Welcome to the Archives and Records Office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. This office is the official repository for the records of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. It serves as the memory of the established Catholic Church in this area. Archives and Records is centrally located at the Cardinal Rigali Center where materials are properly cared for in a climate-controlled environment. Archives and Records supports the larger mission of the Archdiocese through the following mission.
As the Archdiocese of St. Louis is called by our Lord Jesus Christ to be His Church and live His gospel, the Archives and Records Office is called to be a responsible steward of Church records. Archives & Records provides a professional repository that identifies and collects, organizes and preserves, and provides access to all historically and canonically significant, non-current documents, artifacts and other works of enduring value pertaining to the operation of the Archdiocese, its parishes, agencies, institutions and people. This office maintains the sacramental records of all closed parishes. Archives and Records makes available and extends its materials to researchers as permitted by canon law, civil law and conservation considerations.
The Archives and Records Office exists first and foremost for its usefulness to the archdiocesan administration. It is the primary purpose of the archives and records function to assist the Archbishop, Chancery, and all offices and agencies of the Archdiocese with the information necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. As the corporate archives of the Archdiocese, Archives and Records receive deposits from the various agencies, ministries and parishes as well as the chancery. The Archives assists units identify records of enduring value, historical information in the making, obtain access to historical records and organize files to maximize space and optimize the time necessary to retrieve information.
Baptism and marriage records of the Roman Catholic Church are iterative. The baptism register typically includes not only baptism information but confirmation, marriage, religious vows and holy orders. Marriage records include subsequent annulment information. Canon 535 currently requires each parish to permanently retain baptism, confirmation, marriage and death registers. The Statutes of the Archdiocese of St. Louis require the retention of the First Communion register. The Archives and Records staff update the registers of closed parishes and issue current certificates to individuals named in the records of closed parishes. Sacramental Records 1930 and prior are considered historical records and do not require a signed release from the person named in the record, to obtain a copy.
Historical Research and Genealogy
Archives and Records makes the heritage of the Archdiocese of St. Louis available to historical researchers within the guidelines of civil and canon law. The Archives and Records staff view genealogical research as a legitimate and important effort in assisting individuals to place themselves and their families within the context of the history of the church. Staff will assist researchers within the constraints of available financial, equipment, space and staff resources. The Archives and Records is committed to the promotion of education, exhibit and other outreach activities. In so doing, Archives and Records strives to promote the study and understanding of local church history and traditions within the context of the larger American culture. I hope you will take the time to explore the resources available and to learn more about our programs and services. We value your comments and suggestions.
Thank you for visiting the Archives and Records Office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
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