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Parish Histories: Welcome!

A Research Guide from Atla's CRRA Program

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Aerial photo of St. Patrick's Cathedral, New Yori City

St. Patrick's Cathedral viewed from Rockefeller Center

Photo by J.M. Lujit, 2006. CC BY-SA 2.5. Source: Wikimedia Commons


How to Find Parish Histories in the Catholic Portal


The CRRA Catholic Portal is often searched by those who are looking for histories of Roman Catholic parishes in the United States. Catalog records for a large number of parish histories are retrievable in the Catholic Portal.


Find All Parish Histories

To browse all books and pamphlets under the subject of "parish histories" click the link below.

All items in the Catholic Portal under the subject "parish histories"


Find Selected Parish Histories

The most efficient way to search the Catholic Portal for the history of a specific parish is to use the Advanced Search interface. To do so, click on the "Advanced" link in the search box above.


Screenshot of how to get to the Advanced Search


Once on the Advanced Search interface, type the name of the parish in the first search box. Then pull down the menu to the right of the search box and choose "Title." This will ensure that the name of the parish is in the title of any Portal record retrieved. In the second box, type the name of the municipality in which the church is located. Try to be as precise about this as possible. (If you are not sure, leave it out.) Then in the third box type the word "history." Then click the Search button.


Screenshot on how to find a parish history


Search tip: If your search which included the word "history" does not retrieve what you are looking for, click the "Edit this advanced search" link in the upper left of the Advanced Search screen, replace "history" with the word" parish," and run a new search.


Another search tip: While searching for the name of the church in the title field can be a more exact way to search for a parish history, if that does not give you a result, change the menu to the right of the first search box to "All fields" and run a search. This will cause the search engine to look for the name of the church anywhere in Portal records, not just in item titles. Just be aware that, in broadening your search in this way, you may receive some results that are not relevant to your interests.


Screenshot of a search tip


If you retrieve a result, click on the title of a book to see more about an item. The CRRA library that owns the item is indicated in the Portal record as the "location" of the book. Click on the name of the library for contact information.


Screenshot of how to interpret a catalog record of a prish history


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