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About the Archive

Materials in the Archive

The Park Avenue United Methodist Church in the City of New York celebrates its 175th anniversary this year (2012).  The church was incorporated under the name Methodist Episcopal Church in Yorkville on March 10, 1837 by three circuit-rider ministers assigned to the Harlem Mission; Daniel De Vinné, John Luckey and Richard Seaman.

The parish has been known by several different names throughout the years, including the Methodist Episcopal Church in Yorkville, Eighty-sixth Street Methodist Episcopal Church, Park Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church and Park Avenue United Methodist Church, and currently occupies the fourth church building that has been built since its establishment.  This library contains service bulletins, newspaper articles and booklets related to cornerstone laying ceremonies and dedication services for some of the church edifices. 

In the process of gathering historical data for the 175th Anniversary, an effort was made to find online sources related to the parish and its pastors.  Those sources include websites, newspaper articles, photographs, books containing historical information about the Park Avenue United Methodist Church, and books by pastors.  A selection of those sources has been included in this library.  Also included are some digitized documents from the Park Avenue United Methodist Church archives.

Resources for this library were selected based on several criteria, including historical value, relevance to the Park Avenue United Methodist Church and its history, availability of digital versions of materials and/or links to sites containing relevant digital materials, and copyright considerations.  Although most of the materials can be viewed directly by clicking on the link provided in the item record, links to some articles from the New York Times archive that require a subscription have been included.  The decision to include those articles was made based on the knowledge that some users may already subscribe to the New York Times online or may have other means of accessing the articles.  Most of the articles in this library can also be accessed through ProQuest historical newspapers, a searchable digital database which is available at many public and academic libraries.  We are unable to provide access to the subscription-only articles here due to copyright restrictions. Copyright restrictions have also dictated the temporal scope of the library.  Public domain materials (prior to 1923) make up the bulk of the library, with the exception of items whose rights are held by the Park Avenue United Methodist Church.

The Pastors collection contains images, articles, publications, obituaries and related items pertaining to pastors of Park Avenue United Methodist Church in New York City.  The Buildings collection contains historical items related to the four Park Avenue United Methodist Church buildings.  To the Anniversaries collection are assigned news articles, service bulletins, anniversary booklets, church history booklets and other items related to the celebration of church anniversaries.  Collection In the News is used primarily for articles from newspapers whose subjects do not specifically fit into any of the other collections. The collection Parish contains items pertaining to activities of the parish that do not fit into other collections.  A Page listing the names of pastors and their dates of tenure has also been added as a convenient reference.  Users may select "Browse Collections" from the menu bar at the top of the page to view a description of the types of items that will be found in each collection.  To access a list of names of pastors and their dates of tenure at Park Avenue Methodist, click on the “List of Pastors” tab in the header menu.