Earliest Record: A 1787 land grant entitling Alexander Macdonell to part of 200 acres of land in Charlottenburg, Quebec (now South Glengarry, Ontario).
Earliest Book: Pseudo-Augustinus [St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo]. Sermones ad Heremitas. Venice: Paganinus de Paganinis, 1487. This incunable is from the Sol and Morton Eisen Collection.
Linear Extent: ARCAT holds 800 linear meters of records – that's taller than the CN tower!
Most awesome artifact: A blank ballot for voting in the Papal Conclave.
Through our fonds and collections, ARCAT seeks to promote an accurate understanding of the origins, aims and goals of the Archdiocese by preserving the documentary heritage of its offices, agencies, parishes and institutions. Our holdings can be generally grouped into four parts:
Administrative records of the Bishops, Archbishops and Auxiliary Bishops of Toronto documenting their ecclesiastical challenges and daily activities. This includes papers of Bishop Alexander Macdonell, who was the first bishop of the Diocese of Kingston, which from 1826-1840 included the territory of the current Archdiocese of Toronto. The papers are described at the file or item level up to the end of Archbishop Pocock's episcopate. Finding aids, including item level descriptions, are available for research use up to 1961, which marks the end of Archbishop James C. Cardinal McGuigan's active episcopate.
Documents pertaining to the day-to-day business of the offices and agencies of the Archdiocese, including some subject based collections such as the World Wars, Catholic Cemeteries, Education, etc. The most commonly accessed collections are the Parish Historical Records, and Architectural Drawings.
Ancillary records regarding Archdiocesan committees and commissions, as well as Catholic institutions and organizations working within the Archdiocese.
Collections determined by material format. In the past, these items were often removed from other areas of the archives to facilitate preservation and access. Special collections – including photographs, rare books, artwork, textiles, and artifacts - enrich the administrative records of the other three parts of our holdings.
*These records are closed to researchers because: they were created after 1961; and/or they have been designated private or confidential; and/or they consist of unprocessed material. The regular conditions of our access policy apply to all textual records without an asterick.