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Records of Mid Councils

The Presbyterian Historical Society serves synods and presbyteries of the PC(USA) by digitizing records, holding permanent records on deposit, and providing advice on best practices for managing records.

We digitize original records at a subsidized rate on behalf of presbyteries and departing congregations to ensure that all stakeholders have access to their shared historic record. Please contact our Records Archivist, David Staniunas, for more information.

  digitization 

The Book of Order charges clerks with the "permanent safekeeping" of all official records. In order for synods and presbyteries to meet this obligation, all records of permanent value should be deposited at the Presbyterian Historical Society. In addition, presbyteries should ensure that original records of departing congregations, or a reliable archival surrogate of those records, are deposited at the society.

Records Deposit

ADVICE ON RECORDS MANAGEMENT

The Presbyterian Historical Society provides advice to mid councils on records management but does not hold records of temporary value. Our retention schedule for mid councils follows below. Retention requirements for financial and administrative records vary from state to state. For further assistance, mid councils should consult Records Archivist David Staniunas, an accountant, or legal counsel.

RETENTION SCHEDULE FOR MID COUNCILS

Types

Retention Period

Minutes and reports of all councils of presbytery

permanent

Bylaws/charters

permanent

Incorporation records

permanent

Inquirers, candidates, ministers files

permanent

 
Records of dissolved congregations:
Minutes, registers, charters, articles of incorporation,
property records, etc.
 

permanent

Legal/judicial case records

permanent

 
Subject files: correspondence, minutes, or other
records surrounding subject matter of continuing
administrative or legal value, or comprising
information on the mission, vision, and actions of the body
 

permanent


Annual reports

permanent

Annual budgets

permanent

Annual audits

permanent

Annual financial statements

permanent

Manuals/handbooks

permanent

Newspapers/newsletters

permanent

Brochures/promotional material (1 copy)

permanent

Photographs

permanent

Architectural drawings, plats, plans, blueprints

permanent

 
Wills, bequests

permanent

Loan agreements

satisfaction + 20 years

Property appraisals, records of sale

20 years after sale

Employee records

employment + 7 years

Contracts

active + 6 years

Accounts payable

7 years

Accounts payable invoices

7 years

Accounts receivable records

7 years

Bank statements

7 years

Canceled checks

7 years

Cash receipt records

7 years

Expense reports

7 years

FICA / W2 records

7 years

Payroll records

7 years

Petty cash records

7 years

Receipts of purchases

7 years

Bank deposit slips

3 years

General/routine correspondence
(acknowledgments, requests, travel arrangements, etc.)

3 years

Travel plans/arrangements

3 years

Periodic financial statements

2 years

Data for updating mailing lists

1 year

Invitations

1 year

Meeting notices

1 year

Mailing lists

active

Reference/resource material

active