If you have comments or suggestions that will help make this guide more useful, please email them to Ted Bergfelt, Chair, CRRA Subject Guides Subcommittee, using the following link: Send Email
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.