FAQs Frequently Asked Questions
What is the All Christian Archive? Is it a Real Archive?
The All Christian Archive (ACA) is a real archive, and one Archive among thousands.
Is the All Christian Archive Public or Private?
The ACA is privately owned and managed and housed in a private building poised for preserving in perpetuity. It is not open to the public. (Researchers, see Research Q&A below and Research Policies on the Policies page.)
Is the All Christian Archive Established by a Certain Church, Denomination, or Independent?
The ACA is independent, not owned or controlled by any one or association of churches or ecclesiastical authorities. While the ACA is practically and legally independent, the founding Archivist maintains an attitude that the ACA and its CIRC is an apostolic ministry to the Body of Christ and likewise, everything is under the authority of Christ and for His glory.
What is the All Christian Archive’s Relationship with Other Christian Archives?
Across America, there are at least 2000 Christian colleges, universities, seminaries’ libraries, monastery libraries, denominational headquarters, and Bible or Christian museums with some archival materials they are preserving. The ACA is only one among these 2000+ Christian archives. The ACA does not make a claim on any of the others nor is the use of “All” in its name reflecting a covetousness over any of the other millions of archival records and artifacts in Christian libraries. Rather, “all” is used to express the broad breadth in the Scope of Collections. The premise is that the breadth of Christian heritage is so broad…. This analogy is used: all institutions out there are islands in the sea of all the potential Christian heritage to be preserved. Archival institutions do not generally compete with each other over who gets what. They work collaboratively with each other and see one another as colleagues. The ACA is very young and quite small compared to old institutions such as Andover Newton Theological Seminary in Newton Centre, Mass.
What Kind of Materials to the All Christian Archive Receive into Its Archive?
The ACA receives materials of virtually all kinds: paper records, prints, photographs, CDs, DVDs, VHSs, cassettes, artifacts, and electronic files of many kinds.
Will Copies as Well as Originals be Received in the All Christian Archive?
All archives seek original materials including the ACA. There are some cases in which certain mindful person may set up an impressive filing system creating an archive on certain persons (let’s say on famous modern saints like John Paul II, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, etc.) with a lot of photocopied articles from magazines, newspapers, etc. The ACA is interested in preserving Christian heritage and legacies of all who made an impact in this world for the Kingdom of God in Christ, whether they are originals or photocopies (origins preferred of course).
Who Can Deposit Archival Materials for the All Christian Archive?
First, depositors need to be 18 years of age or older. Most depositors will be individuals acting on behalf of themselves or their family but individuals may represent a church or organization. If any of the material is from a church or organization, the latter must authorize the depositing of the material in the ACA with the individual as the authorized signer. There will be cases in which the individual does also represent a church or organization, but the archival material he/she wishes to deposit is from their own collection or which they have sole rights over and no organizational authorization thus needed.
ACA receives deposits from individuals, families, etc. So an individual may be representing their family and perhaps acting on behalf of a family member (e.g. say an elderly parent) or acting on behalf of their family after the decease of a family member.
The Deed of Gift form states that the depositor has full and undisputed claim and rights on all the material being deposited.
How do Depositors determine what materials to Deposit in the ACA?
Depositors first assess the archival materials they are considering for deposit in the ACA. This assessment necessitates the careful consideration of which pieces ought to be preserved for perpetuity, those records which are particularly “witnesses” of their Christian life and legacy or records kept of other Christian lives. Materials that are deemed not reflecting their Christian life or legacy are to be separated out, leaving those items that are “witnesses” of a Christian life. Now in regard to people’s lives, the ACA is interested in other representative documents of the life, career, family, community service, etc. which gives context to their lives including the Christian life and legacy.
Prospective depositors can call or email the ACA in consultation in this process. This is in distinction to seeking advice in preserving your own records, artifacts, etc. (there may be a consultation fee for the later based on the time after an initial free consultation).
What is the Status of Ownership of Deposited Materials?
The ACA’s express purpose is preservation of the archival materials and artifacts. The ACA’s goal is not to become the owner of the various deposited materials from many depositors and its copyrights but rather to be the steward. Therefore, the Deposit agreement and Deed of Gift has the option of the depositor to keep the ownership of the materials and the copyrights or to Transfer the rights of ownership of materials and/or the copyrights to the All Christian Archive. Each depositor will make this decision based on the materials and their circumstances. The ACA only accepts full and unconditional Transfer of Ownership.
What about Copyrights? Who Maintains These?
As stated above, the ACA takes the role of a steward and does not plan to take on other people’s copyrights and perhaps later making money from producing books. Deposits who expressly do have copyrights (intellectual property) among the materials and wants to transfer the copyrights, then the ACA will receive the rights. The Deposit form does allow depositors giving the ACA limited and conditional rights of using photographic images of materials for including in ACA catalogs.
Are Deposits Permanent and Irrevocable?
If the rights of the material deposited are transferred to the ACA, then it is considered permanent. But it can be revoked through a written statement of a change of mind. And if the rights of ownership of the materials are not transferred, then in the future, the depositor could request the materials back. These cases are rare since the ACA’s purpose is long-term preservation.
The depositor remains the contact person for the deposited materials. No other family members can lay a claim on materials the depositor deposited without a signed Affidavit from the depositor authorizing any materials returned and other documents showing the relation and in certain cases a certified copy of a Last Will & Testament. This is in protection of the deposited archived materials preventing bad actors from claiming to be a relative who owns any, some, or all of the deposited materials.
Does the All Christian Archive Have Deposit Fees?
The ACA gives a suggested one time (each time) deposit fee based on the quantity of materials and the nature and condition of the materials to process the materials and in most cases re-box materials into archival storage containers.
The ACA also encourages the support from depositors and any others who want to support with a monthly or annual contribution. It is disclosed that the ACA is not nonprofit and so therefore be it known that the contributions are not tax deductible based on the US IRS.
Do Depositors Have the Right to “Seal” Their Materials from Research Access?
Yes, on the Deed of Gift and Transfer of Ownership forms is the option to “seal” all or specified materials from any researchers and designating the time limit of the “sealing” (e.g. 5 years, 10 years, etc.)
Are There Restrictions on Any Materials or Types of Possession that can be Deposited?
Yes, the ACA does not receive any guns, swords, or any other types of weapons nor any medications or illegal drugs or paraphernalia. The ACA does not collect jewelry, but there may be some exceptions with certain pieces that have direct connection to their Christian legacy, such as a cross necklace worn by a person who was martyred for the faith. The ACA generally does not receive Masonic Lodge or Shriner’s medals, awards, or degrees documentation. But “Christian” witnesses of a Christian person who legacy the deposit wants to be preserved will be received.
How Do Researchers Get Access for Research Purposes?
The ACA is housed in a building in which there is no facility for researchers for in-person access. Therefore, contact the ACA for your requests and we will try to accommodate inquiries and requests by providing more detailed Finding Aids or Collections descriptions and scanning certain documents and emailing. A simple Researchers form is required to be completed which includes accepting the Researcher Policies.