From the smallest parish to the largest cathedral, ecclesiastical archives are maintained for the preservation and storage of essential papers, such as correspondence, manuscripts, documents, photographs, records, books and donated materials from the laity. Over time, archives can become repositories for artifacts and examples of the artistic-cultural-historical patrimony of a particular jurisdiction. The Bishop of each Diocese appoints a Chancellor who has direct responsibility for the archives.
The Monsignor James H. Culleton Archival Center in Fresno serves as a repository for materials pertaining to the history of the Diocese of Fresno and its predecessor jurisdictions in central California, dating to about 1865. Included are photocopies of sacramental registers through 1940. The Church certainly has an “… interest in preserving the living good of memory aimed at attracting the attention of God’s People towards its history”. Our Archival Center serves to introduce parishioners to the treasures of their Diocese with a goal of increasing general awareness and enhancing advocacy for our spiritual heritage.
When seeking sacramental records, such as baptism or marriage, whether for church-related purposes or family genealogy/history, contact your parish church or the parish where the sacrament was administered for a certificate. A fee may be required and staff time may be limited. If further research is required, you may request records by downloading the
Print, fill out, sign and mail or deliver application to:
1550 North Fresno Street
Fresno, California 93703-3788
Appointments for parish history or anniversary research should begin one year in advance if the planned commemoration. For questions, you may call the Archives at (559) 488-7499.
APPLICATIONS WITHOUT A SIGNATURE WILL NOT BE PROCESSED!
Click to download The Application for Personal or Family History Information.