Now going forward, Anglican and Episcopal History will include documentary exhibit reviews and church engagement in community history. This quarterly, peer-reviewed journal of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, is expanding its content to better reflect the church's history.
Reviewing documentaries and exhibits related to Episcopal Church history might include a review of an exhibit on the Tudors at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Film reviews have been published previously, but will now be pursued more intentionally. Suggestions of documentaries or exhibits related to Anglican and Episcopal history are welcome. Perhaps you might even want to be a reviewer? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas.
Engaged History – Public History
Is your institution or organization – parish, diocese, school – engaged in a project designed to investigate history for the benefit of the community? Are you engaged in studying your parish’s complicity with slavery? Are you investigating the residential schools in your diocese? Anglican and Episcopal History would like to feature some articles on these important historical initiatives. Completed articles will be approximately the length of our current church reviews (5-8 pages). While not expected to be academic articles, submissions should be written for a professional audience and appropriately cited. If you have an interest, email email@example.com.
The December 2022 issue of Anglican and Episcopal History (AEH) considers Tudor legacies in Anglicanism with studies of Peter Martyr Vermigli, Elizabeth I, and Henry VIII. These three research essays are complemented by 2 church reviews and 20 book reviews. Readers will also enjoy reports from the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church’s 2022 annual meeting.
In the lead study, Daniel F. Graves explores connections between Florentine reformer Vermigli (c. 1500-1562) and the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556). Vermigli was Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University in England. Graves argues the Preface to the Oxford Treatise is “a kind of apologia for the 1549 Communion rite” with specific focus on the theological concept of "mutual indwelling" during the Eucharist.
The study is titled “Heavenly Ascent: The Relation of Peter Martyr Vermigli’s Preface to the Oxford Treatise and Disputation on the Eucharist to the Introduction of the Edwardian Prayer Books.” Its author is theologian in residence at Trinity Church, Aurora, in the Anglican Church of Canada’s Diocese of Toronto.
Heidi Olson Campbell, a Ph.D. candidate at Baylor University in Texas, then considers the evolution of Queen Elizabeth I’s legacy.
Campbell draws on sermons, plays, literature, and art to investigate ironic ways “…men presented women, not men, as the key players in fixing society and religion” while attempting to uphold the patriarchal system. Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was reimagined as the “exemplar of the ideal monarch” to critique the failing of her male successors.
The final study examines the historical legacy of King Henry VIII’s will. Competing historical interpretations of Henry VIII’s (1509-1547) will took on significance as to whether the parliament ultimately controlled the royal line of succession. Christopher Petrakos reminds readers that, “Historical discourse was riven by the legal consequences of the Anglican Church’s establishment and its political and institutional consequences.”
Petrakos is a historian of early modern and modern British history at the University of Toronto Mississauga.
Church reviews then take readers to a Lenten service for Laetare Sunday at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Montclair, in the Episcopal Diocese of Newark and a Palm Sunday service at the Church of England’s University Church in Oxford.
As always, AEH boasts numerous book reviews related to recent church history and Anglican scholarship. Among them:
The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church is pleased to announce additional digital access to its quarterly, peer-reviewed journal, Anglican and Episcopal History. One of the Historical Society’s objectives is the publication and distribution of a scholarly historical journal, which it has done since 1932. AEH includes articles on the history of the Episcopal and Anglican church, numerous book reviews and a church review section.
Those doing historical research know there are several online repositories containing thousands of scholarly journals. Access is available at no cost through subscribing libraries and institutions or by subscription to individuals online. For years publishers delay digital release on these services by one or two years with preference made to the printed version. Over the past decade, this model is less common because society has become more accepting of digital publication and there is a desire to reduce use of natural and financial resources from paper and postage.
The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church is grateful for the service of Bruce Mullin, Historiographer of The Episcopal Church, who retired from this role on June 20, 2022, after serving as Historiographer since 2012. Dr. Mullin’s ten-year term of service included his important historical research in support of The Episcopal Church maintaining its properties during the years of schism that began at the turn of the present century, and due in no small part to his meticulous historical documentation, many parishes were able to keep their church buildings and property after extensive legal proceedings. The three Episcopal historical organizations made a joint statement to General Convention regarding Resolution A-154, which concerns the process for selecting a new Historiographer. The Historical Society welcomes Mr. Lee Little as the Assistant Historiographer of The Episcopal Church.
The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church gives thanks to God for the work and ministry of Mark Duffy, canonical archivist and director of the Archives of The Episcopal Church, who retired on March 31, 2022, after thirty years of service. As archivist, he and the Archives Board have provided essential leadership in the collection, management, and maintenance of the archival holdings of The Episcopal Church. The Archives of The Episcopal Church contains materials across multiple media formats, from papers and documents - including correspondence, diaries, periodicals, and journals - to personal effects, ephemera, and such objects as photographs, paintings, and film. Under Mark Duffy's direction, the Archives successfully moved to a new location in 2021. We are grateful for his service, and we wish him a happy retirement.
Historical Society of the Episcopal Church
Dedicated to preserving and disseminating information about the history of the Episcopal Church and its antecedents.
A 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization established for educational, charitable and religious purposes.
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