The Archives of the Diocese of St. Augustine preserves the permanent records of the diocese, its people, institutions and associations. Our collection represents the heritage of the local church and its people for more than four centuries. Established by the Bishop, and located at 34 Aviles Street on the property of the Sisters of St. Joseph Convent, its mission is to serve the administrative needs of the diocese, but it is also open for scholarly research, in keeping with the precepts of canon law and the civil laws of the United States.
The principal purpose of the Archives is to serve as a repository for the most significant records of the diocese and to maintain the oldest sacramental and historical records of the diocese and its parishes. The diocese maintains Episcopal archives (1857-1967) and the parish registers of the Cathedral-Basilica (1594-1881). The archive also handles requests for genealogical research and the history of Catholicism in Florida. Collected in a central information repository, records are available (with restrictions) for reference and research. Any sacramental record or official church document that is more than 100 years old should be considered for safekeeping in the Archives.
Examples of Collections in the Archives
- Sacramental records of the colonial period and 19th century
- Papers and records of the bishops of the diocese
- Microfilm copies of selected colonial records of Florida pertaining to the Catholic Church
Sister Catherine Bitzer, SSJ
Diocese of St. Augustine Archives
P.O. Box 3506
St. Augustine, FL 32085
(904) 823-8707 or
Archives Diocese of St. Augustine
34 Aviles Street
St. Augustine, FL 32084
Researchers at USF St.Petersburg are working to digitize a treasure trove of Spanish documents that shed light on Florida’s past in the Archives for the Diocese of St. Augustine.
For Additional Resources
St. Augustine Historical Society
271 Charlotte Street
St. Augustine, Florida 32084
“Ecclesiastical Records of the St. Augustine Diocese” from the late-Sixteenth to -Nineteenth Centuries
St. Augustine Historical Society Research Library
Policies for Researchers
1. The Archives encourages as much availability of records as is consistent with the rights of confidentiality and privacy.
2. Certain records are “closed” – that is, no access is permitted under normal circumstances. Some are “restricted” and may only be used with the express permission of the Archivist or the Chancellor. Most documents are available for research once they have been processed and an inventory has been developed.
3. The Archives reproduces materials under the Fair use provision of the U.S. Copyright Law. The researcher must assume responsibility for obtaining, from the owner of the copyright, permission for use of the material. Permission to reprint materials which are the property of the Diocese of St. Augustine must be obtained in writing and credit must be given.
4. Rules for General Research: Anyone wishing to work in the Archives with its material must first fill out and submit an application form designating the purpose of research and planned use for materials. Please use Researcher Request form.
5. Rule for Genealogical Research: Use of Sacramental Records is normally the work of Archives staff. To request assistance with genealogical research, you should submit your request in writing by mail or email. Requests must be specific as to the information needed. Please use Sacramental Records Request form. Send request to Archives, Diocese of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 3506, St. Augustine, FL 32084 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Use of Materials at the Archives:
- Appointments are necessary to work in the archives. Please contact the archivist in advance of your visit.
- No food or drink, or burning of candles, is allowed in the diocesan archives.
- In order to maintain quiet in the research area, visitors should not use their cell phones while working in the archives.
- Researchers must use materials in the designated research area and will be assisted by the archivist or qualified volunteer.
- Materials cannot be removed from the archives.
- Researchers should use pencil when taking notes.
- Laptops are permitted; however, researchers must have permission to make reproductions of materials in any format (photocopy, scan, digital picture, etc.).
- When working with photographs, researchers should use care and wear gloves (provided).
- For items on microfilm, a film reader is available (no printing capability).
7. Because research is sometimes labor intensive and because we have a small staff, it may be necessary to impose a minimal charge for research as well as for duplication.