Research and Use banner

Research and Use

The Archives receives over 100 visitors and 1,300 research requests annually! Over 80 publications​ have been written based on our holdings.

 

Our Holdings

Through our holdings, the Archives 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:

  • Bishops' Papers: 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 ite​m level up to the end of Archbishop Pocock's episcopate. Finding aid​​s, 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.
  • Administrative Records of the Chancery and Archdiocesan Offices: Corporate records that document the responsibilities and activities of the Chancery and the offices, agencies and ministries that are run by the Archdiocese of Toronto.
  • Special Collections: Collections of non-textual material that were originally arranged together by format, to facilitate preservation and access. Special collections – including photogr​​aphs, rare books, artwork, textiles, and artifacts - enrich the administrative records and particularly enhance evangelization through exhibits and displays.
  • Parish Records: Under Canon Law, parishes are required to keep their own archives. However, the Archives holds reference copies of parish histories and ephemera, as well as architectural drawings. For access and preservation purposes, we also microfilm all sacramental registers (Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage).

 

Using the Archives

Access to A​​​​rchival Material​

Our access policies are based on principles derived from Canon Law, Ontario privacy legislation, third-party confidentiality, and archival arrangement.

Our primary source material dated prior to 1961 is open to researchers. Confidential or private records, and unprocessed materials are closed.

Academic researchers and parish historians may conduct research at the Archives by appointment only.  

As the Archives of a private corporation, we reserve the right to restrict access to members of the public.

Photocopying​​, Photographing & Scanning​

We encourage researchers to visit the Archives and examine primary documents on-site.

Photocopying is done by Archives staff for a fee.

We do not permit bulk photoc​opying of archival material for researchers to take with them. Repeated photocopying of fragile documents causes degradation.

Visitors may be permitted to photograph archival material on-site to expedite research and lessen wear on documents.

Visitors may order scans of archival material. Scanning is done by Archives staff for a fee.

Duplicates of archival material - photocopies, photographs, scanning - are to be used solely for the purpose of private study and are subject the Canadian Copyright Act.

Images may not be transferred to another individual or organization, deposited in another institution, sold, or duplicated without prior written permission of the Archives or the copyright owner.

L​​oans

We do not loan any archival material, microfilm reels or reference books to members of the public.

Citat​ions

All quotations from sources within the Archives must be referenced. There is no single accepted way to cite primary sources found in archives. In general, state the name of the archives and provide enough details for the record to be retrieved in the future. Here are some citation guidelines:​

​If the document has an assigned code number: the name of the repository, the name of the fonds/collection, the code number. For example:

  • Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto (ARCAT), Bishop Michael Power fonds, M AA07.01a.

​If the document has a partial assigned code number (i.e. the code number is assigned to the entire file, not the specific document): the name of the repository, the name of the fonds/collection, the file name, the series number, the date of creation. For example:

  • Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto (ARCAT),Catholic Church Extension Society of Canada fonds, General Correspondence, OC07CO01, 20 Oct 1953.​

I​​f the document does not have an assigned code number: the name of the repository, the name of the fonds/collection, the series number, the file name, title of document (if applicable), the date of creation. For example:

  • Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto (ARCAT), Parish Collection, St. Helen's Toronto, Construction/Renovations, 15 Sep 1951.
  • Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto (ARCAT), Parish Collection, St. Helen's Toronto, Publications, "St. Helen's 125th Anniversary."

Publication​ & Display

To reproduce archival material from the Archives for publication or for display, researchers are required to sign a contract which grants reproduction permission on a one-time-only basis. A credit line reading "Courtesy Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto (ARCAT)" must be included on each record or photograph reproduced. If the material is not copyright of the Archdiocese of Toronto, the publishing party assumes all responsibility for clearing publication with the copyright owner.

Don​​ations

The Archives is always happy to consider donations of historical papers, reference books, artifacts etc., that fit within our collecting mandate. We encourage parishes, clergy and Catholic organizations to contact us when disposing of old records.​