Access to the Archives and general records is open to all interested researchers with legitimate interest in the documents maintained within the repository. However, the Archives of the Diocese of Albany is a private entity whose first obligation is to the Bishop, the central office and parishes of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. Many records contained within the Archives will have access restrictions imposed by Canon Law and, unlike governmental records, are not subject to the “Freedom of Information Act.”
As a general policy, records are closed for a period of 50 years after creation. The Diocesan Archivist reserves the right to restrict access to any materials, including unprocessed collections, materials in poor physical condition, and those materials restricted as a result of contractual stipulations through deeds of gifts, wills or sales arrangements. Material will be made available in a scheduled manner in keeping with established criteria and legal requirements. The exception to the general policy relates to sacramental records. Sacramental records dating after the year 1940 (January 1, 1941 and on) are not open for general public inspection.
Requests for access to restricted collections may be made to the Diocesan Archivist. Appeals for denied requests may be made to the Chancellor, and finally to the Bishop.
The Archives of the Albany Diocese is open to outside researchers. Outside researchers are expected to complete a User Agreement form and are subject to the rules that govern usage of the materials within the Archives, which include the acceptance of archival policies and procedures, respect for document integrity, fair use, copyright and publication terms. The User Agreement form includes a section in which researchers must state the purpose of their research and identify the intended product/use of their research. It is requested that all researchers provide a copy of their final work product, if applicable, to the Archives.
Appointments to visit the Archives must be scheduled in advance. The Pastoral Center has security procedures in place and pre-arranged visits are required. Expect delays in response time due to the limited archival staff availability. To make an appointment or speak to the Archivist, please contact the Archives in one of the following ways:
Mail: Diocese of Albany
40 North Main Avenue Albany, NY 12203
Questions on access policies for individual collections or series may be directed to the Diocesan Archivist at any time.