Guidelines on parish registers and records

Saturday April 7th 2018

New guidelines on parish registers and records have been issued by the Church of Ireland Library and Archives Committee

Dr Susan Hood, Secretary to the Library and Archives Committee, said this arises from some recent situations involving copying and/or publication of parish registers and other records held locally.

The guidelines are being sent for the immediate attention of every member of the clergy and parish secretary, to provide clear guidance about the care and copyright governing parish registers; vestry minutes and related parish records; and inscriptions on memorials in burials grounds.

The Guidelines are designed to:-

  1. Assist members of the clergy and select vestries with the care and custody of records held in parishes; and
  2. Raise awareness about the legal restrictions in place concerning copyright in the text of parish records and in inscriptions on memorials, with particular reference to publishing such data on the internet or in printed formats.

Dr Hood said: “They are sent in good faith to facilitate you and your select vestries to deal sensitively and sensibly with information in their custody, know what rules to apply, and KEEP THE RECORDS SAFE.”

The Guidelines may be downloaded at this link:

Any queries should be directed to the Library at Representative Church Body Library, Braemor Park, Churchtown, Dublin 14; Tel: 01-4923979 or email:

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