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Parish and School Resources


Parish Archive Researcher Best Practices

Parishes have a wealth of fascinating historical documents within their parish archives and are occasionally consulted by a variety of researchers.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.

Photograph Reproduction Information

Copies are permitted for private study, scholarship, or research use only. Materials used for publication in any medium must be approved by the Archivist and a separate Permission to Publish Agreement must be signed.

Researchers may request Archives staff to produce copies using a photocopier machine or creating a digital image with a flatbed scanner. Nominal fees may be requested to offset resources used to produce these images. Fees may be paid by cash or check.
            Fees for paper copies: $0.25/page
            Fees for digital images (CD or Email): $5.00/image

The archives reserves the right to refuse the copying of materials in its collections based on privacy rights and collection restriction notices.

The researcher agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Archives and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of archive materials.

Please contact the archivists with any questions.

Records Retention Guidelines

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.

Sacramental Records Request

Sacramental records are released only to individuals who received the sacrament, to requesting parishes, or to parents of minor children. If the record you are requesting is not found in the Archives, you will be notified of other possible locations or referred to other repositories. (N.B.: If you do not know where you were baptized, please contact the parish where you were confirmed. Confirmation records often contain baptismal information. If you married in a Catholic Church, contact that parish for baptismal information contained in the marriage record.)

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

Amy Nelson, MLIS
Associate Director of Archives and Records Management

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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