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:
Using the Archives
Access to Archival 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.
Due to limited facilities and staff the Archives is not available for genealogical research. We do not handle birth or death certificates; for these, contact the Archives of Ontario. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints microfilmed our parish registers up to the year 1910. For information on how to access these records, please visit our Historical Parish Registers page
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
Photocopying is done by Archives staff for a fee.
We do not permit bulk photocopying of archival material for researchers to take with them. Repeated photocopying of fragile documents causes degradation.
Approved researchers may be permitted to photograph archival material on-site to expedite research and lessen wear on documents. They may also 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.
We do not loan any archival material, microfilm reels or reference books to members of the public.
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:
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:
If 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:
Publication & Display
Over 80 publications have been written based on our holdings.
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.
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.