Public Access Policies

The Diocese of Charleston archives is a resource for scholarly and genealogical research. The Office of Archives and Records Management welcomes research inquiries from the public and makes the archives as widely available as possible.

It is the responsibility of archives staff to balance researchers’ needs for access against the expectation or right of confidentiality of the persons and institutions whose activities are recorded in archives. Consequently, the Office of Archives and Records Management abides by the following access policies:

  • Some material may contain restrictions to access. Few materials are permanently restricted. Some material may be sequestered from common viewing for a certain period of time.
  • Material will be made available in a scheduled manner in keeping with professional criteria and legal requirements.
  • Other restrictions to access may be in place for unprocessed collections, fragile materials, or as a result of contractual stipulations through deeds of gifts, wills, or sales arrangements.
  • Portions of restricted collections may still be available for public research. Requests for access to restricted collections can be made to the diocesan archivist. Appeals for denied requests can be made to the chancellor, and finally to the bishop of Charleston.
  • Access is granted to public researchers as a contractual matter in which use of the material is subject to the rules of the archives, including the acceptance of its policies and procedures.
  • Researchers must state the purpose of their research and identify the objectives and intended products of their research.
  • Researchers must receive explicit permission of the Diocese of Charleston for the publication or reproduction of any portion of the archives, and they must credit the diocese for the same.
  • The Office of Archives and Records Management may request researchers to donate a copy of their final work product to archives when significant use has been made of its primary sources.