Any requests for documents must be made by mail to Thomas Lester. The mailing address can be found in the upper left of this page.
The new Code of Canon Law features several canons which mandate the need for an Archives on both the parish and diocesan levels. Canon 486.2 states that "there is to be established in a safe place a diocesan archive...in which the instruments and writings which refer to both the spiritual and temporal affairs of the diocese, properly arranged and diligently secured, are to be safeguarded." In keeping with this stipulation, and also the 1974 Document on Ecclesiastical Archives published by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Archdiocese of Boston has committed itself to the operation of a professionally-managed Archives.
The Archdiocesan Archives exists to collect, preserve, and make available all records of significant value which pertain to the Catholic Church in Boston. It is regarded by many as a dependable resource for those interested in the history and culture of Catholicism in Boston and New England as a whole.
As a private institutional archives, our first duty is to the Archdiocese of Boston -- the Archbishop and Chancery. Some records may have access restrictions imposed by Canon Law and local policy. Accomodations can be made for visits by historical and genealogical researchers, by appointment only.
This Web Site is provided as a service to assist researchers in their preliminary inquiries to the Archives. It is not a substitute for a visit to the Archives, but will aid the researcher in determining the potential success of a visit.
The Archives is open to requests for:
Official Sacramental Records
Transfer of records to Archives (Call to make arrangements)
Appointments to visit the Archives are required to be scheduled in advance. The Pastoral Center has strict security procedures and pre-scheduled visits are required. Please call the Archives to arrange an appointment.
Because of internal restructuring/staff reductions some services may be restricted and response time for mail requests may take upward of three months.