The Northampton Diocesan Archives hold a wide range of material about the Diocese; a few records go back to before its establishment in 1850. Pre-1976 material also relates to territory now within the Diocese of East Anglia, though most separable material was transferred. Our aim is to collect, preserve and index these records so that they are available to visiting researchers, to be able to deal promptly and helpfully with enquiries, and to support the work of the Diocese.
The Archives contain a variety of material ranging from 1710 Registers from Weston Underwood in North Bucks, to just before the accession of the present Bishop in 2005. Of particular interest is original correspondence of Provost F C Husenbeth, the prolific mid-19th cent. writer. The records include the papers of the Bishops; material relating to finance, property and education; files on religious houses and seminaries; parish files; deanery records; information on Northampton clergy; and much material on Northampton and Norwich Cathedrals. There is also a near-complete series of the annual Diocesan Yearbook/Directory and its predecessors, such as the early-c.20 St Francis Magazine; and a lot of study material on mission histories, and on recusant families in our area.
The Archives have lately undergone a major project to supplement handwritten catalogues and card-indexes with a searchable database, which is substantially complete but continues to expand (nearly 4,500 entries). There is no current plan to make this available online: it is viewed primarily as a tool for the Archivist and colleagues.
Researchers are most welcome to consult the Archives, which are kept in the cellars at Bishop’s House, Northampton; however, please note that visits are by prior arrangement only. All readers must register and complete an Access Conditions Agreement form before being granted access to the archive material. No material may be removed. Donations are appreciated if substantial work is carried out by the Archivist.
Opening hours: 10am – 4pm, day by arrangement.
‘The Northampton Diocesan Archives’ by M Osborne in Catholic Archives No 21 pp 41-44