District Archives

Archival Mission Statement

Our archival mission is to collect, preserve, and make available institutional records about the history, administration, congregations and people of the Michigan District, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The Lutheran church in Michigan has a rich history to preserve; what a blessing that our district finds its preservation an important task.

The archive maintains a collection of historical materials for the Michigan District, including proceedings from past district conventions, minutes of district board meetings, financial reports, personal papers and correspondence, past issues of the Michigan Lutheran & Michigan in Touch, photographs, and files on significant events in Michigan congregations.

Archive Resources and Tools

Start a Congregational Archive (pdf) – Position description, Supplies, environment, Methods

Finding Records (pdf) – Official Acts, School Records, Office Records

125th Anniversary Booklet – “A Commemorative History” (pdf) – Booklet prepared for the 125th Anniversary of the Michigan District, June 2006 by Dr. Barbara Laughlin Adler, Archivist for the Michigan District, LCMS

Archive Location, Access and Use

The archive is located in a secured room in the Zimmerman Library on the campus of Concordia University in Ann Arbor. Access is by appointment only. Congregational historians sometimes use the archive to find information for anniversary booklets or celebrations.

The Michigan District Archive does not maintain family history records, or congregational records of official acts. These records may be found in other locations:

  • Baptismal, Marriage, or Burial records can usually be found at the appropriate congregation, or in the case of disbanded congregations, at the Concordia Historical Institute in St. Louis. For congregations that have merged, records should be available at the continuing parish.
  • Michigan District school records, including transcripts from Lutheran High East, can be found at Lutheran High Northwest. Their phone number is 248.852.6677.

Use of the archive for historical research about Michigan District history is welcomed. Access is possible by contacting the district archivist, Barbara Laughlin Adler; she can assist congregations in archival preservation, researching for a major anniversary, or in finding information on Michigan District history.

A booklet of guidelines for congregational archivists is available on request; we ask that each congregation designate an archivist/historian who will be responsible for maintaining the proper environment for congregational records.

Barbara Laughlin Adler, LTD, PhD, Archivist, Michigan District, LCMS  email the archivist.

Kathleen Anne Graham, BS-Library Science, Assistant Archivist