Diocesan Historical Commission


The Ballarat Diocesan Historical Commission holds many historical records regarding the administration of the Diocese.  It holds general materials about Ballarat parishes and about some Catholic Agencies and Institutions.  With a few exceptions, it does not hold records of individuals.


To collect and preserve in its archives all documents, photographs, objects of significance to the history and heritage of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat.  These include parish histories, architectural plans, correspondence, sacramental objects, liturgical items, vestments, etc., that have relevance to the heritage and the history of the faith community encompassed today by the Catholic people of this region.

By properly administering this collection as laid down by the Vatican Cultural Commission so as to make it available to researchers and those enquiring into the history of the church and the faith community in this region.  These aims encompass our purpose to serve the Diocese and the wider church.


The Historical Commission encourages parishes to place information about significant events with the Commission.  Parishes should maintain an archive in the parish; should a parish or donor wish to lodge objects or original documents and retain copies, this too is acceptable although originals are preferred with waivers to comply with current copyright law. This dual holding safeguards the faith community in the case of loss at one repository or the other. The diocesan archive issues a Deed of Grant for items of material culture donated.

We welcome:

  • Parish Newsletters (not weekly Notice Sheets);
  • Minutes of Transition Teams’ and older inactive parish and Catholic organisations’ meetings;
  • Letters relating to Parish boundary changes;
  • Newspaper articles relating parish events (please include date, page and name of article and publication);
  • Photographs of events and persons (include date, event and donor details – please be aware of privacy issues);
  • Art works and architectural renderings relevant to church properties and or publications.


  • Vestments
  • Parish Files
  • Local histories
  • Photographs
  • Letters
  • Architectural drawings and plans
  • Index to the Victorian Catholic paper ‘The Advocate’
  • Index to the Diocesan paper ‘Light’ (compiled by Fr T Linane)
  • All Diocesan papers and journals including, ‘Light’, ‘Our Diocesan Community’, ‘Chairette’
  • Journals ‘The Australian Catholic Record’ and ‘Austral Light’
  • Some Church Agencies and organisational records (eg. CYMS, HACBS ‘Hibernians’, Altar Societies, etc.)
  • Adult Lay Apostolate and the National Catholic Rural Movement
  • Australian Catholic Directories from 1888

*Note: The Diocesan archive does not hold sacramental records.


Bishop Paul Bird CSsR, Andrew Black, Samantha Fabry (Secretary), Sr Berenice Kerr rsm, Fr John Monaghan, Dr Michael Taffe and Fr William Lowry.


Samantha Fabry
PO Box 121
Ballarat VIC 3353

Phone: (03) 5337 7123
Fax: (03) 5332 1122
Email: Diocesan Historical Commission

Historical Items Collection:

The collection of historical items housed in the Ballarat Diocesan Archive is gradually becoming available to view online through the Victorian Collections website. Should you wish to follow our progress, click here.

Other items from the collection:

Ballarat CYMS 1933
Brass Clasp or Morse for Cope c. 1915
Catholic Schools Readers 1908