Archives and History

Bishop Marjorie S. Matthews, elected to the episcopacy and appointed to the Wisconsin Annual Conference, 1980. Bishop Matthews was the first woman elected to serve as Bishop in a major religious body

The Wisconsin Commission on Archives and History’s mission is to collect, save, preserve, and make accessible the faith memories from the history of The United Methodist Church and its predecessor Conferences in Wisconsin.  The Commission takes the lead in the Ministry of Memory, with our commitment to preserve information from the past to inform both the present and the future.

We serve as a resource to the local church to help them preserve their history.  We advise on records management and retention issues.  We assist with the celebration of church anniversaries and the collection of materials for compiling a local church history.  We are a resource for questions about local churches and the pastors that have served them.

Our Commission also oversees the work and sets policies and procedures for the Conference Archives, located in the Conference Center in Sun Prairie, WI, the Conference Museum, in Greenfield, WI, and the Sanford Archives Center, also in the Conference Center in Sun Prairie, WI.

The Commission also regularly hosts an Archives Retreat and local church historian workshop; maintains an Appointment Archive; publishes a newsletter, Flashbacks; compiles resources for the local church such as our local church historian guide and several digital offerings coming soon, and the Lois C. Olsen Ministry of Memory Award.  The Commission is made up of nine members, both lay and clergy, as well as several ex officio members including the Conference Archivist and Conference Historian.