Monday, November 4, 2013

Yesterday, November 3, marked the 10th anniversary of the African American Episcopal Historical Collection. This is a project shared by the Bishop Payne Library here at Virginia Theological Seminary and the Historcal Society of the Episcopal Church. We are delighted that the contract has been renewed for another five years.

It is only fitting that the collection would be housed at Bishop Payne Library. The library's name honors the legacy of Bishop Payne Divinity School, which operated in Petersburg, Virginia. From 1848 until 1949, Bishop Payne Divinity School served as the primary institution forming African American candidates for Episcopal ministry. It was in 1953 that Bishop Payne Divinity School and Virginia Theological Seminary merged.

This invaluable collection captures part of the rich history of the African American Episcopalian experience in the United States. Made up of documents, institutional records, oral histories, personal papers, and photographs, the collection gives voice to a long-silenced part of our shared history.

We give thanks to those who have contributed items to the collection, to the African American Episcopal Historical Collection Steering Committee, and to the generous donors who invest in the collection. We are also grateful to the trusted caretakers of the collection. The Archivist, Mr. Chris Pote, and the Assistant Archivist, Dr. Joseph Thompson, are fantastic resources. I do recommend contacting them about looking through the collection.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham
Dean and President