Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday to Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto (ARCAT) collects, preserves and makes available for research the official records of the Archdiocese of Toronto and those ancillary records which reflect the work of the Church within the Archdiocese.
Under Canon Law, all dioceses are required to maintain an archives. The purpose of preserving records is twofold:
First, records need to be kept as evidence of business activity, in order to comply with regulatory and legislative requirements, and to support accountability.
Second, records are kept for historical and cultural purposes. The materials preserved by ARCAT serve as an illustration of the life of the Archdiocese. Twenty-first century Catholics are able to feel a connection to the Catholics who came before; the larger community is able to see how the Church helped to shape the Toronto they now know. Stories of yesterday can be a powerful tool for evangelization today.
As an archives that meets Canadian professional standards, we aim to fulfill the following core functions:
acquisition and collection - acquiring records that meet our mandate
appraisal and disposal - determining which records have enduring value
arrangement and description - organizing and/or maintaining the order of the records; describing their context and contents according to professional Canadian standards in order to make them accessible
preservation and storage - protecting the physical integrity of the records through proper housing and storage in ideal environmental conditions
reference and access - assisting internal and external users in finding relevant information; determining access conditions according to privacy legislation and archdiocesan policy
outreach activities - actions taken to advertise our holdings and services, including displays and exhibits; promotional and communications material; community workshops, presentations and consultation on subjects relating to archives, records management and genealogy
Records management is "the field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records" (ISO 15489-1:2001, clause 3.16).
ARCAT staff provide consultation to archdiocesan offices, agencies and parishes to help apply records management techniques and practices
One of the main goal of records management is to avoid the retention and clutter of ephemeral records, and the loss or inadvertent destruction of vital records.
Read about the history of ARCAT in this special issue of Archivaria: Religious Archives.
For current news, visit our blog, The Archivist's Pencil
Gillian HearnsDirector of ArchivesPrivacy Officer