Archives Policy & Procedure

North Pacific Yearly Meeting

Archives Policy & Procedure


  • To gather and preserve materials relating to the history and development of North Pacific Yearly Meeting. These records should include proceedings that are significant in the light of history and reveal trends or problems of our times which are of concern to Friends

  • To act as a resource to Friends seeking information about the history of North Pacific Yearly Meeting


  • If available, review report from previous year’s Archivist and note recommended changes.

  • Contact newly appointed Coordinating Committee and Presiding Clerks to inform them of the types of documents that should be copied for the Archives. Also discuss with the Clerks which documents should be saved in the Clerk’s files.

  • Receive, organize and store documents submitted under Collection Policy, as part of the Yearly Meeting Archives.

  • Ensure the accessibility of the Yearly Meeting Archives

  • Serve as historian for inquiries regarding North Pacific Yearly Meeting’s procedures and actions. Help interested people find needed materials.

  • Transfer every one to three years to the Oregon Historical Society Archives the materials listed above after checking that no anticipated records are missing.

  • Arrange for deposit of Annual Session, Steering Committee (through February 2009) and Coordinating Committee (after February 2009) minutes in Quaker history collections at Haverford, Swarthmore, Guilford and Earlham colleges.

  • Prepare a report/evaluation for the Archivist files. Send a copy to the Coordinating Committee and Presiding Clerks on or before September 21. This report should include information useful to next year’s Archivist (what worked, what didn’t) and any changes that should be made in the job or job description.

Archives Collection Policy:

[adapted from “The New England Yearly Meeting Archives: an Introduction to the Collection”.

This policy describes the types of records which the North Pacific Yearly Meeting Archives will collect, store, and make available. All official records of the Yearly Meeting or any of its subordinate meetings are the legal property of the creating body. Any records of quarterly and monthly meetings remain the legal property of those meetings, but upon being sent to the Archives are to be considered on permanent deposit there. The following record types are collected by the North Pacific Yearly Meeting Archives.

Minutes of Meetings for Business

The Archive collects minutes for

  • the Annual Session of North Pacific Yearly Meeting,

  • NPYM’s Steering Committee (through February 2009) and Coordinating Committee (after February 2009), and

  • other NPYM Committees when they deal with policy recommendations or significantly modify procedures of the committee or the Yearly Meeting.

Format: Most of these documents are generated electronically, and should be submitted in this form to the Archivist, who should print them out onto archival paper for filing and save the electronic form as directed by the Electronic Documents Policy. All documents should include the date of origin, the originating group, and (where appropriate) the author or authors. This information may be included as a cover sheet (hard copy) or as metadata (digital copy).

Submission: Recording clerks should send electronic copies of these documents to the Archivist as soon as they are accepted by the appropriate body. Submitted documents should include all attachments.

Other Yearly Meeting Records

The Archive collects

  • Correspondence of the Clerks with monthly meetings or other groups on concerns, and referrals from Steering Committee (through February 2009) and Coordinating Committee (after February 2009) to other groups

  • Annual Session records: names of organizers, blank copies of registration forms (including titles and leaders of interest groups, costs, etc.), all epistles sent and received (including epistles from Junior Friends, Central Friends, etc.), State of Society reports, memorial minutes, budget documents, and reports from clerks of committees, both standing and ad hoc.

  • Official annual reports of Clerks of Steering/Coordinating committees, Treasurer, Budget Committee, Discipline Committee, and annual census

Vital Records:

Vital records (membership, marriages, births, deaths) are to be kept by Monthly Meetings.

Other Monthly Meeting Records:

Other records to be kept by monthly meetings and worship groups include:

  • Documents generated by business, e.g. building papers, legal papers

  • Minutes

  • Newsletters that cover most of the action

  • Material received that is acted upon

  • Special letters sent to your group by another body

  • Directories

  • Informal records of gatherings (date and label them!)

  • Pictures (date and label them!)

[memo from Carol Uhte, NPYM Archivist, October 22, 1986]

Committee Records:

Committee minutes are collected for all NPYM Committees. Committee minutes of non-NPYM bodies are collected only as they relate directly to NPYM.

Financial Records:

The Archives collects financial records only as dictated by legal requirements.

Printed Material:

The Archives generally does not collect printed materials unless they are published by NPYM. This includes books, pamphlets, serials, magazines and journals. [Western Friend is available at George Fox, Whittier, Haverford and Swarthmore colleges.]

Personal Papers

Personal papers are not generally collected, but there are exceptions. If the papers were generated in the course of official Yearly Meeting activity, and do not duplicate items already archived, they may be accepted. This includes correspondence and notes.

The papers of Yearly Meeting clerks are actively solicited; after processing, duplicate minutes of committees will be discarded, but correspondence and important notes will be retained. The working papers of other Yearly Meeting officials and staff may be accepted.

Photographs, Slides, Videorecordings (VHS, DVD)

Unidentified photographs, slides or videorecordings are not collected by the Archives. The Archives does collect photographs, slides and videorecordings of identified meeting houses, members and Yearly Meeting events.

Electronic Records Policy


The Archives accepts electronic records which meet the following requirements:

  • Their content must fall within a category listed in the Archives Collection Policy.

  • They must either come with their own software or be accessible through software used by the Archives.

  • Their format must be compatible with hardware used by the Archives.


Until a standard for permanent storage of electronic files is widely adopted, the Archivist will print out a paper copy of each electronic document and file it in a safe place.

Electronic copies will be stored in the most secure manner available at a reasonable cost.

Further Policy Development

The Archivist will establish and maintain a file of “Best Practices” available for curating electronic documents. An example of such resources is “Digital Curation” A How-To-Do-It Manual” by Ross Harvey, with an online checklist available at: The Archivist will consult this file at regular intervals and review its contents and the links to which they point for new or revised ideas that may be applied to the further development of this policy.


Preservation Standards and Procedures

[adapted from “Manual for Peace Organizations on Standards for Record Keeping”, Suggestions from the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, revised June 1983, and “Guide to the Care of Monthly Meeting Records”, Records Committee, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting]

  • Remove all metal paper clips when clearing files for annual storage. Instead, use metal staples, preferably of brass wire, or plastic clips.

  • Avoid rubber bands except for temporary use. They eventually deteriorate and stick to any paper that they touch.

  • Do not use scotch tape, library tape, or mucilage or glue in any form that is not water soluble on papers that are intended for future reference.

  • If possible, use acid-free (“archival”) paper for important records and keep files in acid-free folders.

  • Be very cautious about punching holes in any important paper.

  • Avoid legal-size paper sheets. These present serious filing difficulties.

  • Pictures, clippings and related items should be photocopied before they deteriorate.


Storage Locations

[adapted from report by Carl Abbott to NPYM Steering Committee, October 19, 1996]



Available for quick access by the Archivist

Complete Steering/Coordinating Committee minutes

Complete Annual Session minutes

Recent Annual Session planning notebooks

Oregon Historical Society (available on one week’s notice; some of the materials have been transferred to microfilm by OHS)

1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205

(503) 222-1741

Complete Steering/Coordinating Committee minutes

Complete Annual Session minutes

Old committee files and Annual Session materials

Complete run of Friends Bulletin/Western Friend

Quaker History collections: Guilford, Haverford, Swarthmore Colleges

Guilford: 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro NC 27410, (336)316-2000

Haverford: 370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford PA 19041 (610)896-1000

Swarthmore: 500 College Ave, Swarthmore PA 19081 (610) 328-8496

Complete Steering/Coordinating Committee minutes

Complete Annual Session minutes