Meet the ELCA Region 3 Archivist

Portrait of a man in a suit smiling.

My name is Paul Daniels.  I serve as the ½ time archivist for the 9 synods of ELCA Region 3 (covering the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota). I also serve as the ½ time archivist for Luther Seminary, where both archival collections are housed, and as curator of the seminary’s sizable art collection.

The ELCA Region 3 Archives is the largest collection of the regional archives network throughout the United States.  The materials date to the 1840s and include over 7,700 biographical files on clergy, lay, women, and men from 1840 to present. We also hold 6,650 files on both open and closed congregations throughout the 3 states of the region. This is a brief listing of collection highlights. There are many more areas, including the records of several predecessor church bodies, represented in the Archives and available for use.

These unique archival materials are heavily used by congregation members, Luther Seminary students, students of other schools, and independent researchers. Since we also hold the official records of each of the 9 synods in Region 3 synod staff members have ready access to their own organizational records.

Besides access to these valuable historical materials, I am happy to assist congregations and individuals with advice on writing an effective congregational history, holding a gratitude-focused church anniversary celebration, learning the basic skills of oral history interviewing, and the critical questions around record keeping in the congregation, sometimes called the “what to keep, what to throw” process.

All of these offerings are available through an online collection of articles entitled, “Ask the Archivist.” Please email me with questions at, or call me at 651.641.3205 (office).  I look forward to assisting you.