Director: Gordon Heath, BTh, MDiv (Honours), PhD
Archivist: Adam McCulloch, BTh, MA, MLIS
Due to COVID-19, McMaster Divinity College and the Canadian Baptist Archives are no longer open to the public. The archives is not accepting any new research or information requests at this time, as the archivist will be primarily working from home until further notice.
Genealogical Research Policy
The Canadian Baptist Archives collects local church records for congregations affiliated with Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec (CBOQ), which was formerly known as the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec (BCOQ).
Due to our limited hours of operation, the CBA does not perform genealogical research for patrons. Genealogists need to make an appointment with the archivist in order to have access to records in the archives, as this allows the archivist to ensure that there are relevant records available before any appointments are made. Patrons that cannot come to the archives in person will need to hire a professional researcher to do this work for them.
To make an appointment please contact the archives at firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian Baptist Historical Society
For information about the Canadian Baptist Historical Society, click here.
McMaster Divinity College provides space for the Canadian Baptist Archives and administers the collection. These archives are now the largest collection of their kind in Canada. The archives and library include records of local churches, organizations and institutions, plus personal papers of prominent Baptists. A library of Baptistiana totaling 3000 volumes is maintained in support of the primary documentation.
An Overview of the Archive’s Contents
Several hundred Baptist congregations have deposited their original records in the Archives, which also contains the official records of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec, Union d’Eglises Baptist Francaises au Canada, and other organizations. Special collections include documents for the Plymouth Brethren, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and British Christianity. Additional materials include theses, dissertations, pamphlets, periodicals, and personal papers and biographical material of pastors, missionaries and educators.
A Brief History
Baptists in Ontario and Quebec established an historical collection in 1865 when the Canadian Baptist Historical Society was founded. This early society actively solicited memoirs and church records for the next five years before it appears to have ceased its efforts. The mandate for the present collection of the Canadian Baptist Archives is derived directly from the constitution of that early attempt to preserve the history and the records of Canadian Baptists.
By 1912, an Historical Committee was once again seeking records of churches, associations and the BCOQ. Books and pamphlets by Baptists and or, or against, Baptists were sought for the Convention Historical Collection. After World War 2, the Historical Committee saw a need for more deliberate cataloguing of material received. Professor Gaylord P. Albaugh served as curator of the collection from 1947 to 1958. In 1961, the name of the Collection was changed to the Canadian Baptist Historical Collections, and in 1971, it acquired the current designation, Canadian Baptist Archives. Currently, the collection is supervised by the Director of the Canadian Baptist Archives as an employee of the Divinity College, and staffed with a part-time archivist and student assistants.