The Convention Goes to the Archives!
The 101st Convention of the Diocese of Olympia is now history and soon its documentary record will join those of the previous 100 diocesan conventions and 57 missionary convocations in the Archives!
Photo by Mark Swanson
The Archives is the official repository for records created by and about the Diocese of Olympia and as Archivist and Records Manager, I am their official custodian. I know this because the diocesan Constitution and Canons tell me so! Click here: /sites/default/files/uploads/Constitutions%20and%20Canons%202010_2.pdf
In my last blog – blog #2 – I mentioned that I am elected to my position. More accurately stated, I am elected to my position as an Officer of Convention. Unless you spend a lot of time reading the diocesan Constitution and Canons – and I can’t imagine why anyone would want to unless suffering from insomnia – you probably don’t know that the Archivist and the Historiographer along with the Treasurer and the Secretary of Convention are Officers of Convention with specific duties to perform.
According to Article VIII, Section 2:
At each Annual Meeting of Convention, the following officers shall be elected to serve until the following Annual Meeting:
(a) A Secretary from among the members thereof;
(b) A Treasurer;
(c) A Historiographer, who shall be the official diocesan historian;
(d) An Archivist, who shall have custody of the archives of the Diocese.
In addition, Canon 3, Section 4 states:
The Archivist and Records Manager shall be the custodian and manager of the journals, papers, historical records and other records of the Diocese and shall report annually to the Bishop and Convention concerning discharge of such duties. Click here for my 2011 report: /sites/default/files/uploads/Archivist%27s%20Report%202011_1.pdf
And the Archivist also “shall keep a record of each change adopted by Convention each year.”
Can you imagine how many changes there have been to the Constitution and Canons since they were adopted in 1911 & 1912? I can, and believe me there are a lot!!
So, why am I going over all this Constitution and Canons business? Well, there are a couple of reasons. The first is to let you know that I’m legit! The position of Archivist and Records Manager is mandated by the Constitution and Canons. And the second is to let you know how lucky we are in the Diocese of Olympia to have a long history of recognizing the importance of our documentary heritage and of taking the appropriate actions to preserve and maintain it. To quote the Rt. Rev. Thomas Fielding Scott, 1st Missionary Bishop of the Territories of Oregon and Washington:
"The proceedings of the Convocation…are of permanent value and interest in our Missionary annals. They are the first fruits of a great and growing harvest." In Spirit of Missions, October 1854.
I’m going to leave you now with Bishop Scott’s quote but in my next blog – and probably many more to come – I’ll be exploring that “great and growing harvest.”
Diocese of Olympia Archives
Diane Wells, CA
Archvist and Records Manager