The mandate of our Diocesan Archives is to collect, preserve, make available, and exhibit the historically significant records of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Ottawa. Parish records of all types are acquired, and we are always interested to learn about collections to add to our holdings.
The Diocesan Archives are located in the lower level of the Great Hall of Christ Church Cathedral.
414 Sparks Street
Hours for Research
Monday: 9am – 12pm; 1pm – 4pm
Tuesday: 9am – 12pm; 1pm – 4pm
* The Diocesan Archives are closed annually on the last week of May, the last week of June, the last week of September, and the last week of December.
The Diocesan Archives’ collection policy provides for the acquisition of parish and Diocesan records that include:
- Parish registers; records of births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths and burials
- Vestry records; including annual reports, attendance records, minutes and related papers from meetings
- Service registers; also called Vestry Books
- Records of committees and organizations; including minutes, reports and correspondence of groups such as building committees, choirs, Sunday schools, parish councils, men’s groups, women’s organizations, and youth groups
- Financial records
- Property records; including contracts, deeds, architectural plans, building permits, indentures, petitions for consecration, etc.
- Service bulletins and leaflets; for regular and special events
- Correspondence; including parish mailings
- Parish newsletters
- Historical information; books, booklets and news clippings
- Photographs; identified as completely as possible by view, date, event and persons depicted
- Guest books, parish lists and photo directories
- Special collections and informational materials; usually identified by source and by topic, including scrapbooks
The Archives’ collection also includes the following Diocesan records:
- Bishops’ papers
- Episcopal Office records
- Synod journals
- Diocesan Council records
- Governance and Communications Committee records
- Financial Affairs Committee records
- Parish Ministry Development Committee records
- Risk and Audit Committee records
- Diocesan newspapers
- Papers of prominent clergy and laypeople
* The Diocesan Archives does not purchase archived materials.
* Parish registered for these locations are in the collection of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa Archives. Access is subject to provisions of the Privacy Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronics Documents Act.
- Certificate (or certified transcript) of baptism, confirmation, marriage or burial*
- Preliminary genealogical research requests (taking up to half an hour to carry out)*
- Professional genealogical research*
$40 per hour
- Access to Parish registers by visitors*
$3 per vol.
- Access to Parish registers on official church business*
- Searching online database of 800,000 baptisms, marriages, burials
$5 per hour; $2 for 20 minutes
20 cents per page
* Subject to privacy/confidentiality/conservation/size of request restrictions
* Photocopying and photographing parish registers is not permitted under any circumstances
The Diocesan Archives welcomes a select number of volunteers to enjoy and contribute time to the preservation of our documentary heritage. Volunteers are able to execute a variety of tasks based on their interests and abilities, including accessioning, ranging records, identifying photographs, and cataloguing.
Named in honour of the first Diocesan Archivist in Ottawa, our library contains some 7,000 titles. It includes books and pamphlets on Anglicanism, apologetics, architecture and decoration, biblical criticism, biography, Canon Law, church order, commentaries, conferences and congresses, doctrine, Christian education and training for ministry, ecumenical affairs, other faiths, general history, Christian history, historical papers of the Canadian Society of Church History, The Journal of the Canadian Church Historical Society, history of the Church of England and the Anglican Church of Canada, history of the Diocese of Ottawa, family history, Canadian social history, liturgy and lectionary, missions, moral and pastoral theology, music, poetry and literature, sermons-addresses-lectures-essays, spirituality, monarchy and a host of other worthy works.
- In a recent server migration by our web host, the feature ceased to function. We are working to resolve the issue.
The Wilfred H. Bradley Reference Library
Friends of the Diocesan Archives
Established in November 2000, the Friends of the Diocesan Archives provides additional support for the Archives and the affiliated Wilfred H. Bradley Reference Library. The Friends is an arms-length organization, and provides addition funding to supplement the Diocesan Archives budget.
The aims and objects of the Friends, as they appear are:
- To support the activities of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa Archives to acquire, preserve, make available, and exhibit historical records of the Diocese and its parishes
- To promote awareness of the history and heritage of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Ottawa, and the programs and activities of the Diocesan Archives
- To generate revenues and raise funds
- To carry on related duties
Members are encouraged to become involved in the various activities of the Friends and are eligible to serve on the Board of Directors.
The costs of an individual membership is $20/year. New members are always welcome. Contact the Diocesan Archivist to register. We offer charitable tax receipts for all donations of $10 or more to the Diocesan Archives.
The Friends of the Archives has a popular sale each year of pre-owned books, to help raise funds for the purchase of new books desired for the Archives. This sale takes place in the display area of each Diocesan Synod.
Contact the Archives for the latest Friends and the Archives Newsletter.