Sydney Archdiocesan Archives

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The role of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney Archive Office (Sydney Archdiocesan Archives) is consistent with the provisions of the Code of Canon Law canons 486-491 relating to the keeping and use of Diocesan Archives.

The Sydney Archdiocesan Archives aim is to ensure that the Archdiocesan archives are preserved as authentic evidence of the administrative, cultural, spiritual and intellectual activities of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.

Holdings of the Sydney Archdiocesan Archives include:

  • The records of the Office of the Archbishop of Sydney and his administrative units constitute the core record holdings of the Archives
  • Personal records of former Archbishops of Sydney
  • Ancillary records which include, but are not limited to, the Auxiliary Bishops, parishes and agencies of the Archdiocese, and records pertaining to the correspondence between the Archbishop of Sydney and religious orders.

School Records 
School Records are not held by Sydney Archdiocesan Archives but may be found at the Catholic Education Office or the Archives of the relevant Religious Congregation of Sisters or Brothers.

Access and use of the Archives
Conditions of access have been imposed according to prevailing regulations and therefore use and access is by appointment only.

Researchers may apply for access under the following conditions as stated in the Archive Office Policy (PDF):

Contact Sydney Archdiocesan Archives for more information.

Family History Research 
Sydney Archdiocesan Archives as a Church Archives has the main function of serving the administrative needs of the Archbishop, Bishops and the Agencies of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. Subsequently, the Sydney Archdiocesan Archives is not available for Family History Research.

Sacramental registers have been microfilmed within the constraints of legislation and are available for family history research at Society of Australian Genealogists (120 Kent Street Sydney), State Library of NSW and National Library of Australia (Canberra).

Other useful Family History information

Prior to March 1856 when Civil Registration began in New South Wales details on certificates were taken from Church registers. A certificate that refers to the “Parish of St James, County of Cumberland” refers to the geographic area of St Mary’s in the colonial period, that is, the central Sydney area, not to records that are kept at St James Church or to St Mary’s Cathedral.

Records of that time often contained little information. Names of parents were not included on marriage certificates until 1856.


Australasian Catholic Directory 1841-1899 
The Official year book of the Catholic Church in Australasia titled Australasian Catholic Directory was first issued in 1841. The Sydney Archdiocesan Archives is now making available copies of 29 volumes of this publication on CD as a valuable resource for research and reference.
Cost per copy $175.00.

Contact Sydney Archdiocesan Archives for more information.

Costs for the use of the Archives

  • Professional use $60.00 per hour; capped at two hours. Subsequent visits $30.00 per day. Longer projects to be negotiated.
  • $60.00 research fee for non attending overseas researchers (for detailed on-site research assistance performed by SAA staff, ie the staff member conducts research him or herself);
  • photocopying where permission is granted is $1.00 per A4, $2.00 per A3;
  • Image supply for use in published material, $25.00 per jpeg;
  • You may request for a reduction in costs, eg: financial hardship or current student. If you wish to apply for a reduction, please indicate the reason with supporting documentation.

Catholic organisations please contact the Sydney Archdiocesan Archives for further information.

Sydney Archdiocesan Archives Staff
Archives Services Manager: Ms Lienntje Cornelissen

This organisation is a service of the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Lienntje Cornelissen
St Marthas, 38 Renwick St, Leichhardt NSW 2040, Australia
38 Renwick Street Leichhardt New South Wales 2040 AU