Developing the collection

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The archive will not seek to represent any particular sectarian or other viewpoint in its acquisition of books, records, and periodicals, but to reflect as objectively as possible all aspects of the Brethren's past and present. 

All books, records and periodicals are accepted regardless of date. Records are accepted in every format, whether manuscript, printed or machine-readable. 

The Christian Brethren Archive's collecting policy seeks to show due consideration and respect for the acquisition policies of other institutions at local, national and international levels. The archive seeks to acquire copies and facsimiles of documents in private hands that relate closely to its own holdings. Where possible the Archive will enter into reciprocal relationships for the exchange of photocopies of unique materials. The main emphasis is on the collection of English language materials. 

The collecting policy builds upon the existing subject strengths of the Archive in relation to the history and development of the Brethren as outlined above. It is consolidated by purchase, gift and loan. 

The subject areas that are actively sought in order to develop the Christian Brethren Archive include:

  • Publications, papers and archives which develop and augment the breadth and depth of the Library's holdings relating to prominent Brethren thinkers and evangelists, especially those evangelizing in other countries.
  • Publications, papers and archives relating to individual Brethren congregations, especially those which have closed recently, or are about to close.
  • Publications, papers and archives of Brethren support organizations.
  • Publications, papers and archives relating to Brethren history and historiography.
  • Publications, papers, archives, and ephemera relating to divisions and exclusions among Brethren groups.

Purchases, gifts and loans

Donations of books, periodicals and magazines will be accepted by the Archive. 

Donations of records will be accepted subject to: 

  • The signing or a donation agreement,

or if this is not acceptable to the donor: 

  • The signing of a permanent loan agreement.

Discarding materials

The Archive reserves the right to dispose of materials inappropriate to our collection. 

Options include: 

  • Returning materials to donors
  • Offering collections to other institutions
  • Exchanging duplicate books, pamphlets and magazines with other institutions or private collectors in order to fill gaps in the collection.


The archive seeks to acquire books, periodicals and record material free of charge wherever possible. It is recognized that books, particularly recent publications, may need to be purchased. The archive has a small budget for such acquisitions. 

The archive, although attached to the Special Collections Division of the University of Manchester Library, is funded by private donations. The funding currently enables the archive to employ the CBA archivist. The day to day administrative expenses of the archive are covered by the Library, and the archive's books and periodicals are catalogued by the Library's cataloguing staff.

The archive seeks to increase the funding for staffing the archive. It will do this by identifying and approaching potential donors.