Access During the 2022-2023 Academic Year

All items in our archives are viewable on site on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1-5pm, and Fridays 1-4 pm, by appointment only.  The library staff can also make scans of materials, depending on the condition of the materials requested,  the amount of material requested for scanning, copyright restrictions, and staff availability.  We strongly recommend you first search the Special Collections & Archives database before contacting the archives to set up an appointment or request a scan. This database may help to provide you with information about the specific collection, including box and folder information, for the material you are seeking.  Please send questions, requests for appointments, and scanning requests to, the main reference email for the library, or you call telephone 617-353-1321.  Please include “Archives” in the subject line of your email.

About the Archives and Special Collections

The School of Theology Archives, located within the School of Theology Library, collects, preserves, and provides access to records of enduring, historical value relating to, or created by, the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Boston University School of Theology. The New England Conference Collections contain Local Church Records, Conference Records, conference journals and other publications. The School of Theology Collections contain records of the administrative offices, organizations and institutes. We also hold personal papers and artifact collections donated by prominent New England Methodists and School of Theology faculty members. All together, the archives contains approximately 2,000 linear feet of records. Records exist in a variety of different formats including documents, photographs, audio and moving image recordings, artworks and artifacts. An appointment is required to access the church records and the other archival collections at Boston University School of Theology Library.

The Library also houses approximately 54,000 items located in locked storage.  These collections include rare books, journals, pamphlets and other items that do not circulate outside the library.  These items may be requested to be viewed in the library.  A public scanner is available for scanning items in our locked stacks, subject to the condition of the item and copyright law.  Most of these items can be found by searching the library’s public catalog.

Additionally, the library holds a number of significant and unique special collections, some of which are kept in locked storage but some of which are available in the library’s circulating collection.  These include collections related to Methodism, hymnology, missiology, and biblical studies.  More information on the specific special collections held by the Theology Library is available on the Special Collections page of our web site.

Archives Quick Links

Search Archival Holdings
Research Inquiries
Archival Policies
New England Conference Commission on Archives and History
Records Donation and Management
Floor Plan, Hours, and Directions

Archives Highlights

Click on the collapsible box to get a brief overview of some of the more popular collections the Archives hold; for further holdings, explore our archival holdings or collections page.