Categories: The Parish Column

From the Archives: National Archives Month

by Cathy O’Donnell, Archivist, St. John’s Norwood

Did you know that October is National Archives Month? The Archives at St. John’s Norwood are the history of our congregation from 1873 to the present time. They consist of documents, deeds, pictures, minutes, bulletins, newsletters, and many objects which reflect our life here.

I’m frequently asked what an archivist does. As the archivist, I manage the records that are on file and seek new records to add to our collection. Managing the records means reading through each and every document to ascertain its historical value, categorizing each item, keeping records so I and others can find the document when needed, and filing each item in the appropriate category. Records are kept which reflect where the document is stored and a finding aid is kept for future reference. The finding aid will tell the researcher where the document came from, the date of the document, and give a brief description of what the subject matter is.

We will be celebrating our 150th anniversary in 2023. We have a lot of fascinating history to share with all. Please be sure to add your voice to our records by donating your pictures (labeled with names, places, and dates) and any documents you have to the Archives whether as an individual, a family, or as a St. John’s organization. If documents and pictures are not in the Archives, they will not be recorded for all to learn of your activity here. We are doing such wonderful things in our community it would be a shame not to have them be part of our history. Just email items to and bring them to the office.

Currently one of the top priorities is writing finding aids to establish records for each document in the Archives including the oldest records. This will entail reading through each and every document and typing a brief summary thereof. Terri DeLeon is currently assisting with this effort. If you would like to learn more about the history of St. John’s, you could also assist with this effort by volunteering.

And don’t forget to always sign and date your document!