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Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Séamus Cunningham


Looking up Records - the Diocesan Archive

Diocesan Archivist:
Mr Tony Durkin, Bishop's House. Tel 0191 228 0003

The Diocesan Archives are held at Bishop’s House, East Denton Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne. These are largely the correspondence and papers of the Bishop himself and his immediate officers, and until the creation in recent years of the Commissions and Councils (identified in The Northern Catholic Calendar), which now conduct much of the Diocesan administration, they constitute the main source of information for the history of the Church in the North East from the 18th Century and of the Diocese from 1850.

The archives have been described in Catholic Archives No 19, 1999 (available in local libraries). They are mostly sorted and listed, but are being catalogued in detail and transferred to computer.

For information about, or to arrange access to these records (available by appointment only), contact:

Tel + 44 (0) 191 228 0003
Fax + 44 (0) 191 274 0432
Email archivist@rcdhn.org.uk

Broadly, the archives are arranged and classified in three main divisions, each with sub-divisions, as follows:

A. The Bishop and Diocese in relation to Rome and the Hierarchy

A1. Papal Bulls and other Roman documents
A2. Meetings of the Hierarchy and Bishops
A3. Papers of the Hierarchy Commissions, Committees, etc
A4. Quinquennial Reports to Rome
A5. Bishops’ Correspondence

B. The Bishop and Diocesan Clergy

B1, 2. Clergy lists, ordinations, appointments, etc
B3. Ad Clerum Letters
B4. Pastoral Letters
B5. Status Animarum Records
B6. Diocesan Synods
B7. Deanery Records
B8. Meetings of Diocesan Clergy
B9. Visitation Records
B10. Papers re individual parishes
B11. Papers re Religious Orders and Congregations

C. Diocesan Administration

C1. Property Registers
C2. Financial Records
C3. Parish Boundaries papers
C4, 5. Diocesan Marriage Tribunal – no records
C6. Marriage records
C7. Education and Schools
C8. Diocesan Commissions (few records)
C9. Church buildings
C10. Photographs

Other archives held at Bishop’s House

The Northern Brethren Fund
St Mary’s Cathedral Chapter records
The Apostleship of the Sea
The Catholic Women’s League
Some Diocesan Societies

Parish Records

Parish records are held either in the parishes themselves or in the local authority archives offices. By arrangement between the Bishop and these archives offices, the records of the parishes established prior to 1950 have been surveyed and the older records deposited in the archives office of the local authority district in which the parish lies. The offices are those of Durham, Northumberland, Teesside and Tyne and Wear. The parish records, including the registers of baptisms, marriages and deaths, are open to inspection in these offices, to which applications for access should be made.