Policies and Forms
FAQS for parishes and offices
No, the archives does not keep records of altar relics. Parishes should keep all documentation relating to their altar relics; if records are lost or damaged, the Vatican does not issue new documentation for relics that a parish already has on its premise.
First, please consult the Sacramental Records Handbook and Records Retention Policy to see what records need to kept and for how long. If there are records that are past the scheduled retention period, a Destruction Certificate must be completed by the archives before records/items can be disposed of.
Unless the books are in danger of falling apart, generally no. When the binding is resewn, it can become very difficult to read the information in the crease of the book. To preserve your sacramental registers, we suggest:
- Store the books horizontal, only 2-3 books high
- Access the books only when necessary, pre-1920 baptismal and marriage records and pre-1953 death records are open to genealogists and are on microfilm at the Archdiocesan Archives
- Do not place extraneous materials (like post-it notes) into the registers
- Do not use adhesives, rubber bands, metal paperclips, markers, highlighters, etc. Cotton string can be used to hold registers together. A pencil or black ballpoint pen should be used to write in the register. All other items can stain, corrode, and break down registers.
If you must rebind your registers, the archives recommends Ohio Bookstore Bindery and Repair, which is located at 726 Main St, Cincinnati, OH 45202. You do not need permission from the archives to send your books to be rebound.
For parishes that produce a low volume of permanent records, the archives recommends saving these on paper. Electronic records can become corrupted if files are not actively managed and preserved. For parishes and archdiocesan offices that produce a high volume of permanent records, please contact us for best practices on managing electronic records. If you are unsure what should be considered a permanent record, please consult the Records Retention Policy above.