Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation, Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John's

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation, Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John's

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St John's


  • Religious

Contact area


A. Rene Estrada Primary contact



Street address

200 Military Road


St. John's


Newfoundland and Labrador

Country name


Postal code

A1C 2E8







Description area


The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John's was erected as a Vicariate Apostolic by Pope Pius VI on December 5, 1795. This new Vicariate was placed under the care of Reverend James O'Donel, O.F.M., who later became the first Bishop of Newfoundland. In June 1847, St. John's was established as a Diocese. Internal evidence suggests that the Reverend Michael Howley, the first native born Bishop of the Archdiocese was instrumental in laying the foundation of the Archdiocesan Archives. He was a renowned historian, writer, lecturer, poet and people's advocate who preserved not only his own papers, but the papers and documents of the earlier Catholic bishops in Newfoundland.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

It is the responsibility of the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. John's under Canon Law (the law of the Church) to maintain a diocesan archives where documents concerning the spiritual and temporal affairs of this diocese are stored. The purpose for maintaining the archives is to centralize, organize, preserve, protect and make available the records and materials which pertain to the origin, history, spirit, and growth of the Archdiocese. Where applicable, Canon Law shall govern the maintenance, organization and preservation, or use of the Archdiocesan Archives. Where Canon Law does not apply approved policies set out in the Policies and Procedures manual adopted in April 1994 shall govern.

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies



The Archdiocesan Archives is the main repository for the historical and contemporary documents of the Roman Catholic Church in Newfoundland.

The holdings of the Archdiocesan Archives are divided into the following categories:

-Papers of the Bishops (1784 1979)
-Clergy fonds
-Estates and Wills
-Parishes of the Archdiocese (Historical Sketches of most parishes are available.)
-Educational Records and Reports
-The Monitor (1934 1996)
-Parish baptism, marriage and mortuary records (1763 1850)
-Architectural descriptions and blueprints.

Finding aids, guides and publications

A guide to the collections of the Archives is available to researchers for examination at the Archives, upon request. Finding aids are available for processed collections.

Access area

Opening times

Open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Appointments are required as there is limited research space.

Access conditions and requirements

Advance notice of extensive research is required.


Services area

Research services

Inquiries are handled by mail, e-mail, fax or telephone, or by visit.

Reproduction services

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created - April 10, 2013


  • English



2001 ANLA Member Institutions Directory

Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Clipboard

Primary contact

200 Military Road
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
CA A1C 2E8