In canon law curial offices are to have a diocesan archive where relevant documents relating to ‘both the spiritual and temporal affairs of the diocese’ are to be kept. It is important for there to be a proper inventory of the materials held in the archives (see Can. 486 §2 & 3
). Only the Bishop and Chancellor may have access to the archives, except where permission is specifically granted to someone else such as a professional archivist (see Canon 487 §1).
Individuals do have a right of access to public documents such as their own baptismal certificate but not otherwise (see Can. 487 §2).
There is also to be a secret archive to which only the Bishop has access e.g. register of marriages celebrated secretly (see Can. 489).
In this diocese the Chancellor is responsible day to day supervision and management of the diocesan archives and is assisted by a diocesan archivist. The archivist is able to assist parishes with preparations of a parish history and also welcomes materials for inclusion in the archives.
Link to the Bishop
The Chancellor discusses matters regarding the archives with the Bishop when necessary.
The Archives are based at Bishop's House, Hove