If any of you have made information requests to our conference archives of late, you're aware that our conference archivist Dr. Guy Hubbs is on sabbatical this semester to write a book. I am temporarily acting in his sted at the conference archives. I am a University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies graduate student looking toward a career in archives. A lifelong United Methodist from the Alabama-West Florida Conference, I am enjoying the warm hospitality and fellowship the members of this conference have shown me. Being new to this region, I realize I do not know you all as I should. With around 750 individual churches and organizations, there is quite a lot to get to know.
October is archives month and so along with introducing myself I want to take the time to re-introduce our archives. Our conference archives is here to serve as an agent of memory, facilitate historical discovery, as well as provide a means for corporate accountability. Upon hearing the word "archives" one is apt to imagine a room full of old dusty and disorganized manuscripts of little value beyond their age. Indeed we have quite a bit of material from the beginnings of Alabama Methodism, but when you visit you won't find any dust nor disorganized piles of committee notes. Committee notes along with all the various forms of records our church has produced over the last two hundred years are organized to make research efficient. This organization would not be possible without the hard work of previous archivists, our enthusiastic student workers from Birmingham Southern, and our dedicated volunteers of which the tireless efforts of Louise Woodall we owe an especial debt of appreciation.
If any ministers are looking for sermon ideas may I suggest looking into our rich history. Our North Alabama Conference has an amazing heritage, and our individual congregations have great stories to tell. We have not been perfect, but we can celebrate and give glory to God that we have made it to this day together--204 years after Methodism's founding in America.
I have created both a Facebook and Twitter account to raise awareness to the great cultural heritage we have here in our Archives this month. A blog will follow in the coming days to detail our work here in the archives and share the details of some of our manuscript collections.
Adjunct Faculty Birmingham Southern College
Temporary Archivist North Alabama Conference, UMC
MLIS Candidate University of Alabama