UNY Archives and History
The Upper New York Conference was officially formed in 2010. The Western New York Conference merged with the North Central New York, Troy, and Wyoming Conferences in New York State to form the Upper New York Conference to better serve the ministry needs of the local church and community. Click the following link to read the chronology of events in Upper New York.
The following video gives a clear explanation of what should be sent to archives if closing or disaffiliation from The United Methodist Church.
United Methodist Church Historical Sites
What's Going on in UNY Archives
Managing Annual Conference and Local Church Records
UNY United Methodist Historical Society
There are sites in multiple districts across the Conference, including the Adirondack, Albany, Crossroads, Finger Lakes, Mohawk, Northern Flow Districts. Click here for PowerPoint of UMC Historical Sites that are part of the Upper New York Conference.
The General Commission on Archives and History maintains Conference memorials (obituaries) and Honor Rolls from the Annual Conference journals. Click here to search the online database.
Interested in learning more or want to visit? The UNY archives, which includes archived information from the merged North Central New York Conference, Western New York Conference, and the NYS portions of Troy and Wyoming Conferences, is located within the Upper New York Conference Office. The building is located at 7481 Henry Clay Blvd. in Liverpool, NY. Contact someone in archives by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNYCAH is looking for volunteers on a regular basis in the Liverpool area who are willing to volunteer at the archives in reviewing records for retention, cataloging new additions, and entering data in Pastperfect software especially. See Contact Us section below.
The merging of four Conference archives into one at the Liverpool Conference Center is ongoing. Read the latest news below.
UNY Archives Hires Archives Assistant
The Upper New York Commission on Archives and History is excited to welcome Reilly Callahan as Archives Assistant to help with the important work of keeping the historical records of our churches. Reilly graduated summa cum laude in May 2023 from Syracuse University with a master’s degree in information studies. She worked as an archives intern at the university’s Special Collections Research Center and is a member of Beta Phi Mu, Pi Gamma Mu, and Phi Alpha Theta.
Reilly began with Upper New York as an archives intern in the summer of 2023 and was hired to this new 29-hour position in the fall. Read the full article here.
Archives and History Commission Welcomes New Volunteers
Archives and History Commission met on Dec. 14, 2021 and had a great first meeting of new volunteers, Kate, Barbara, Chip, and our Syracuse University intern, Brielle. Karen Campolieto walked them through all the rooms in the Archives space at Liverpool, explained the sections of work, and went over some other jobs that can be done without a lot of training.
Karen then handed us the boxes of a closed church just received, and four of us went through them with Karen directing and demonstrating. Excellent training on what to save, why and how, and what to shred and what to just recycle. Loreen and Brielle trained on entering data into PastPerfect software.
On behalf of the Commission on Archives and History, Sue presented Karen Campolieto with a card, gift, and flowers on the occasion of her retirement from the Upper New York Conference. Karen took on the task of the weekly care of the Archives, and did the information searches, and has done a wonderful job these last few years since the CAH got rooms and began organizing.
We will all miss her greatly!
Volunteers Review Donations in Workday
On November 5, 2021, a work group of members of the Commission on Archives and History and the Conference Historical Society were working in the Archives reviewing our collection of Bibles and also sorting through a recent donation of books, media and ephemera from the family of the late Merle and Catherine Doud long time members and officers of the Commission and Historical Society. Archives Assistant Karen Campolieto suggested the Bible project to clear the floor space in the Archives. Karen Staulters reviewed the Doud Collection previous to its coming to the Archives to be sure the items brought to the Archives were appropriate and not duplicative. Loreen Jorgensen worked on data entry of items into our Pastperfect software while Sue Slenker reviewed the Bible Collection. Ken Jones and Nancy Rutenber worked on the new Doud collection finding a home for all of the books, media and ephemera. Sue also worked with Bill Gottschalk-Fielding in scheduling interviews for our intern candidates from Syracuse University. Sue will be publicizing our need for a local group of volunteer workers to schedule hours to volunteer at the Archives in Liverpool. Loreen provided a great homemade chili lunch for everyone and a good time of Fellowship was had by all.
UNY's Karen Staulters wins National Award
Congratulations to Karen Staulters, current UNY Commission on Archives & History member and retired volunteer Archivist at the Upper New York Conference Archives. Karen was recently selected to receive the national Ministry of Memory Award by the Historical Society of the United Methodist Church. The national meeting of the UMC's Historical Society was held October 30, 2021 by Zoom as COVID-19 complications prevented an in-person meeting. Karen Staulters along with Helen Clear of the Western PA Conference were the honorees this year.
The Ministry of Memory Award (MoM) is granted by the Historical Society of The United Methodist Church, with the support of the General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church, to recognize and encourage excellence in archival and historical work in the local church, annual conference, jurisdictional or central conference.
This award is intended to complement the Distinguished Service Award granted by the General Commission on Archives and History as that award recognizes national or international leadership, frequently in academia. The Ministry of Memory Award recognizes someone who has served with distinction in the local church, annual, jurisdictional, or central conference.
Karen Staulters became a member of Troy Conference Commission on Archives and History (CAH) in 2000. She officially assumed the volunteer position of Troy Conference Archivist in September 2004 at the Conference Center in Saratoga Springs, NY, as “a qualified candidate” whose “enthusiasm, knowledge, energy and personality have contributed to the smooth operation and effectiveness of the Troy Conference Archives. As part of Karen’s work for the Troy Conference archives, she completed cataloging of its contents, prepared various articles for the Troy conference newsletter, and presented to a discussion group on “local church history celebrations/historical sketches” at the 2010 NEJCAH annual meeting hosted by Troy Conference in Vermont.
