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Records Retention Guidelines

The Records Retention Guidelines for Parish and School Records were prepared in response to parishes’ and schools' needs to establish control over routine records and to preserve records of permanent value.

Records Retention Guidelines

The purpose of the Records Retention Guidelines for Parish and School Records is to ensure parish and school records are retained for as long as legally, historically, or operationally necessary, thereby providing a record of what the parish and/or school has done to serve the people of the parish and community. This guide underwent a major revision in 2020 and combined several different retention schedules into one definitive document. 

Canon 535 mandates that each parish is to have a storage area to house sacramental registers and historical documents as a parish archive. The goal of any archive is to collect, preserve, and organize these historical documents. In the event of a parish merger, the new parish assumes responsibility of the records of the former parish(es) until arrangements can be made to transfer the records to the Archdiocesan Archives.

Parish and Schools Records Retention Guidelines

Shelly Taylor, MA, MLIS
Director of Archives and Records Management

Amy Lisinski, MLIS
Associate Director of Archives and Records Management

Archives Assistant

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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

3501 South Lake Drive
PO Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912

Phone:  (414) 769-3300
Toll-Free: (800) 769-9373
Fax:  (414)  769-3408