Research: Getting Started
|Clarence W. Boyer (1899-1988) doing research in the Archives.
Before you start, make certain your research topic has some connection to the Brethren in Christ Church (formerly "River Brethren") or Messiah College. We receive many requests each year for research that pertains to denominations with similar names. For a helpful guide to all the Brethren groups, click here
. Links to the historical agencies of related denominations can be found on the Related Links
This web site or the Library and Archives Director can help you determine which collection(s) will be most useful for your research.
- Archives collections contain primary source (original) materials from an organization or institution. The Brethren in Christ Historical Library and Archives is the repository for two archival collections: the Archives of the Brethren in Christ Church and the Archives of Messiah College.
- The Historical Library contains published and unpublished books, periodicals, and other materials. The reference section of the library includes newspaper clippings, funeral programs, and similar ephemera that relate to a variety of individuals and subjects - a helpful resource for the genealogist.
- Several Special Collections add to the resources of the Library and Archives. The Manuscripts Collection contains the personal papers - including diaries, correspondence, and similar items - of families or individuals. Over 100 manuscript groups are available for research use. The Oral History Collection consists of audio recordings from interviews and events. The Photograph Collection has thousands of identified images arranged into categories of people, places, and events.
Individuals who wish to do on-site research are strongly encouraged to contact the Historical Library and Archives before their visit. For contact information and normal operating hours, click here
. When site visits are not possible, limited research assistance is available by e-mail or regular mail.