Purpose & Objectives

To assure that minutes, membership records, manuscripts, and other suitable documents of New York Yearly Meeting, its constituent regional and local meetings, and the predecessor meetings (now laid down) are preserved.

To make these records accessible to the meetings and to individuals or groups doing historical and genealogical research.

Custody of the Records

At New York Representative Meeting Fourth Month 8, 1995, Friends approved transfer of the minutes and other archives then preserved in the Haviland Records Room, 15 Rutherford Place, New York NY 10003, to the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College, 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081, contingent on microfilming the documents and making the microfilms accessible in libraries located within the confines of New York Yearly Meeting. During 1997, transfer of the records was accomplished. As of Twelfth Month 31, 1997, the Haviland Records Room was closed and the part-time services of the Keeper of the Records were discontinued.

Beginning in 1998, all permanent records of the Yearly Meeting and its constituent meetings are to be maintained by Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College. Friends Historical Library agrees that ownership of the documents is retained by the originating meeting or its successor and that such documents will be released to the owners upon proper authorization. (See Access to Records.)

Functions & Activities

The Records Committee is responsible for establishing guidelines for recordkeeping in all meetings and for facilitating timely deposit of minutes, membership registers, and other selected documents in Friends Historical Library.

The committee monitors transmission of records to Friends Historical Library and the microfilm-ing of the records. It maintains up-to-date information about access to the records in the custody of Friends Historical Library and of microfilms at depository libraries within the confines of the Yearly Meeting. (See Access to Records.)

The committee provides Membership Sheets and makes them available to monthly meetings for registration of individual members.

The committee is responsible for seeing that copies of the Yearbook, containing the printed minutes of Summer, Fall, and Spring Sessions and are signed by the concurrent clerks, bound in hard covers, and made part of the permanent records deposited in Friends Historical Library.

The committee encourages meetings to preserve significant documents, such as memorial minutes, tape recordings of addresses, talks about local Quaker history, and transcripts of oral history interviews. Meetings may appoint historians to do research on the local history of Friends and develop collections of documents, and to record voice tapes of interviews with members and videotapes of events.

Organization & Method of Appointment

The Yearly Meeting appoints four to six members for a term of three years upon recommendation of the Nominating Committee, about one-third of them being appointed each year.

The committee names its own clerk and recorder.

Meeting Times & Places

Meetings are convened at Summer Sessions and sometimes at Fall and Spring Sessions. An all-day meeting is usually held in the fall. Other meetings may be convened at the call of the clerk.


The activities of the committee are supported by a line item in the Operating Budget of the Yearly Meeting. The amount of the budget and justification for it is subject to approval by the General Services Coordinating Committee.

The Yearly Meeting Operating Budget also includes an item for annual support of Friends Historical Library, to be used toward maintenance of the Yearly Meeting archives.

Income from the Irving B. Rymph Fund and the John Cox Jr. , Memorial Fund held by the Yearly Meeting Trustees is contributed to the Friends Historical Library.