The Archives of the Archdiocese of St. Louis collects, preserves and makes available the historical records of the Archdiocese, its offices, missions, parishes, and schools. The Archives are the official repository for the records of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and serves as the memory of the established Catholic Church in the region. Archives and Records supports the larger mission of the Archdiocese by identifying, collecting, organizing, preserving, and providing access to all historically and canonically significant, non-current documents, artifacts and other works of enduring value. Through its holdings, the Archives documents evidence of the work and activities of the Archdiocese, its parishes, agencies, institutions and people. In addition to paper collections, the Archives maintains the sacramental records of all closed parishes; and provides access to researchers as permitted by Code of Canon law, civil law and conservation considerations. Materials are properly cared for in a climate-controlled environment.
The Archives and Records Office also provides records management expertise to assist offices in recording and preserving the information necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. The Archives provides guidance and professional support in identifying records of enduring and historical value.
Code of Canon Law 486 P1 states that "All documents pertaining to the diocese or theparishes should be kept with the greatest of care". Code of Canon Law 486 P.2 goes on to say that "In every curia there should be established, in a safe place, a diocesan archives or repository, in which materials and documents dealing with diocesan affairs, both spiritual and temporal, should be arranged in a certain order and carefully arranged".
Archival records are, in the strictest sense of the word, unique as they are the original documents produced in the conduct of diocesan business. While all records do not have enduring value, those that do are transferred to the custody of the Archives based on predetermined retention schedules, independent of media type. The Archdiocesan Archives has the responsibility to secure the custody of these records, to organize and safeguard them and to administer them in accordance with civil and canon law.
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