The African American Episcopal Historical Collection
In 2003 the African American Episcopal Historical Collection was established at the Virginia Theological Seminary Archives as a joint project with the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church. Through documents, institutional records, oral histories, personal papers, and photographs, the collection documents the experience of African American Episcopalians in the U.S. Individual collections contain significant references to religious faith and involvement in the Episcopal Church, particularly at the regional, diocesan, and local levels.
Members of the Historical Society began to discuss the possibility of the African American Episcopal Historical Collection in the 1990s and to gather materials for the collection in 2000. In December 2002, the Historical Society and the Virginia Theological Seminary agreed jointly to sponsor the AAEHC. VTS, which is the second oldest and largest of the Episcopal seminaries in the United States, has had a long-standing interest in ministry by and among African Americans. From 1878 through 1949, the Bishop Payne Divinity School in Petersburg, Virginia, was the primary institution for the education of African American candidates for Episcopal ministry. Bishop Payne Divinity School merged with Virgnia Theological Seminary in 1953. The VTS library was later named Bishop Payne Library in honor and memory of the former divinity school.
The African American Episcopal Historical Collection is a joint project of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church and the Virginia Theological Seminary. The collections are housed in the Bishop Payne Library of the Seminary.
For more information visit the AAEHC website.