The Archival Center

The Archival Center Access Policy

Access Policy

The Archival Center for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles houses documents and related items pertaining to the history of the Church in California from the Mission Period (1840) to modern times.

Although its ministerial purpose is that of housing the records of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and its various entities, as well as to serve the needs of the curial offices, the Archival Center also makes its resources available to researchers of all backgrounds, historical perspectives and scholarly interests. This is done within the parameters of Canon Law, as well as the confidentiality laws of both the State and Federal government.

Scholarly investigation is encouraged in keeping with the National Council of Catholic Bishop’s Statement on Ecclesiastical Archives (1974), as well as the “Standards for Access to Diocesan Archives” of the Association of Catholic Diocesan Archivists. Access to the Archives of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is available, at no charge to all qualified scholars, subject only to procedural restrictions imposed by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Archivist and the donors of documents housed in the Archival Center.

As authorized by Canon Law, the Archivist and his delegate serve under the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as the Archbishop’s delegate and representative in the implementation of archival procedures and policies.

Actual use of materials in the Archives of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is subject to the prescriptions of Canon as well as State and Civil Law. Restrictions as stipulated by the Privacy Act, as well as those set down by donors of record, in addition to the directives of the Archbishop, are strictly adhered to in keeping with confidentiality and privacy restrictions imposed by applicable law and “the right to know”.

Use of materials in the Chancery Archives, based on the principle of “equal access to all”, flows from the premise that those making use of the holdings of the Archival Center, are “legitimate researchers” willing to abide by the regulations issued by the Archival Center concerning the use of its materials.

In keeping with the regulations governing the use of materials in the Archival Center, no section of the holdings is permanently closed or restricted from view to researchers. Those sections currently restricted will be made available at an appropriate time in keeping with Federal, State and Canon law, as well as the specific wishes of the donors of record as well as the Archbishop of Los Angeles. In line with the policy of the Holy See, access to sensitive materials is restricted to fifty years or until all parties to the issues are deceased.

Questions concerning access to specific collections of documents, papers, etc., which have been designated as restricted or closed,
should be directed to the Archivist.