Policies, services, and fees

The Inglenook books in the Brethren Historical Library and Archives
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford


Services and fees*

1. Hours
The Brethren Historical Library and Archives (BHLA) is open to the public, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  Those coming to BHLA should call in advance, since BHLA has only one employee and is closed when that person is out of town.  There is no charge for doing research at BHLA, except for the cost of photocopies and other types of reproductions.

2. Noncirculating collection
BHLA does not loan books or archival records.  This policy was established by the Brethren Historical Committee.  Because BHLA serves as the historical library for the denomination, it cannot take the chance of losing items which are irreplaceable. 

3. Reference requests
BHLA responds to reference requests (concerning Church of the Brethren beliefs and history) received by mail, phone, e-mail, or fax, provided the requests do not require extensive research.  Patrons needing to do in-depth research should plan to come onsite to use the collection.

4. Genealogical research
There is a charge of $25.00 per hour for time spent responding to genealogical requests.  The minimum payment is $12.50, with a maximum of two hours per request.  Please do not send payment in advance.  A bill will be sent on completion of the project.  Contact BHLA for additional information about its genealogical research policies.

5. Photocopies
Photocopies are $ .15 per page. There is a maximum of 100 photocopies per day.  At the discretion of the staff, photocopying of certain items may be denied due to the fragile condition of the original materials or copyright laws.

6. Obituary copies
Copies of obituaries are $2.00 each if the citation (name of periodical, issue, and page) are provided.  If no citation is provided, the cost is $4.00 each.  Obituaries have been published in Brethren periodicals since 1851.  Most of the obituaries in these periodicals, including all of the obituaries published in Gospel Messenger, have been indexed by BHLA.

7. Scans
Scans of documents are $.15 per page (PDF format). Scans of photos are $.50 per photo (JPG format)

8. Postage
Patrons are to reimburse BHLA for the actual cost of postage for each mailing. 

9. Fees for other services
Fees for reproducing videos, slides, cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tapes, architectural drawings, etc. will be investigated on request.  All such orders will include a service charge equal to 10% of the cost of the order, with a minimum of $5.00 per order.

11. Tours
BHLA will provide tours of its facilities for groups visiting the Church of the Brethren General Offices.  Unique items in the collection are highlighted on such tours.  Please call in advance to make arrangements for a tour.

*All of the above fees became effective February 28, 2023 and are subject to change without notice.