Researcher Access Policy 

General Rules Regarding Access

The Archives of the Diocese of Gaylord has possession of records in the following categories: Sacramental, Student, School and Parish, Diocesan and Other Records.

The Diocese’s response to a request for access to Archives records or information derived from Archives records will be based on: (1) if the records by their nature are private or public; (2) the existence and availability of appropriate staff to respond to the request; (3) the extent to which the response to the request could be contrary to the restrictions of the individuals who donated the materials involved in the request; and (4) the extent to which compliance with the request might result in the deterioration of documents in the Archives.

The only documents that are potentially available for research by Diocesan staff (as their schedules permit) are those materials that have been properly processed and are properly indexed.

All stacks are closed to researchers; requests for materials must be submitted to the Diocesan staff.

The Diocese may, in its sole discretion, condition compliance with the request on the advance payment of the fees and costs for compliance with the request.

All requests for Archives records must be in writing and submitted to the Chancellor of the Diocese. All requests for genealogy research concerning sacramental records must also be in writing, but should be submitted to the relevant parish.

Other than requests involving student records and sacramental certificates, at this time and until further notice, the Diocese of Gaylord cannot schedule and/or accommodate requests for other research requests due to the lack of Archives staff.  

Sacramental Records:

The Archives has historical sacramental records on microfilm for many, but not all, of the parishes within the Diocese of Gaylord. The Archives does not contain the actual sacramental records for parishes that are in existence or have merged with another parish. Those records are retained and maintained by the individual parishes. For closed parishes, sacramental records are either retained/stored in an adjoining parish in the same community or may be transferred to the Archives.

Regardless of whether the documents are located in the Archives or in an individual parish, the Diocese will not allow researchers to have access to original sacramental records.

Diocesan staff will research sacramental records for any individual requiring a certificate, but will direct the individual requestor to the appropriate parish for issuance of a certificate.

For records that are more than 100 years old, Diocesan staff will respond to written research requests as the demands on their schedule permits.

(Click for more information on parish sacramental records or to access the Sacramental Records Request Form.)

Student Records:

The Archives only contains limited student records for schools that are closed. The Archives does not contain student records for schools that are open or which have merged with another school.

Student records are private and, with two limited exceptions, are not available for any research, including genealogy. The exceptional cases wherein the Diocesan staff will research student records include: (1) upon the written request of an individual seeking a copy of their own records in the Archives; and (2) where the requestor is seeking to prove parental residency and the parent is deceased. Such a request must be accompanied by a certified copy of the parent’s death certificate and a certified copy of the certificate of birth showing the child/parent relationship.

Public Documents Regarding School and Parish Records (including priest files):

The Archives also includes documents that would have been public at the time they were generated or published, such as bulletins, parish histories and photographs. The Diocese has limited documents reflecting public information regarding individual priests during a priest’s life (e.g. where the priest served, biographical information). Subject to the General Rules identified above, these documents are available for research to the extent Diocesan staff can reasonably accommodate written requests for review.

Diocesan and Other Records:

The Archives contains a broad array of documents and photographs on various topics, documents authored by and/or about bishops, various offices of the Diocese, documents involving  local Catholic organizations and non-Chancery records. Requests seeking information regarding these records or access to these records are governed by the General Rules outlined above.