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Australian Diocesan Archivists Circular Letter “The Pastoral Function of Church Archives” of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the.

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Presentation on theme: "Australian Diocesan Archivists Circular Letter “The Pastoral Function of Church Archives” of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Australian Diocesan Archivists Circular Letter “The Pastoral Function of Church Archives” of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church Feb 2, 1997 Pauline Garland SAA Pauline Garland SAA

2 “…the traces of Christ’s action are revealed… ” 1.2

3 MISSION OF CHURCH Sole intent of the Church is the announcing of the Gospel

4 Church archives Preserve the unique and Preserve the unique and Spontaneous documentation produced by persons and events Spontaneous documentation produced by persons and events Cultivates the memory of life of Church Cultivates the memory of life of Church Manifests a sense of tradition Manifests a sense of tradition

5 Cultural goods of Church are created by: Memory of works Memory of works Witness of members Witness of members Continual search of believers Continual search of believers

6 Archives are a cultural good because they record the path followed by the Church through the centuries

7 1. TRANSMISSION OF DOCUMENTS 1. TRANSMISSION OF DOCUMENTS As a moment of Tradition As a moment of Tradition As memory of evangelisation As memory of evangelisation As a pastoral instrument As a pastoral instrument

8 1.1 Documents of Tradition Enable reconstruction of daily events Enable reconstruction of daily events Represent primary source of history Represent primary source of history Can be gathered from Apostolic times onwards Can be gathered from Apostolic times onwards Express oneness and continuity of Church Express oneness and continuity of Church Record events of salvation Record events of salvation

9 1.2 Documents as memory of evangelisation Contain history of pastoral work of bishops, pastors, missionaries, religious and lay organisations Contain history of pastoral work of bishops, pastors, missionaries, religious and lay organisations Consists of reports of ‘ad limina visits’, national councils, diocesan synods, chapters, dispatches of missionaries, correspondence Consists of reports of ‘ad limina visits’, national councils, diocesan synods, chapters, dispatches of missionaries, correspondence Includes Parish records Includes Parish records

10 1.3 Documents as a pastoral instrument Are a means of enlightening pastoral action Are a means of enlightening pastoral action Make more concrete the memory of the facts of Tradition Make more concrete the memory of the facts of Tradition Are a useful source of knowledge of different experiences of the past Are a useful source of knowledge of different experiences of the past Provide a forward looking awareness as a means of adaptation to the needs of the faithful Provide a forward looking awareness as a means of adaptation to the needs of the faithful

11 2. Concrete plan of action Have an effective diocesan historical archive Have an effective diocesan historical archive Adapt archives for current affairs Adapt archives for current affairs Collaborate mutually with civil bodies Collaborate mutually with civil bodies Adopt common guidelines for Episcopal Conferences Adopt common guidelines for Episcopal Conferences Employ qualified personnel Employ qualified personnel

12 2. 1 Effective diocesan historical archive – Can Need to be adequately conserved Need to be adequately conserved Ought to be carefully kept and Ought to be carefully kept and Systematically organised Systematically organised

13 2.2 Adaptation of archival documents for current affairs Be organised according to present day needs with openness to future developments Be organised according to present day needs with openness to future developments Show awareness of process of changes since Vatican II Show awareness of process of changes since Vatican II Collect documentation from restructure of institutions Collect documentation from restructure of institutions Possess a certain urgency and care for current affairs Possess a certain urgency and care for current affairs Set criteria to acquire acts of special initiatives Set criteria to acquire acts of special initiatives Use modern technical methods of organisation Use modern technical methods of organisation

14 2.3 Mutual collaboration with civil bodies By awareness of cultural heritage By awareness of cultural heritage By mutual agreements of Church bodies By mutual agreements of Church bodies Through using Norms of ownership, nature and origin Through using Norms of ownership, nature and origin By respecting civil laws By respecting civil laws Through collaboration with political community Through collaboration with political community

15 2.4 A. Common guideline for the Episcopal Conferences Respect of Church towards cultures Respect of Church towards cultures Be efficient instrument of dialogue with contemporary society Be efficient instrument of dialogue with contemporary society Preserve acts of concrete life of Church community Preserve acts of concrete life of Church community Draft diaries of local events Draft diaries of local events Care in gathering documents of traditions and initiatives becoming extinct Care in gathering documents of traditions and initiatives becoming extinct

