The Diocesan Archives is the repository for records generated mainly at the Diocesan level. This includes the papers and effects of past Bishops, correspondence between Diocesan representatives and parishes or other Catholic organizations within the Diocese, Official Catholic Directories, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Directories, parish files, noticiae, real property information, manuscript books, baptismal records for some institutions which have closed, etc. In addition to records there are also religious objects, books, textiles and photographs.
The Diocesan Archives does not house school records. For information on how to locate school records contact the Catholic Schools Office at 518-453-6666 or the Diocesan Archives at 518-453-6669 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Diocesan Archives is open for research by appointment only. Research appointments may be scheduled Monday through Thursday between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Appointments must be made by contacting the Diocesan Archivist directly. To schedule a research time please contact the Diocesan Archives at 518-453-6669 or email@example.com.
In the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, sacramental records are kept within the parish where the sacrament was celebrated. In the case of parishes which have closed or merged, the sacramental records are kept within a designated successor parish. Persons looking for their sacramental records will have to directly contact the appropriate parish with their inquiry. The Diocesan Archives has some sacramental records but they are mainly related to institutions such as hospitals or children’s homes which have closed. See below for more information regarding sacramental records within the Archives. For help determining where sacramental records may be kept, please contact Mary Doehla at Diocesan Archives at 518-453-6669 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Renee Morgiewicz at Parish Services at 518-453-6609 or email@example.com.
The Diocesan Archives mainly holds sacramental record books for institutions which have closed. This includes the following:
Chapel of the Convent of the Good Shepherd, Troy, NY (1946-1965)
Mission, Chester, Warrensburgh, North Creek, Johnsburgh, Luzerne, Palmers Falls (1874-1901)
Mount St. John, Rensselaer, NY (1919-1954)
St. Clare’s Hospital, Schenectady, NY (1949-2005)
St. Joseph’s Infant Home, Troy, NY (1898-1983)
St. Vincent’s Home, Albany, NY (1902-1955)
St. Vincent’s Home, Troy, NY (1902-1952)
The Maternity Hospital and Infant Home of Albany (Brady Hospital) (1908-1966)
Access to sacramental records is affected by the passage of time. More recent records generally require greater restrictions on access than older records. The Albany Diocesan Archives follows the timeline set forth by the United States Census Bureau for census record availability and is consistent with the recommendations of the Association of Catholic Diocesan Archivists. Currently sacramental records after 1940 are closed to the general public. Requests for certificates for sacramental records after 1940 will be released only to the following:
The person of record on whom the sacrament was conferred;
The legal guardian of the person of record, if under 18;
The next of kin if the person of record is deceased;
Parish staff and officials of the Diocese of Albany or authorized officials of other Dioceses;
Parties identified in a court order or subpoena, summons or state or federal statute.
Sacramental records may be obtained only upon completion of a signed Sacramental Record Release Authorization. A copy of the release form is available by contacting the Archives to request to receive a copy of the form in the mail or by email. In addition to the completion of a release form, those requesting a sacramental record must be able to prove their identity and verify the purpose for which the certificate is being requested. Proof of identity in the form of valid photo identification and one other form of identification will be required to release sacramental record information. A list of some of the acceptable forms of identification includes:
U.S. or U.S. Territory Birth Certificate;
NYS Photo Driver License/Learner Permit/Non-Driver ID Card (must be current or not expired for more than 2 years);
U.S. State Department issued Passport
US Military Photo ID Card
Certificate of Citizenship
Certificate of Naturalization
U.S. Utility Bill (must include your name and address)
This authorization form may be waived if a request is made directly by a parish or other Diocesan office. No fees are charged for individuals or tribunals seeking records for sacramental purposes. The Sacramental Record Release Authorization is not required for sacramental records prior to 1940 because these records are open to the general public, see below.
In the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, sacramental records are kept within the parish where the sacrament was celebrated. In the case of parishes which have closed or merged, the sacramental records are kept within a designated successor parish. Persons looking for sacramental records of ancestors will have to directly contact the appropriate parish with their inquiry. The Diocesan Archives has some sacramental records but they are mainly related to institutions such as hospitals or children’s homes which have closed. For help determining where sacramental records may be kept, please contact Mary Doehla at Diocesan Archives at 518-453-6669 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Renee Morgiewicz at Parish Services at 518-453-6609 or email@example.com.
For sacramental records which may be held at the Diocesan Archives, the policy regarding a request for information contained within sacramental records for family history purposes is as follows:
Sacramental records through 1940 are open to those doing genealogical research on their ancestors and to genealogists doing research on behalf of other parties. A fee will be charged for each genealogical request for individual sacramental record information. Research on general family lines cannot be conducted.
Genealogical research requests must be submitted in writing or by email utilizing the Genealogical Research Request Form. A copy of the release form is available by contacting the Archives to request to receive a copy of the form in the mail or by email. In your request, include the following information:
Researcher contact information (address, telephone number, and e-mail address);
Listing of the complete name of the person to be researched whenever possible;
The specific sacramental record to be searched (ex., baptism or marriage);
The approximate date for the person to be researched;
The name of the town, parish, or region of the diocese where the person resided;
Any additional information such as parents’ names, birth date of the first child, place of residence or the name of the cleric officiating at the sacramental ceremony. This data can be very helpful when an exact date or specific parish church is not known.