The Archive is the official repository for the records of the Diocese of Fargo, and it serves as the memory of the established Catholic Church in this area. The Archive is located at the Pastoral Center where materials are properly cared for in a climate-controlled environment. The Archive supports the diocese through the following mission.
Mission of the Archive
As the Diocese of Fargo is called by our Lord Jesus Christ to be His Church and live His gospel, the Archive Office is called to be responsible stewards of Church records. The Archive provides a professional repository that identifies and collects, organizes and preserves, and provides access to historically and canonically significant, non-current documents, artifacts, and other works of enduring value pertaining to the operation of the Diocese, its parishes, agencies, institutions, and people. The Archive makes available and extends its materials to researchers as permitted by canon law, civil law, diocesan policy, and conservation considerations.
The Diocesan Archive is a service organization that exists first and foremost for its usefulness to the diocesan administration. Therefore, it is the primary purpose of the archival function to assist the Bishop, Chancery, and all offices and agencies of the diocese with the information necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. The Archive contains data on individual parishes and assists parishes with historical information.
History and Genealogy
The Archive makes the heritage of the Diocese of Fargo available to historical researchers within the guidelines of canon, civil, and diocesan law. The Archive staff view genealogical research as a legitimate and important effort in assisting individuals to place themselves and their families within the context of the history of the church. They will assist these researchers within the constraints of available financial, equipment, space, and staff resources.
Finding Family Records
Certain records, including baptism, marriage, and funeral/cemetery records, are maintained by the parish where the ceremony took place. Please contact the parish for information regarding such records, prior to contacting the Diocese. If your parish has recently closed, please visit the Sacramental Records to determine which parish now maintains their register.
Orphanage records of former institutions are generally maintained in the offices of Catholic Charities North Dakota (1-701-356-8020). These records are not available for genealogical research by phone or in person, but by postal mail.
I hope you will take the time to explore the resources available and to learn more about our programs and services. We value your comments and suggestions.