16 2.4 B. Common guideline for the Episcopal Conferences Converge on common practical guidelines that effect particular churches Converge on common practical guidelines that effect particular churches Study ways to recover confiscated archives Study ways to recover confiscated archives Remind administrators of responsibilities to protect material documentation Remind administrators of responsibilities to protect material documentation Promote current training; membership of professional Associations; conferences Promote current training; membership of professional Associations; conferences Reawaken pastors sensitivity to archives Reawaken pastors sensitivity to archives Maintain Parish registers Maintain Parish registers

17 2.5 Employment of qualified personnel Archival direction be given to qualified and properly trained individuals Archival direction be given to qualified and properly trained individuals Or combine other archive collections Or combine other archive collections Use management policy Use management policy Staff be active in archival science Staff be active in archival science Possess professional background Possess professional background Use technical competence Use technical competence

18 3. Conservation of Documents of Memory Be aware of unique quality of documents Be aware of unique quality of documents Use appropriate storage spaces Use appropriate storage spaces Utilise inventory and computerised methods Utilise inventory and computerised methods

19 3.1 Unique quality of documents Because unlike library material Because unlike library material Are principle sources of historical research Are principle sources of historical research Require appropriate access policy Require appropriate access policy Work towards recovery of dispersed material Work towards recovery of dispersed material Need of cooperation with other Church archives Need of cooperation with other Church archives Choice of paper etc Choice of paper etc Correct collection management Correct collection management

20 3.2 Appropriate storage spaces Utilise properly equipped spaces Utilise properly equipped spaces Hygiene – lighting, ventilation, temperature Hygiene – lighting, ventilation, temperature Security - fire and burglar alarms Security - fire and burglar alarms Practise vigilence towards collection Practise vigilence towards collection Use of technical instruments, finding aids, computerised equipment Use of technical instruments, finding aids, computerised equipment

21 3.3 Inventory and computerised methods Use computer catalogue programs Use computer catalogue programs Establish inventory procedure Establish inventory procedure Other useful measures of access Other useful measures of access Linking of various archive catalogues Linking of various archive catalogues Copying of important documents for preservation Copying of important documents for preservation

22 4. Appreciation of patrimony in the historical culture and the mission of the Church Universal destination of the archival patrimony Universal destination of the archival patrimony Require regulations concerning archives Require regulations concerning archives Interpretation of documents within their context Interpretation of documents within their context

23 4.1 Universal destination Offered primarily at service of creating community Offered primarily at service of creating community Also heritage of all humanity Also heritage of all humanity History of the Christian people History of the Christian people All researchers All researchers Disinterested openness, kind, competent Disinterested openness, kind, competent

24 4.2 Regulations concerning archives Make known individual regulations Make known individual regulations And harmonise with civil regulations And harmonise with civil regulations Use common guidelines for parish archives Use common guidelines for parish archives Coordination of recording processes and collections Coordination of recording processes and collections Set limits to use of personal files (privacy) Set limits to use of personal files (privacy)

25 4.3 Interpretation of documents within their context Use specific archival procedures and Use specific archival procedures and Bibliographical aids Bibliographical aids Understand right context – principle of provenance Understand right context – principle of provenance And principle of original order And principle of original order Apply instruments and facilities for use, copy and reproduction of manuscripts Apply instruments and facilities for use, copy and reproduction of manuscripts

26 4.4 Cultural formation through archival deposit By use of archival deposit staff of Archives contribute towards cultural development By use of archival deposit staff of Archives contribute towards cultural development When they use scientific competence When they use scientific competence Give access to researchers and foreign scholars, different nationalities Give access to researchers and foreign scholars, different nationalities Contribute towards understanding, peace and unity of people Contribute towards understanding, peace and unity of people

27 4.5 A. Promotion of historical research Promote cultural importance among civil bodies Promote cultural importance among civil bodies Make heritage of memory a point of reference and meeting place Make heritage of memory a point of reference and meeting place Can inspire cultural initiatives and historical research, centres of documentation Can inspire cultural initiatives and historical research, centres of documentation Need to become priviledged places for research the subject of conferences, didactic exhibits Need to become priviledged places for research the subject of conferences, didactic exhibits

28 4.5 B Promotion of historical research Assume a role of cultural agency Assume a role of cultural agency By promoting critical editions of sources and collections of studies By promoting critical editions of sources and collections of studies Become ‘tabernacles of memory’ Become ‘tabernacles of memory’


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