The Archdiocesan Archives is an administrative office of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford. Providing service to the Archbishop and the Archdiocesan central administrative offices is the Archives’ first priority.
The Archives also provides service to the Archdiocesan parish administrative offices and the administrative offices of Archdiocesan affiliated institutions and organizations.
As a courtesy, the Archdiocesan Archives provides limited access and assistance to external (non-Archdiocesan administration) researchers only when and if time permits. All requests must be submitted in writing. A fee may apply.
The Archives does not provide assistance with genealogy.
The Archdiocesan Archives is a private repository, not a public research facility. Use of the records and related material held within the Archives is governed by the policies and procedures as set forth in Canon Law and by the Archdiocesan administration. The Archives also adheres to professional Archives standards and current “best practices.” Access to the Archives is by appointment only and at the discretion of the Archivist.
General inquiries may be made by calling or writing the Archives.
For a brief history of the Archdiocesan Archives, click here.
Canon Law: Archives
The Code of Canon Law mandates that an archives be kept on the diocesan level. 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 Canon 486.2 and the 1974 Document on Ecclesiastical Archives, published by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (now the USCCB), the Office of the Archdiocesan Archives was established by Archbishop Whealon in 1976. Since 2001, the Archdiocese of Hartford has committed to operating a professionally managed Archives. Pursuant to Canon 482, the archives are the direct responsibility of the Chancellor, but are administered by the Archivist, who is granted canonical faculties to fulfill this mandate.
The purpose of the Archdiocesan Archives is to collect and preserve official and ancillary records of enduring value, which reflect the work of the Roman Catholic Church throughout the Archdiocese of Hartford.
The primary function of the Archdiocesan Archives is to serve the administrative needs of the Archbishop and the Archdiocesan administration. However, it also seeks to ensure a documentary heritage of the Archdiocese of Hartford and a basis for scholarly research.
The Diocese of Hartford was established in 1843 and elevated to an Archdiocese in 1953.
Prior to 1953, the Diocese of Hartford included all of Connecticut. Today, Connecticut is divided into three dioceses:
Archdiocese of Hartford (est. 1953) (Counties: Hartford, Litchfield, and New Haven, CT)
Diocese of Bridgeport (est. 1953) (Counties: Fairfield, CT)
Diocese of Norwich (est. 1953) (Counties: Middlesex, New London, Tolland, and Windham, CT & Fishers Island, NY)
The Archdiocesan Archives does not hold records (including Sacramental Records) for offices, parishes, and related affiliates now part of the Bridgeport and Norwich dioceses. Please contact the respective dioceses directly for assistance with those records.
The Archdiocesan Archives contains a variety of materials organized in the following Record Groups:
I. Records of the Bishops/Archbishops
II. Records of the Administrative Offices
III. Records of Institutions and Organizations
IV. Records of the Parishes
V. Personal Papers
VI. Audiovisual Materials
Services Of The Archdiocesan Archives
1.) Administrative Services:
For Archdiocesan Administrative Offices, Parish Administrative Offices, and the Administrative Offices of Archdiocesan Affiliate Institutions and Organizations, click here.
2.) Adoption/Orphanage Records:
Please contact Catholic Charities or the State of Connecticut, Department of Children and Families, Office of Foster Care and Adoption Services for assistance.
3.) Cemetery Records:
Please contact the Catholic Cemeteries Association; the parish associated with the cemetery; or the cemetery for assistance.
The Archdiocesan Archives does not provide assistance with genealogy.
For additional information, click here.
For a partial list of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and national repositories that offer genealogical assistance and/or provide access to public records, click here.
5.) Historians and Other Researchers:
THE ARCHIVES IS CURRENTLY CLOSED TO ALL OUTSIDE RESEARCH REQUESTS AND APPOINTMENTS.
The Researcher Request Form is currently unavailable.
Please contact the Archdiocesan Office of Communications for assistance.
For Parish Administrative Office requests, please follow instructions as outlined in Section: Administrative Services(above).
For Parishes preparing anniversary celebrations, writing small parish history (not for major publication), etc., please call the Archives for further information. The Archives maintains minimal resources relating to the parishes. Please review material maintained by the local parish archives prior to contacting the Archdiocesan Archives.
Information on preparing parish histories and/or anniversary books is currently unavailable.
Individuals engaged in writing a professional parish history (for major publication), please follow instructions as outlined in Section: Historians and Other Researchers (above).
8.) Sacramental Records (requests for official purposes only):
The Archdiocese of Hartford does not maintain a centralized database for Sacramental Records. Sacramental Records are maintained by the local parishes, not the Archdiocesan Archives. The Archives will provide assistance in so far as helping individuals, who require Sacramental Records for official reasons only, to determine which parish(es) may house the required records. It is the responsibility of the individual seeking a record to contact the parish(es) directly, not the Archives. The Archives does not provide assistance with genealogy.
On June 29, 2017, a new Archdiocesan-wide Pastoral Plan was instituted. The plan entailed a major reconfiguration of the Archdiocesan parishes. Currently, there are 129 parishes. Sacramental Records reside with the parishes and the Sacramental Records of merged or suppressed parishes reside with the welcoming parish. Sacramental Records for St. Anthony (Ansonia) reside at the Archdiocesan Archives.
Sacraments received at hospitals, schools, or other non-parish locations, please contact the respective institution and/or parish affiliated with the institution for assistance.
To obtain a Sacramental Records (for official purposes only):
Please review the Location Guide: Parishes & Sacramental Records to determine the location of the required record(s).
Please complete the appropriate form below and mail directly to the parish where the Sacramental Record is kept or where the Sacrament was received.
THESE FORMS ARE FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY, NOT FOR GENEALOGY REQUESTS.
The Archives only houses the Sacramental Records for St. Anthony (Ansonia). Please mail appropriate request form(s) directly to the Archives.
If you are unsure of the church/parish, city/town, and/or dates for a Sacramental Record, consult family civil and legal documents; review family address books, letters, scrapbooks, photograph albums, etc.; contact living relatives and friends; and partner with local libraries, city/town hall offices, state vital record offices, and historical societies to aid your search before contacting the Archdiocesan Archives. Past addresses, names of officiating clergy, and major landmarks are useful in narrowing the search.
9.) School Records:
School Records are maintained by the school’s Registrar’s Office, the Parish Office (if a school has closed), or the Office of Catholic Schools (if a high school or parish has closed). Please contact the Office of Education, Evangelization, and Catechesis (Office of Catholic Schools) to locate and obtain school records.
Donations And Depositing Materials
The Office of the Archdiocesan Archives is currently unable to accept routine record deposits into the Archdiocesan Records Center and/or on-going donations into the Archdiocesan Archives.
Archdiocesan central administrative offices, parishes, and affiliated institutions and organizations are asked to retain materials on-site in personal offices till further notice. Please continue to box records/materials, label boxes, and complete Transfer Forms according to the new 2018 Records Management Program’s Policies & Procedures – available in the Office of the Archdiocesan Archives.
Records and/or other material sent to the Archives or Records Center without prior permission will be returned to the sender or discarded.
If you need assistance or have questions, please contact the Archives.
At present, the Archdiocesan Archives is unable to accept outside donations (physical materials, monetary, and otherwise).
Bridgette A. Woodall, M.Div, MLIS
Archdiocese of Hartford Archives
134 Farmington Ave.
Hartford, CT 06105