The Archives & Records office is currently closed due to COVID-19.
When this is over, we will resume our public hours on Mondays and Fridays from 9 am - 12 noon. You may also make an appointment outside of those hours to do research by giving us a call (912-201-4070) or sending an e-mail to .
The Archives & Records Management Office encourages as much availability of records as is consistent with the rights of confidentiality and privacy. However, certain records are “closed” – that is, no access is permitted under normal circumstances. Some are “restricted” and may only be used with the express permission of the Director of Archives & Records or the Chancellor.
Most documents are available for research, once they have been processed. Please refer to our Collections page for a complete list of our open collections.
Original Sacramental Registers from closed parishes are kept with care in the Diocesan Archives & Records Management Office. Information from sacraments celebrated and recorded more than eighty-five (85) years ago is available upon request without discrimination. A register falling within this time frame is accessible to the public if it is digitized, microfilmed, or a preservation copy. We currently have a selection of sacramental registers that have been digitized and are fully available to the public to view from our Reading Room. A full list of these registers will be available soon. Original Sacramental Registers are not open for public examination in order to protect the original books from wear and ensure the privacy of records that are less than eighty-five (85) years old. Research in original books must be conducted by authorized Diocesan personnel.
A Sacramental Information Request Form must be completed for sacramental record searches conducted by the Diocese of Savannah Archives & Records Management Office. Because staff is limited, no sacramental information will be accepted over the phone or via e-mail and requests will take a minimum of 4-6 weeks. All requests must be accompanied with valid proof of identity (a photo id with a signature) from the person requesting those records. A $25 administrative fee will be required for each sacrament that is requested. The office accepts cash, a cashier’s check, or money orders made payable to the Catholic Diocese of Savannah. Personal checks are discouraged. This is a non-refundable administrative fee and will still be charged in the event that no results are obtained. Fees may be waived at the discretion of the Director of Archives & Records or Chancellor.
For requests for sacramental information performed within the last 85 years, please complete a Sacramental Information Request Form and include a copy of a current id, the administrative fee, and any official records linking yourself with the individual whose sacramental information you are requesting (for example birth certificates, death certificates, school records, marriage licenses, etc.).
Because of the way the sacraments are recorded, we search for information by individual and sacrament. We are happy to provide this information upon request; however, we do not perform family tree or full genealogical line research.
The School Records Collection holds student transcripts, yearbooks, photographs, and other school administrative records which can provide useful clues while tracing family history from closed schools.
Genealogical requests for the information from student transcripts of closed schools may be made to the Diocesan Archives & Records Office using a Student Information Request form. A $25 administrative fee is required for this request. Limited directory information in accordance with 20 USC § 1232 (the student’s full name, date, and place of birth, address, and dates of attendance) is available to relatives of the deceased student. Proof of identity is required for all requests. For student information requests after 1930, proof of death and proof of relationship to the student (usually a death certificate and birth certificate) must be provided. No portions or complete copies of student files are released without consent of the Director of Archives & Records, Chancellor, and/or Diocesan Attorney.
The Diocese of Savannah has continuously published a newspaper since 1920. These newspapers are useful to genealogy research as they offer a wealth of information, including obituaries, parish activities, and other information. A list and links to the Diocesan Newspapers can be found on our Collections page.
What if the information I am looking for is in a closed collection?
Researchers may access all publicly available collections during a visit to the Archives & Records Management Office. However, certain records are “closed” – that is, no access is permitted under normal circumstances. Most closed collections will be available for research, once they have been processed. In the interim, Diocesan Archives & Records Management staff provides a research service so that you may still obtain information from those collections. The research service is available for a fee of $25 per hour.
Please use our Online Paid Research Request form or download a copy of the form and send it in with the fee. We will follow up with a report of our findings. No information will be released until the full fee is received.
What if I can't make it to the Archives?
The Archives & Records Management Office provides research services if you cannot make an appointment to search our collections. Please use our Online Paid Research Request form or download a copy. A fee of $25 per hour is assessed for all research performed by Diocesan Staff for the public. We will follow up with a report of our findings. No information will be released until the full fee is received. Please note that we cannot guarantee results.
Fees may be waived at the discretion of the Director of Archives & Records Management at any time. Please note, a fee is not required for parishes or schools preparing for anniversaries or celebrations.