The Archives of the Archdiocese of Baltimore are housed at the Associated Archives at St. Mary's Seminary & University (est. 2002). Located on the campus of the nation's first Roman Catholic seminary, this program brings together the archives of the Archdiocese of Baltimore (est. 1789), St. Mary's Seminary & University (est. 1791), and the Associated Sulpicians of the United States (U.S. Province est. 1903), making it one of the most significant repositories for records relating to the early history of the Catholic Church in the United States.
The collection documents the founding, growth, and development of the Archdiocese of Baltimore from its creation in 1789 through to the present. Records of Archdiocesan offices, including the Archbishop and Chancellor, are maintained by the Archives. Also located in the Archives are the photographic holdings of the Archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Review, and microfilm versions of parish sacramental records and the Archdiocesan newspapers.
A detailed description of the Archives' holdings can be found on its website. The website also has a page dedicated to Genealogy, where one can find information on the sacramental records that have survived for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, where to locate records for parishes in the Maryland counties included in the boundaries of the Diocese of Wilmington and Archdiocese of Washington, DC, and resources created and identified to assist genealogists in researching their Maryland Catholic roots.
Please note that the Archives only has records for parishes within the current boundaries of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, which is comprised of the following counties: Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, and Washington. The Archdiocese's earliest records are those for St. Peter's pro-Cathedral (1770-1841) in Baltimore City and date back to 1782.
Prior to the creation of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits, were in charge of the mission to Catholics in the British colonies of North America, which was headquartered in Maryland. Very few records have survived for the colonial and revolutionary periods and none prior to 1759. The majority of these records have been transcribed and published in works that include Edwin Beitzell's The Jesuit Missions of St. Mary's County (rev. ed.; priv. publ., 1976), Joseph C. Cann's History of Saint Francis Xavier Church and Bohemia Plantation Now Known as Old Bohemia (Old Bohemia Historical Society, 1976)*, Timothy O'Rourke's Catholic Families of Southern Maryland: Records of Catholic Residents of St. Mary's County in the Eighteenth Century (Baltimore: Genealogical Publ. Co., 1985) and Colonial Source Records: Southern Maryland Catholic Families (Parsons, KS: Brefney Press, 1981), F. Edward Wright's Vital Records of the Jesuit Missions of the Eastern Shore, 1760-1800 (Silver Spring, MD: Family Line Publications, 1986), and Agnes Kane Callum's Flower of the Forest: Black Genealogical Journal (1982- 1998).
Individuals interested in sacramental records for parishes outside the current boundaries of the Archdiocese of Baltimore will need to contact the diocese responsible for that territory today for assistance.