Archives and local church history

Archives from the traditions that make up the United Reformed Church are in a variety of places.

Registers and records of local churches, whether open or closed, are either held by the church itself, or in the County Record Office local to the church concerned.  Records of regional church bodies, such as Presbyteries and County Unions, are also held by County Record Offices.  The Society does not hold these itself.

Our collections are available for consultation by all interested researchers – please contact the relevant institution in advance to make an appointment to visit.

At Westminster College, Cambridge:
The records of Westminster College; the records of Cheshunt College (including the Countess of Huntingdon’s correspondence); the Presbyterian Church of England archive; the Churches of Christ archive; and the collections of the United Reformed Church History Society.

Full details on these archives are available here:
http://www.westminster.cam.ac.uk/rcl/research-archives

At Dr Williams’s Library, London:
The records of the Congregational Union of England and Wales (also known as the Congregational Church in England and Wales from 1966), and the records of the United Reformed Church since 1972.  Dr Williams’s Library is itself the preeminent library of Nonconformist history, and the Congregational Library is also housed there.

Full details are available here:
http://www.dwl.ac.uk/
and here:
http://conglib.co.uk/collections/urc-archives/ 

At the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS):
Missionary records of the URC’s constituent denominations, including London Missionary Society, the records of the Churches of Christ Missionary Committee, the Council for World Mission (Congregational), and the Foreign Missions Committee (Presbyterian):
https://www.soas.ac.uk/library/archives/collections/missionary-collections

At United Reformed Church House in London:
Pilots is a non-uniformed organisation for children, running for many years in Congregational and United Reformed Churches, and their archive is here:
https://www.urc.org.uk/urcarchive.html

At the Glasgow Record Office:
Archives of the Congregational Union of Scotland 1838-1991, incorporating the Evangelical Union, held at Glasgow Record Office:
www.glasgowlife.org.uk

An online index of Congregational Ministers, named after the Revd Charles Surman, who created it, is available here:
https://surman.english.qmul.ac.uk/

There is also a significant amount of information about Dissenting Academies, academic institutions run by dissenters primarily from the seventeenth century to the nineteenth century, available here:
http://www.qmulreligionandliterature.co.uk/research/the-dissenting-academies-project/

The Society is pleased to accept donations of written histories of local churches for its library, whether printed locally or published more formally, but we cannot accept archive material which should be deposited in your local Record Office.  These histories can be sent by post to:
Mrs Helen Weller, Archivist, Westminster College, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0AA