The Records Retention Guidelines for Parish Records was prepared in response to parishes’ needs to establish control over routine records and to preserve records of permanent value. The list of records included is lengthy but not definitive. Each parish may have a series of records not mentioned here. Retention periods were devised based on Canon Law, state and federal statutes and practical parish realities. If questions arise regarding records-related issues, please contact the appropriate office at the Archdiocese for additional information.
Parishes have a wealth of fascinating historical documents within their parish archives and are occasionally consulted by a variety of researchers. Each Pastor / Administrator / Parish Director is free to develop their own access policies in regards to their parish archives, but we would suggest the following rules be put into place.
The following rules and policies should apply to anyone who does not work for the parish/school. Every researcher should be expected to adhere to the same set of rules regardless of whether they are an amateur researcher, noted author, or university faculty member.
An online lecture in which the Office for Archives and Records Management introduces some best practices for those parishes considering a parish archive.