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Religion Collections in Libraries and Archives: Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists: Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR)

Introductory Information

Access Policies

Hours of service: Monday -- Thursday: 8:30 a.m. -- 12 p.m., 1:00 p.m. -- 5:30 p.m

Open to the public: Yes by appointment. See External

Interlibrary loan: No

Reference policy: Reference requests are accepted by: telephone, and email, but email is preferred. If leaving a voicemail, include an email address.

Background note:
The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is the world administrative center for the denomination. Its Archives is the repository for permanently retained records created by the General Conference (as well as records donated to the Archives) and houses these records, which cover the entire period of the church’s history from the 1850s. Researchers can trace the development of the church through these records, which include legal instruments, minutes, reference files, reports, correspondence, publications, recordings, films, and photographs. It does not contain local congregational records.

The Rebok Memorial Library functions as a reference library for Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership as well as those working in the General Conference headquarters and those scholars and other researchers conducting research at the Archives and Library. Its special collections include books, periodicals, correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, and artifacts.


Books and monographs
The Archives' holdings include rare books as well as books that are a part of manuscript collections of denominational leaders. 

The Library holds approximately 4,400 books, primarily from the 19th and 20th century. While most of its books are in English, the Library also has books in other languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese. Most of the Library’s holdings are related to religion and theology. Academic monographs and various dissertations about Seventh-day Adventists and Seventh-day Adventism are part of the Library’s holdings. The collection is covered by the online catalog.

Periodicals and newspapers
The Rebok Memorial Library is the periodical deposit library for denominational materials published in English. The collection holds approximately 400 titles and consists mainly of Seventh-day Adventist English language publications, especially those originating in North America.

The Library also subscribes to several magazines, journals, and newspapers, many of which are focused on Seventh-day Adventism. Seventh-day Adventist materials are placed in the deposit holdings; other materials are retained temporarily

Archives, manuscripts, correspondences, and/or oral histories
The Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research maintains established record groups for all administrative units or distinct functional units of the General Conference, its institutions, and its divisions. These record groups number more than 100, and are contained in approximately 8,000 linear feet of materials. The main record groups are: Presidential (RG 11); Secretariat (RG 21); and Treasury (RG 31). Holdings are especially rich in the early 20th century correspondence between the church world headquarters and missionaries in various areas of the world. Direct correspondence with missionaries lessened after the local mission areas became organized. Correspondence with the General Conference at that point can be traced through administrators in the organized areas. A complete collection of Seventh-day Adventist Yearbooks provides source information to correspondence. Extensive obituary and retirement files provides biographical information on denominational leaders. Statistical and financial reports about the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its institutions from 1863 to the present are available. Manuscript collections of private papers of denominational leaders (referred to as “personal collections”) provide additional material for research.

The Library’s Manuscript Collections include correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, artifacts, and other personal records typically donated to the Special Collections by individuals or entities.

Videos and sound recordings
Over 1,000 films and tapes of various church business sessions, evangelistic sermons, health seminars, Bible conferences, and mission reports are available to researchers. Some digitized audiovisual material is in the online archives.

The Archives holds between 5,000 and 10,000 photographs and slides of denominational institutions, church leaders, and mission areas. Additional collections of photographs and slides are being processed.

The Archives holds several wall maps, including a Missionary Map of the World from 1906.

Databases and/or electronic resources
Adventist Research External
Adventist World Statistics External
Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists External
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook External

Digital collections
Digitized materials from both the Archives and the Library can be found in the online archives External

Subject Headings

Conscientious objection; Creationism; Doss, Desmond, 1919-2006; Education and religion; Eschatology; Evangelicalism; Five-Day Plan to Stop Smoking; Freedom of religion; Health--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Kellogg, John Harvey, 1852-1923; Miller, William, 1782-1849; Millerite movement; Missions and missionaries; Ordination of women; Religion and state; Rest--Religious aspects--Christianity; Sabbatarians; Sabbath legislation; Sabbath schools; Seventh-day Adventists--Doctrine; Seventh-day Adventists--Education; Seventh-day Adventists--History; Seventh-day Adventists, General Conference of--Finance; Seventh-day Adventists--Missions; Televangelism; Theological education; White, Ellen Gould Harmon, 1827-1915; Vegetarian cooking; Vegetarianism--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Women and religion.