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The Archives of the Diocese of New Jersey
The Archives of the Diocese of New Jersey is a repository of materials on the history of the diocese. We oversee, steward, and curate a vast treasury of data about the churches of the diocese, including information on their clergy and laity. This material has been acquired and made accessible for the use of both professional and non-professional researchers.
Diocesan and parish archives are required by the Canons of the Episcopal Church and are organized under through the guidelines published by the Episcopal Church archives in Austin TX, along with recommendations from National Episcopal Historical Association.
While there have been archives in the Diocese of New Jersey from the days of our first bishops, the beginning of a formal plan and staff for such an endeavor began with the efforts of the Rev. Canon Laurence D. Fish. Canon Fish had worked alongside the Rev. David R. King, who famously wrote and published the history of the diocese for the U.S. bicentennial in 1985.
Files and other memorabilia were collected and stored in the basement 808 West State St. in far less than ideal conditions. Eventually, part of the Matthews Conference Center was established to better store archival materials, especially those particularly susceptible to the vagaries of humidity and temperature.
Canon Fish brought to the position a strong sense of the church’s and diocese’s history, a vacuum-cleaner like ability to acquire important new materials, and a graceful and clear writing style that gave freshness and life to the stories of the past.
The Rev. Canon Richard C. Wrede has been the part-time Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New Jersey for seven years. He is in the archives most Thursdays.
Through a contract with the Diocese of New Jersey, Ancestry.com is scanning the Parish Registers from the churches in the Diocese, both active and extinct. We look forward to having these records online in the next couple of years along with free access to Ancestry and their many databases.
For more information
For information about the Archives, phone us directly at 609-460-5410 or email Canon Wrede. We can assist you in many cases by email or make arrangements for a personal visit and use of the collections.
- Diocesan bishops, past and present
- Journals of the General Convention (1785-present)
- Journals of the Diocese of New Jersey (1785-present)
- Journals of the Diocese of New Jersey online (1785-1920, excepting 1844 and 1855)
- ‘Diocese of New Jersey’ The official magazine of the Diocese (1912-2009), printed under several titles. Indexed but not yet available.
- Service Book for the Diocese of New Jersey (1940) in PDF
- Standing Committee Minutes (1826-present)
- Records of many extinct parishes of this diocese
- Histories of parishes and missions of the diocese
- Records of the Girls Friendly Society
- Files on clergy ordained in the diocese
- Index of clergy and laity photos in diocesan newspaper (1912-present)
Index of parish photos in diocesan newspaper (1912-present)
- Minutes: Clericus and Convocation
- Minutes: Various commissions and committees
- Church Almanac (1837-1906), a directory of churches and clergy by diocese.
- The Episcopal Church Annual (1953-present)
- The Clerical Directory (1898, 1905, 1910-present)
- Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church (now Anglican and Episcopal History) (1934-present) Some missing. This series is indexed.
- Works Progress Administration: Archives of New Jersey Counties
- Works Progress Administration book on Episcopal Churches of New Jersey. Include lists of incorporation and deeds for most churches.
- Autobiographies and biographies of many bishops of the Episcopal Church
- Many histories of dioceses of the Episcopal Church
- Confirmation records spanning from 1920-2000.
- The Sermons of the Rt. Rev. George E. Councell, XI Bishop of New Jersey.
- The Procter Foundation at Princeton – A History (1936?)
- Historiographers’ articles on the history of the Diocese