Archives & Research
Archives & Research
The Archives of the R.C. Archdiocese of St. John's (ARCASJ) collects, preserves, and makes available to the public the historical records documenting the growth and development of Catholicism in Newfoundland with a particular emphasis on within the Archdiocese of St. John's.
It is the responsibility of the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. John's under Canon Law (the law of the Church) to maintain a diocesan archives where documents concerning the spiritual and temporal affairs of this diocese are stored. The purpose for maintaining the archives Is to centralize, organize, preserve, protect and make available the records and materials which pertain to the origin, history, spirit, and growth of the Archdiocese. Where applicable, Canon Law shall govern the maintenance, organization and preservation, or use of the Archdiocesan Archives. Where Canon Law does not apply approved policies set out in the Policies and Procedures manual adopted in April 1994 shall govern.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John's was erected as a Vicariate Apostolic by Pope Pius VI on December 5,1795. This new Vicariate was placed under the care of Reverend James O'Donel, O.F.M., who was later to become the first Bishop of Newfoundland. In June 1847, St. John's was established as a Diocese. Internal evidence suggests that the Reverend Michael Howley, the first native-born Bishop of the Archdiocese was instrumental in laying the foundation of the Archdiocesan Archives. He was a renowned historian, writer, lecturer, poet and people's advocate who preserved not only his own papers, but the papers and documents of the earlier Catholic Bishops in Newfoundland.
Areas of Specialty
The Archdiocesan Archives is the main repository for the historical and contemporary documents of the Roman Catholic Church in Newfoundland.
The holdings of the Archdiocesan Archives are divided into the following categories:
* Papers of the Bishops (1784-2001) * Clergy Files * Estates and Wills * Parishes of the Archdiocese
* Vatican Publications * Educational Records and Reports * The Monitor (1934-1996) * Photographs * Parish Baptism, Marriage and Mortuary Records (1763-1850) * Architectural descriptions and blueprints.
A guide to the collections of the Archives is available to researchers for examination at the Archives, upon request. Finding aids are available for processed collections.