Historical Research

To implement the archives' mission and functions, the following policies govern access to, and use of, all records housed in the archdiocesan archives:

  • Those collections which have been described at a collection level are available for scholarly research.  Access to described collections is available to all qualified scholars and researchers in accordance with church law (particularly canons 483-491), the National Council of Catholic Bishops' 1974 "Document on Ecclesiastical Archives", and Catholic Diocesan Archivists' 1991 "Guidelines for Access to Diocesan Archives."
  • Access to individual collections is governed by federal and state law, archdiocesan policy, sound archival practice, and individual deeds of gift or trust. These laws, policies, practices and individual stipulations provide a balanced approach that is sensitive to individual right-to-know, sound historical scholarship as enunciated by Pope Leo XIII, preservation, privacy, and confidentiality. Collections which are closed or restricted are so indicated.
  • The archdiocesan archives are not open to those engaged in genealogical studies or family research. All requests for individual sacramental and cemetery records are handled by written mail according to published procedures. See the menu above to visit the Genealogy section of this website.
  • The archives are open to authorized researchers by appointment only. All researchers must submit a completed research request form, after which the staff will set a research appointment with you.
  • Use of the archdiocesan archives is a contractual agreement. All researchers must sign a statement of compliance with archives policies and procedures, including those concerning document integrity, fair use, copyright, and publication.
  • Individual documents are provided by the archives staff and must be used under staff supervision. All materials, particularly fragile documents, must be handled with special care. No document may be marked, folded, traced, or altered in any way. No materials may be taken from the premises.
  • Photocopies are available when documents can be copied without damage. Photocopies and reproductions are made solely for the purpose of private study, scholarship, or research. Researchers assume full responsibility for obtaining required permissions to publish materials protected by copyright.
  • Permission to reproduce or publish archives materials in their entirety or a substantial portion thereof requires the written authorization of the chancellor. Permission to cite consulted materials is included in the agreement to use the archives and is governed by scholarly practice and copyright. Written consent to publish or reproduce materials does not restrict the archdiocese's right to publish the same materials or allow others to do so.
  • Proper credit must be given to the New Orleans Archdiocesan Archives when materials are cited or published in scholarly works.
  • To assist future researchers, the archives requests that one copy of those articles, monographs, or books which include original research material from the archives be placed in the archives' library.