Info for Parishes
Accessing Vital Records
The Diocese of Kootenay archives holdings go back to the 1880s. Unlike a library, the archives cannot be browsed, but requests can be submitted to the archivist. Most items are publically-accessible with the exception of House of Bishops’ material, legal matters, anything protected under solicitor-client privilege, personnel files, and refugee sponsorship details.
The vital records comprise baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial records, as well as parish vestry books and banns notices. Some parishes have very complete records; other parishes have gaps in the records for various reasons. Access to this information is governed by the BC Personal Information Protection Act.
Parish fonds include meeting minutes, annual reports, select service bulletins, Women's Auxiliary files, newspaper clippings, posters and invitations regarding parish events, photos, building plans and general correspondence. The amount of archival material varies greatly from parish to parish. For parishes who have benefited from archivally-minded parishioners, there is a lot of useful material. For other parishes, however, there is very little information, or gaps in the material.
This section provides information about archival resources beyond the Diocese of Kootenay to help you in your search.