Please be sure to review the Information for Researchers page before submitting a research inquiry.
Due to limited staff resources, we generally do not encourage research inquiries via telephone, postal mail, or in person without an appointment. Inquiries should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. (If you have a properly configured email client such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird, simply click on the above email address.) Patrons who do not have an email address can easily sign up for a free account via web-based services such as Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo. Alternatively, patrons can ask a friend, family member, or colleague with an email address to submit an inquiry on their behalf.
Please be sure your inquiry includes the following:
1. Your Name/Location
While a full street address is not necessary, be sure to include your city/state, especially if you live outside of the Gettysburg, PA area and would not be able to visit the Archives if it is necessary to conduct research on materials in our holdings. This will help our staff attempt to identify potential sources in your region where you could possibly obtain the information you are seeking.
2. Name and Location of Congregation(s) or Name of Synod(s)
All of our records are indexed by names of congregations and synods. Thus, it is essential that inquiries include this information. Please note that more than one Lutheran congregation within a particular locality can have the same name (e.g., St. John, St. Paul, Trinity Lutheran, etc.). Therefore, we need as much of the following information as possible to identify the correct church: street address, city/township, county, and state where it is/was located. If researching a synod, only the name of the synod is necessary.
3. Nature of Research
Please be as specific as possible. If known, include the types of records you wish to research, such as parish registers, meeting minutes, reports, correspondence, etc. Also, be sure to include as much of the following information as possible if it is relevant to your research: full names of individuals; known or approximate dates of births, confirmations, marriages, deaths, etc.; name of city/township, county, and state where individuals lived; and names of pastors who performed baptisms, marriages, etc. An example of a well-formed research inquiry is as follows:
- Do your collections include records for the St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Anytown, PA? I am seeking a marriage record for Richard and Jane Roe, married at this church on August 15, 1950. The pastor who performed the ceremony was Rev. John Smith.
Please note that we make every effort to handle research inquiries promptly in the order that we receive them. However, it may take up to one week for us to respond. We appreciate your patience.