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New index offers centuries' worth of data on clergy

9/3/2003 News media contact: Kathy Gilbert · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn.

By United Methodist News Service

People doing research on church history have a new tool at their fingertips: an index to information about clergy and spouses of the United Methodist Church's predecessor denominations stretching back to the 1700s.

The 2003 CD version of the Conference Journal Memoirs Index contains about 97,000 entries drawn from pre-1968 conference journals held by the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History at its offices at Drew University in Madison, N.J. The indexed material extends from about 1786 to 1967, according to L. Dale Patterson, archivist. This database was designed as an index to resources, not as a resource itself, he adds.

Entries include references to memoirs - obituaries - from the Methodist Episcopal Church; Methodist Protestant Church; the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; the Evangelical Association/Church; the United Brethren in Church; the United Evangelical Church; the Methodist Church; and the Evangelical United Brethren Church.

The CD includes its own search engine. The database requires Windows 98/NT/W2K or XP, a Pentium PC or higher, and a CD with a 4x CD drive. The entire search engine and database must be installed on the computer's local hard drive and require 54 MB of disk space.

The CD may be ordered for $10, including shipping and handling, from the Commission on Archives and History, P.O. Box 127, Madison, NJ 07940. An order form is posted at http://www.gcah.org/list.htm, and more details are available at research@gcah.org.

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