Information for Quaker Meeting Clerks
A few Yearly Meetings have developed guidelines for the maintenance and preservation of monthly meeting and committee records. Clerks and recorders are encouraged to consult these guidelines, even if their own Yearly Meeting has not developed specific instructions.
To determine what original records have been deposited at Friends Historical Library, interested persons should consult our joint, on-line catalogue, Tripod. We have begun a project to provide detailed finding aids for all of our Yearly Meeting deposits; completed inventories are linked from the Quaker Meeting Records search page.
In 1989, the Records Committee of Baltimore Yearly Meeting first published a Handbook on Records: their Creation, Maintenance, and Preservation in the Meeting. It is still a very useful document for clerks and recorders. With their permission, we provide an online version here.
In 1998, Thomas C. Hill prepared a paper entitled Discipline Provisions Regarding Records for the Conference of Quaker Historians and Archivists in Baltimore. This is an excellent summary of the princlpal rules of discipline in North America regarding the obligation to maintain official records and the ownership of records or other personal or real property of the local congregation (Hill, 2003). A link is provided here.
Meeting records deposited in Friends Historical Library remain the property of the originating meeting or its sucessor(s). Other questions about the process of depositing meeting records should be directed to the Curator or Archivist.