Pam Byers Memorial Collection | Presbyterian Historical Society

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Pam Byers Memorial Collection

April 25, 2022

In 2016, PHS began collecting records in memory of Pam Byers—the first Executive Director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians—to document fully all sides and perspectives on the forty-year movement for ordination and marriage rights in the PC(USA). Through her generosity, faith, and commitment to justice, Pam McLucas Byers united Presbyterians across the theological spectrum in conversations about the rights of LGBTQIA+ Presbyterians.

We’re thrilled to announce that PHS has fully incorporated the important work we began in 2016 into our mission through the Pam Byers Memorial Collection.

In January 2022, we welcomed Processing Archivist Nick Skaggs to the PHS staff. Nick will continue the work to process the personal papers, organizational records, oral histories, and audio-visual materials that make up the Pam Byers Memorial Collection. Visitors to the PBMC web page can stay up-to-date on recent additions to the collection as well as access stories and videos that lift the voices of those who advocated for a more inclusive church.

This year, PHS will partner with the Covenant Network of Presbyterians to celebrate the organization’s 25th anniversary. Visit their website to find out how the organization Pam Byers helped lead continues to seek an equity still not fully realized for LGBTQIA+ people in church and society. You can access PHS's Guide to the Covenant Network of Presbyterians Records here



Collection Progress

In January 2020, we shared that, since September 2018, PHS had added and processed 11 collections to the PBMC.

These collections included the papers of David Sindt, the founder of Presbyterians for Gay Concerns; the papers of David Colby, who chaired the Covenant Network’s Strategy and Local Organizing Committee during the ratification campaigns for ordination and marriage; and the papers of Greg Partridge who edited the newsletter for That All May Freely Serve. Additionally, a number of oral histories were added to the LGBTQIA+ History collection in Pearl Digital Collections.

Presbyterian organizations preparing to walk in Chicago's Pride Parade, 1998. [Pearl ID: 153426]

A more recent update, shared by Digital Collections Specialist Allison Davis in December 2021, reported that additional digital items had been collected:

"As part of our Pam Byers Memorial Collection, we asked Presbyterian congregations and other worshipping communities to share their stories of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. Thirty-one congregations responded, providing videos and audio recordings of sermons and worship services that focused on past celebrations of Pride and of the historic celebration in 2021. Items from this Pride Month collection are now viewable in Pearl."

LGBTQIA+ memorial at St Johns Pressbyterian, San Francisco, CA, 2021


Learn more about the Pam Byers Memorial Collection here.

Contact the Reference Desk through email if you have materials to donate to the PBMC.

You can support this ongoing work by visiting our Give page here