The archives of the Orthodox Church in America contain materials from the beginning to the present. They include such items as personal and business correspondence, office files, reports, diaries, literary and other manuscripts, financial records and account books, documents, autographs, and photographs. The total collection is in ca. 800 document cases, 15.25 x 10.5 x 5 in., with almost 20 additional filing cabinets full of material in need of sorting.
A breakdown of the correspondence shows the following holdings: with the Holy Synod and Imperial government in tsarist times; with local and diocesan church officials in this country; with other, ethnic Orthodox Churches (e.g., the Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, and Syrian); with American government agencies, including the Interior Department, 1870present; with or about Russians and other ethnic groups immigrating to the U.S.
Among Church records are resolutions dating from 1840; diaries and reports concerning early explorations, missionary activities, and the establishment of the church in America; financial records from around 1885; church calendars and yearbook directories from ca. 1905 on; and titles to church properties in Alaska. Official church journals in the collection include Tserkovniya Vedomosti, 1870–1917, replies of diocesan hierarchs about proposed church reforms, 6 vols., 1905–1906, journals of the Russian Theological Academies, 1870present, and the Russian-American Messenger, 1898–1974. In addition, there are proclamations—printed for original distribution and promulgation—of Alexander II (freeing the serfs in 1861) and Nicholas II (establishing the fundamental laws of 1905–1906), plus other Imperial manifestos and edicts.
The collection holds materials from or about the following persons: Metropolitan Innokenty; Archbishop Tikhon Bellavin (of North America and Canada, 1897–1907; patriarch of Moscow at his death in 1925); Metropolitan Platon Rozhdestvenskii (d. 1934); Professor Michael M. Karpovich of Harvard; the composer Sergei V. Rachmaninoff; Ambassador Boris Bakhmetev; Colonel S. Obolensky; and Metropolitan Leonty (formerly Fr. Leonid Turkevich). Permission to use the archives must come from the archivist, Serge G. Troubetzkoy, at the above address. About 50% of the holdings has been catalogued at present, on ca. 11,000 general index cards.