Adelaide Catholic Archdiocesan Archive

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Adelaide Catholic Archdiocesan Archive

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • Adelaide Catholic Archives


  • Religious

Contact area


Record Services and Archives



Street address

39 Wakefield Street, Adelaide; Postal address: Record Services and Archives, Catholic Diocesan Centre, 39 Wakefield St, Adelaide SA 5000




South Australia

Country name

Postal code



08 8210 8115




Description area


In 1842 Rome subdivided the vast diocese of Sydney creating the diocese of Adelaide and Bishop Francis Murphy (1842-1858), the first Bishop of Adelaide, was consecrated in Sydney in 1844.

Adelaide remained remained a Suffragan Diocese of Sydney until 1887 when Adelaide was made an Archdiocese by Rome. Adelaide’s fourth Bishop, Bishop Christopher Reynolds, became the first Archbishop.

The Diocese of Port Augusta became a separate diocese on the same day Adelaide became a Metropolitan Archdiocese, and the new Port Augusta diocese then became a province of the Archdiocese of Adelaide.

In 1951 the seat of the Port Augusta Diocese was moved from Port Augusta to Port Pirie, and became part of the Port Pirie Diocese; Port Pirie is a Suffragan Diocese of Adelaide.

The Adelaide Catholic Archdiocesan Archive (ACAA) is the official custodian of the non-current records of the Archdiocese. It is responsible for preserving the cultural and social history of the church in South Australia and hold in trust a rich collection of written and pictorial information from the early days of the Diocese to its recent history.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Officer in charge: Record Services and Archives Staff, Archbishop’s Office Manager

Records management and collecting policies

The administrative papers generated by the church through successive bishops and archbishops of Adelaide, parishes, diocesan offices and church agencies. The archives also accepts significant collections from Church affiliated organisations or individuals within the archdiocese.



Documents relating to:

  • The administration of the Archdiocese since its inception
  • Parishes (general information only)
  • Lay Associations (general information only)
  • Religious Orders (general information only)
  • Microfiche and digital copies of various church registers; baptisms, marriages, deaths and confirmations with many gaps across all registers (closure periods apply)
  • Catholic newspapers, including The Southern Cross (1889 - current); The Witness (1957 – current), and L'Osservatore Romano, (1968 - current)
  • Photographic collection of persons, places and events
  • The Official Directory of the Catholic Church in Australia, 1841 - current (with some gaps)

Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

Search room hours: Tuesday to Friday, 9am – 4pm, by appointment only.

Access conditions and requirements

All visits by prior appointment only.
Bona fide students and other researchers may be given access to the archives under the following conditions:

  • That they apply in writing to Record Services and Archives for permission to view the documents they require. An access form will be provided. They must state clearly the nature and purpose of their research and must abide by the decision given.
  • That they abide by the rules relating to conduct in the search room, as stated in the document, “Rules for the Use of the Adelaide Archdiocesan Archives” (see and co-operate with archive staff.


Services area

Research services

General advice provided.
Family history services: The archive is a private collection and has a responsibility to prioritise management of the records of the Archdiocese in accordance with archival best practice and in ways that directly support the work of the Archbishop. For this reason, the archive welcomes family history researchers although encourages geneaologists to access identical resources when they are readily available elsewhere for public use.

Reproduction services

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised 19 June 2024




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Religion (Thematic area)
  • Social Organisations and Activities (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

39 Wakefield Street, Adelaide;
Postal address: Record Services and Archives, Catholic Diocesan Centre, 39
Wakefield St, Adelaide SA 5000
Adelaide, South Australia 5000