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Episcopal Congregation History Research Guide

This guide is for researchers who are searching for historical information about a particular Episcopal congregation.

Starting Points

General reference sources include published parish or congregational histories, diocesan histories, parish records, and Episcopal bibliographies. Finding these types of sources will help you get a clearer picture of your congregation's history.

Congregational or Parish Histories:

Many historic parishes have published their own histories. Find these by searching the name of the church in the library catalog. Often, these are assigned a subject heading in the format "Name of Church, City, State" (e.g. St. Mark's Church, Alexandria, Virginia).

Diocesan Histories:

Researchers can find books on the history of a specific diocese by searching the name of the diocese in the catalog. Usually, there is a corresponding subject heading for the diocese in the format "Episcopal Church. Diocese of ___". Sometimes, the subject headings have multiple divisions, like "history" or "periodicals". 

Published Parish Records:

Some of these materials are available at BPL and are accessible through the library catalog. Most of our holdings relate to Virginia churches.

Episcopal Bibliographies:

Many books on the history of the Episcopal Church contain extensive indexes or bibliographies which may refer to your church. Materials highlighted in other sections of this guide may prove useful for their indexes or bibliographies. 

Other Sources: