Paragraph 641.1-4 The Book of Discipline
In each annual conference there shall be a conference commission on archives and history. The number of members of the commission and their terms of office shall be as the conference may determine and may include an ex officio representative of each United Methodist heritage landmark in its bounds. It shall be the duty of the commission to collect, preserve, and make accessible the historically significant records of the annual conference and its agencies, including data relating to the origin and history of the conference and its antecedents; to encourage and assist the local churches in preserving their records, compiling their histories, and celebrating their heritage; to provide for the permanent safekeeping of the historical records of all abandoned or discontinued churches in the bounds of the annual conference and its antecedents (see ¶ 2549.3); to maintain a fire-safe historical and archival depository and to see that all items which obviously will have value for future history are properly preserved therein; to provide for the ownership of real property and to receive gifts and bequests; to nominate to the General Commission on Archives and History buildings, locations, or structures within the annual conference for designation as historic sites or heritage landmarks; to maintain contact with officially designated historic sites and heritage landmarks in their bounds; to assist the bishop or the appropriate conference committee in planning for the historical hour and other appropriate historical observances at annual conference sessions; to establish retention and disposition schedules for annual conference and local church records under standards or guidelines developed by the General Commission on Archives and History; to cooperate with and report, when requested, to the general and jurisdictional commissions on archives and history; and to engage with other Wesleyan, Methodist, or Evangelical United Brethren-related denominations in lifting up our joint heritage.
The commission may organize a conference historical society and encourage membership therein for the purpose of promoting interest in the study and preservation of the history of the conference and its antecedents. The officers of the conference commission on archives and history may be the officers of the conference historical society. Membership in the historical society shall be established as the society may determine. Membership may include the payment of dues as the society may direct, and in return, members shall receive official publications and publicity materials issued by the commission and the society and such other benefits as may be deemed suitable.
Each annual conference may have a historian to undertake specific duties as may be designated by the commission. The annual conference historian may be a member of the annual conference commission on archives and history.
The annual conference commission on archives and history shall work with the ethnic congregations of the conference to develop and preserve the historical records of those congregations and antecedent conferences.