After the 2010 conference merger, Karen combined and separated the archives of Troy and Wyoming Conferences (the later having been sent to the Troy Conference archives) with parts being then sent respectively to New England + Susquehanna Conferences.
After the NYS portion of Troy Conference joined with other conferences in 2010 to become Upper New York Conference, Karen became the Upper New York Conference Archivist and continued through September 30, 2017 when she had to resign as Archivist because of physical problems. Karen coordinated the massive project of coordinating the consolidation of materials from four conferences (North Central NY, Troy, Western NY, Wyoming) at the UNY Conference Center in Liverpool. She also trained folks in sorting records from closed churches, both individually and in a November 3, 2018 presentation (that was videotaped) to district reps for closing churches. Karen also assisted in drafting a successful Documentary Heritage Grant that funded a professional appraisal of our new combined archives and made recommendations for the archives going forward. Karen continues to be an invaluable resource and advocate for the Upper New York Archives and has completed drafting our new archives policies and procedures.
Karen in 2010 also became a member of the UNYCAH team. She was Co-Chair or Chair (and Treasurer) until September 30, 2017 and later served sometimes as Vice-Chair. 4. Karen has also participated in the Upper New York United Methodist Historical Society which was formed in 2015 and started public meetings in 2017. This included a presentation at the September 2017 UNY-UMHS meeting on “What to Keep and What to Toss in Local Church Records.”
Karen has been the Town of Milton Historian in Saratoga County, NY. She was a contributor to the 2018 paperback Milton, New York: A New Town in a New Nation. It was noted in the book: “Karen Staulters is a life-long county resident and has lived in the Town of Milton for the past thirty plus years. She has a great interest in genealogy and local history and has been doing a variety of projects and volunteering over the past thirty years. She is one of the founding members of the Saratoga County history organization Heritage Hunters and has served as a volunteer archivist for the Upper New York Conference of the United Methodist Church for the past thirteen years. The above activities were done while Karen also had a professional career as a dietician. She last worked for Saratoga Bridges.
Volunteers Accomplish a lot on Archives and History Workday
On October 22, 2021 a group of volunteers from the Commission on Archives and History went through many boxes of library books to weed out the ones appropriate for our very limited bookshelf space. Archives Assistant Karen Campolieto suggested this project and organized and prepared the workspace. Former Archivist Karen Stalters reviewed all the books through Facetime to identify duplicates and to determine which should be saved to go on the valuable shelf space. Pictured is Sue Slenker and Loreen Jorgensen sorting through the final box of books. Another workday is scheduled for November 5th at 10:00 A.M. Loreen also provided a great lasagna lunch for all the volunteers including the Rev. Elizabeth Mowry and Chairman, Ken Jones. Loreen also showed Ken how Pastperfect software can be used in the Archives. We are especially looking for a volunteer who can use the software as we continue to enter the collection to create a useful database. Over lunch Sue Slenker announced exciting news that we have two candidates so far from Syracuse University that have responded to our paid intern position posting. This will be our second intern from SU and we hope to continue to grow a mutually beneficial relationship with the University.
Closing a church? This is a process that needs to be coordinated with the District Superintendent that oversees the area where the church is located. Note that the UMC Discipline requires:
All the deeds, records, and other official and legal papers, including the contents of the cornerstone, of a closed local church shall be collected by the district superintendent and shall be deposited for permanent safekeeping with the annual conference commission on archives and history.
Click here for the full wording of ¶ 2549. Disposition of Property of a Closed Local Church in the Book of Discipline.
Click the following link to read a the reprint of What to Keep and What to Toss in Local Church Records. Also UNYCAH has a group of volunteers who can assist a closing church in reviewing their holdings for guidance as to what should be sent to the Archives.
Click here for information on how manage annual conference and local church records as stated by the General Commission on Archives and History. Click here to watch the archives training video and learn what to keep and what to toss when it comes to closed churches.
Upper New York Annual Conference in June 2015 authorized the Upper New York Commission on Archives and History to organize the Upper New York United Methodist Historical Society (UNY-UMHS). UNY-UMHS's purposes as stated in its bylaws (click here to read the bylaws) are:
1. To work with the Upper New York Conference Commission on Archives and History in the collection and preservation of materials (such as books, pamphlets, papers, relics, portraits, interpretation of historic sites) related to the history of The United Methodist Church and its antecedents within the bounds of the Upper New York Conference and its antecedents. Materials, where feasible, will be passed along to official archives of Upper New York Conference.
2. To promote in the Conference, including with local church historians and others, knowledge of Methodist history and its preservation and dissemination (along with appropriate skills) by such means as seems best adapted to that end.
Thus, the UNY-UM Historical Society has a mission to Preserve the PAST; Inform the FUTURE. To further its mission a Facebook page was created in 2016, public meetings were started in 2017, and a quarterly newsletter in 2018. The Facebook page can be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/groups/UNYUnitedMethodistHistoricalSociety.
Become a member of the UNY United Methodist Historical Society. By becoming a member for $7.50 a year, you are expressing interest in not just the Upper New York United Methodist Historical Society (UNY-UMHS) but also the "ministry of memory" in Upper New York and beyond.
There are so many benefits to joining, including updates to the latest news and receiving copies of the UNY News and Views newsletter. Click here to complete a membership form. Click here to view a sample of the newsletter.
Contact the Upper New York Commission on Archives and History (UNYCAH) team by emailing email@example.com or connect with the UNY United Methodist Historical Society on Facebook. The following is a list of contacts:
Depository: Upper NY Annual Conference Center of the UM Church, 7481 Henry Clay Blvd., Liverpool, NY 13088
Hours: By appointment only