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Archives / Records Management

The Parish Records Retention Schedule and related documents are now online and can be found on the Resources page.


Records Management

The Records Management Department exists to serve the various departments and divisions in the Archdiocese by assisting employees in locating information and current records, maintaining and updating the Archdiocesan retention schedule, finding and storing inactive files, coordinating records destruction, assisting departments that want help moving or cleaning out offices, and working with Archives to help preserve and provide access to historical documents.

The Records Management Department also offers our expertise (along with Archives) to parish and schools in the Archdiocese through consultation and special projects. We answer queries on records managements and archival topics.



The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is not a public institution; therefore, the records of the Archdiocese are not public records.  The Archdiocese does, however, encourage as much openness and availability of its collections as possible.  Nearly one hundred years’ of sacramental records are available to family history researchers.  More information regarding genealogy research is below. 

On-site research is not permitted due to staffing limitations.  However, descriptions of many collections can be requested from the Department of Archives and Records Management, and duplicates may be provided for a fee at the discretion of the department director. 

To discuss your particular project, items of interest in the collection, and the cost of our services please contact the department directly:  records@archspm.org.


Requesting Sacramental Certificates

All requests for Sacramental Certificates (official documents attesting to a sacrament having been conferred) created since January 1, 1925, should go to the parish that holds the sacramental record book. In the case of parishes that have merged, the records reside with the receiving parish. A list of the location of records for merged parishes can be found in pdf format in the Related Content section below. Sacramental records are issued for the purpose of establishing that a sacrament has been conferred or not conferred. They are not issued for the purpose of genealogical research. The requestor must be an authorized recipient.

Authorized recipients include:

  • The individual named in the record (if over age 18 or an emancipated minor)
  • A parent or legal guardian of the individual (if the individual is under 18)
  • Officials of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, other dioceses, or of parishes of the Archdiocese or of other Roman Catholic Dioceses.
  • Next of kin of deceased individuals (legal proof required)
  • Other parties as designated or permitted by court order, subpoena, summons, or state or federal statute.

Parishes do not respond to requests for genealogical information, nor are sacramental certificates issued for that purpose. 


Requesting Genealogical Information

Sacramental records created before January 1, 1925, are not restricted beyond what is required by canon law. Nevertheless, to protect confidentiality, all genealogical research is done by Archives staff. No genealogical research is done at the parish level, nor will any information regarding sacramental records be provided by parish staff outside of what is outlined above. 

If the sacramental record you are seeking is located in the Archdiocesan Archives, you will receive a photocopy of the record book entry. Sacramental certificates are not issued by the Archivist or archive staff nor are they produced for genealogical research or as family heirlooms. 

You may direct initial inquiries regarding genealogical research to the Archdiocesan Archivist via email. The Archives staff will estimate the time needed to do the research, and respond with a research fee quote. 

The research fee is $26.75 per hour. A returned invoice and a check made payable to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is necessary before the staff will undertake research. The fee includes copying services and postage for mailing copies of located records.

Contact the Office of Archives and Records Management for more information.

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