The diocesan Bishop is to ensure that there is an historical archive in the diocese, and that documents which have an historical value are carefully kept in it and systematically filed. (Code of Canon Law, C. 491 §2)
The Diocesan Archive collection includes papers, manuscripts, ledgers, correspondence, printed material, photographs and memorabilia preserved from the working documents of the Diocese. Few items predate 1850, and little remains from the nineteenth century, but the working documents of the Bishops (the Acta) are available in good quantity thereafter, although few personal papers survive.
Some records of early Diocesan Administration have been preserved, including financial ledgers, minute books, and property deed indexes, Boundaries Board material, Building Office papers, and School Emergency Fund documents and a complete set of parish visitation reports for 1900.
There is an extensive collection of individual parish history booklets and brochures, together with material connected with property and site transactions.
Some 400 photographs have been indexed, and a substantial amount of un-indexed ones awaits attention. These include a series of photographs of the Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimages of recent years, a set of historically-important photographs of the cathedral before recent re-ordering, and a collection of photographs of some of the diocesan clergy.
Researchers have access to an extensive library dealing with church history at local, national and international levels. Substantial runs of several magazines also are held.
The archives are private but requests from researchers will be considered on an individual basis. The archives can be reached by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
We apologise but we cannot offer any genealogy research support.
Please note that parish registers are not held centrally. Many early registers of Baptism and Marriages have been deposited at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston, both to ensure their safe preservation, and to aid genealogical research. For fuller details, see the current edition of Finding Folk, published by the LRO. Registers otherwise are normally held in the parish they belong to, or one nearby.
Diocesan Archive address: