The LWF Archives - The Memory of the Institution
and its Member Churches
A matter of life and death! - Your archives.
Do archives matter as much as all that? Yes! For the past of an Association without records is a "dead past," dead beyond resurrection. Lost records mean "loss of memory," loss of sense of direction.
Ruth Rouse, YWCA Monthly, June 1943
Shortly after the LWF's founding Assembly in Lund, Sweden, in 1947, a Committee on History started exploring ways and means to establish permanent archives for the LWF. In the years that followed, the issue of archives stayed on the agenda of the LWF Executive Committee. Finally, in 1957, a German archivist was invited to Geneva to set up permanent archives. He introduced an archival system and organized the documents that had accumulated since 1945 when a representative of the Lutheran World Convention (LWC), the forerunner of the LWF, set up office in Geneva.
To document LWF activities and events, theological debate, Lutheran cooperation, and developments in the Lutheran Communion worldwide. Other roles include:
- facilitating and stimulating research;
- assisting staff and visiting researchers;
- liaising with Lutheran archives and libraries.
The LWF Archives hold approximately 885 linear meters of archives:
LWF (1947 to date)
1957 LWF Third Assembly in Minneapolis, USA
- Records of LWF governing bodies
- Correspondence (hard copy)
- LWF publications and reports, periodicals and newsletters
- Clippings, biography files
- Audio-visuals (films, slides, photos, videos, sound tapes, cassettes)
- Databank on resolutions by LWF governing bodies
Lutheran World Convention
- Agendas/Minutes of the Executive Committee 1923-46
- Correspondence 1945-47
The Executive Committee of the Lutheran World Convention met in July 1946 in Uppsala, Sweden, to prepare for the Lund Assembly and the birth of the LWF.
The archives are open to staff and to approved and announced visiting scholars and students carrying out research assignments. There is access to a library, reading room, finding aids, and inventories. Fax, e-mail, and computer links facilitate service to external users. Our research records show that in the last decade approximately 130 themes have been the object of research or inquiry. The LWF website may in the future offer online search of archival information. We welcome the exchange of information and cooperation with other archives.
Click below for a list of publications, printed reports and documents kept in the LWF archives:
LWF Archives location and mailing address:
150, route de Ferney
P.O. Box 2100
CH-1211 Geneva 2
Tel. +41/22-791 63 60
Fax: +41/22-791 66 30