Access policies to the Archives are based on the following principles:
1. As authorized by Canon Law, the Archivist serves under the Chancellor as the Archbishop's representative and liaison in the establishment of archival policies.
2. Access policies are developed with sensitivity for the principles of both right to know and confidentiality. This is to ensure compliance with provincial and federal legislation and archival practices to guarantee the existence of materials for future researchers.
3. Access is restricted for a period of time under Canada's Personal Information Protection legislation:
- Birth registrations are available after 100 years
- Marriage registrations are available after 75 years
4. Researchers are not permitted to come to the Archives to research for genealogical records without first submitting a baptismal or marriage record request form. Once the form is submitted, one of the Archives staff will do the initial research. If further research is required, records may only be accessed with an Archive staff member present. The reason for this is the protection of other people’s privacy.
5. Access is restricted under the Canadian Catholic Archivist Protocol. Arch/Bishop’s Records maybe available to the public after a period of seventy (70) years. However, documents considered confidential in nature may remain confidential indefinitely. Prior to seventy (70) years, permission must be sought from the Chancellor in writing.
6. Some collections are permanently restricted. Some materials, however, may be sequestered from common viewing for a certain period of time; these may include, but are not limited to sacramental, Arch/Bishop, and other records. They will be made available in a scheduled manner in keeping with professionally appraised criteria and canonical requirements. Other obligations may arise as a result of contractual stipulations through Deeds of Gifts, wills or sales arrangements.
7. Access to the archives and records is open to all qualified researchers regardless of race or creed. The guiding principle is equal access for anyone with legitimate interests in the documentation.
8. Questions on access policies to individual collections or series may be directed to the archivist or discovered through a written policy such as the Access Agreement, which is available in the Archives and Records Office and on this webpage.
9. Access is granted to researchers through which you must sign an agreement of compliance in which the use of rules of the Archdiocesan Archives and Records, including the acceptance of normal policies and procedures. Researchers with problems or complaints should first voice their concerns to the archivist. Any unresolved difficulties may be brought to the Chancellor or ultimately to the Archbishop.
10. The Archives of the Archdiocese of St. John’s does not hold any Death records.
Archives & Research
200 Military Road
St. John’s, NL A1C 2E8
Tel: (709) 726-3660
Fax: (709) 726-8021
T: (709) 726-3660 | ext. 223
Located on the west side of the Basilica.
The entrance to the main office and reception is in the lane between the Basilica and the original Bishop's residence.