Virginia Theological Seminary and the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church Sign Agreement

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Virginia Theological Seminary's Bishop Payne Library Chosen as Site for the Deposit and Preservation of Collection that Documents the History of African American Episcopalians

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINA (6 January 2003)-Virginia Theological Seminary and the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church recently entered into an agreement that designates the seminary's Bishop Payne Library as home for the "African American Historical Collection of the Episcopal Church: A Joint Project of the Historical Society and the Bishop Payne Library of the Virginia Theological Seminary."

The agreement is a result of four years planning on the part of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, including two year's discussion with Virginia Seminary. The planning phase was funded by grants from the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, the Louisville Institute, and the Episcopal Church Foundation

The African American Episcopal Collection is a newly created archival project that will be a historical collection, composed of various media (oral history, documents, institutional records, photographs) chronicling the lives and experiences of African American Episcopalians.

Virginia Seminary will collect, house, arrange, and make the Collection available in the Bishop Payne Library. The agreement between the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church and Virginia Seminary outlines a plan to expand the Collection, obtain additional funding and materials, and improve its accessibility to interested parties.

In summer of 2003, the Bishop Payne Library will construct additional archival space to accommodate the Collection, which currently includes collected writings from prominent African American Episcopalians that are being processed and preserved for future use.

The Bishop Payne Library currently contains significant archival collections and is a key resource for scholarly theological research, particularly in Episcopal history and the Anglican Communion. The Library is named in honor of the Bishop Payne Divinity School, a seminary for the education of African and African American Episcopalians. …