The purpose of Westminster Diocesan Archives is to identify, preserve and make available records of the past so that they may be used to assist the life and mission of the Archdiocese of Westminster and the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
The archives date back to the 16th century, and comprise chiefly the papers of the Archbishops of Westminster and the parishes and agencies of the Archdiocese of Westminster.
The Archives also holds a collection of historical manuscripts (the ‘A Series’), covering the period from 1509 – 1798, the majority of which are composed of papers sent to the secular clergy’s agent in Rome as well as those relating to the work of the Vicars Apostolic of the London District (1688-1850), who were the predecessors of the Archbishops of Westminster. These manuscripts cover a diverse range of historical topics, as well as charting the development of the English Catholic community and the history of the secular clergy.
Non-Diocesan collections include the archives of various religious orders and educational establishments, such as the Old Brotherhood of Secular Clergy, St Edmund’s College (Old Hall Green), and the English Augustinian Canonesses of Paris.
Westminster Diocesan Archives holds some, but by no means all, of the parish sacramental registers, but as these have now been digitized and made available through Find My Past https://www.findmypast.co.uk, the originals are no longer available for public consultation.
Westminster Diocesan Archives is a private collection, with limited opening hours. Researchers must therefore make an appointment first if they wish to view the archives, and it is a condition of access that they must register with the Archives upon arrival, for which they will need two forms of identification. To make an appointment, or an enquiry about the collections, please e-mail the Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you may telephone the Archives during office hours only, or write to us at the address below.
Archives relating to Westminster Cathedral are held separately at the Cathedral in Victoria Street. Go to http://www.westminstercathedral.org.uk/contact.php for further information.
Opening hours: 10.00am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-5.00pm, Mondays and Tuesdays only (except Bank Holidays)