The Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR) recently launched the first volume of its newest publication – The Journal of Adventist Archives. According to the Director of ASTR, David Trim, the Journal was produced in hopes of revitalizing “Adventist archival practice and historical scholarship.” At the present time, the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not have a journal dedicated to historical research. Thus, the Journal intends to provide Adventist scholars with an incentive to produce historical scholarship, and a place to not only publish their work, but also preserve it for access to others all around the world.
The peer-reviewed Journal, the first of its kind, was composed to allow the Adventist Church to become rooted in its historical foundation by allowing for deep historical analysis. Trim emphasizes that in the famous quote, “We have nothing to fear for the future except as we forget the way the Lord has led us and His teaching in our past history”, Ellen White is making a call for historical scholarship, rather than simply calling for historical memory.
In the long term, ASTR hopes for the Journal to play a prominent role in the Adventist historical and archival landscape. Adventist archivists, manuscript librarians, records managers, historians, and scholars of religious studies are invited to become a part of the Journal of Adventist Archives (JAA) community. In addition, the Journal is seeking authors and volunteers to submit articles and notes for the Journal, serve on the journal advisory board, and serve as peer reviewers.
In addition to this newly released journal, the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research is also home to other invaluable resources, such as the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook and Annual Statistical Report, an onsite Adventist Heritage Collection, the online Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists (ESDA) and online collections of historical Adventist photographs, Adventist periodicals, and books on several topics including the Adventist Pioneer History series and a myriad of other historical documents.
Moreover, the ASTR publishes a quarterly newsletter called Telling the Story. The newsletter serves to share Adventist heritage and typically features stories of Adventist history and mission; wonderful, rare photographs from our past; and church statistics and research findings from the present.
Since its inception in 1975, ASTR has not only been dedicated to compiling and maintaining church records and statistics for the world church and the North American Division, but it also maintains a research center and library, and is committed to preserving Adventist heritage and identity, as well as telling our denominational story to the world.1
The Office of Archives, Statistics and Research is located at the world headquarters of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists just outside of Washington, D.C., in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. Through the new Journal of Adventist Archives, Director David Trim says they “look forward to sharing archival good practice from archives and records centers around the world…By improving archival practice, we will also help with the task of capturing, commemorating, understanding and celebrating our [Adventist] past....”
If you are interested in becoming a part of the JAA community, please email the editors. To sign up for the ASTR’s quarterly newsletter, and stay up to date on releases of the new Journal, please click here.
The first edition of The Journal of Adventist Archives may be read at this link.
1 Office of Archives, Statistics & Research. “About the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research.” Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research, 2020, https://www.adventistarchives.org/about-astr. Accessed 17 September 2021.