The Diocesan Archives are reasonably well established. Unfortunately, because of financial constraints an archivist is employed for only three days per week in the Diocese. The Archive holds records regarding the administration of the Diocese since its inception in 1930 and parish records going back to the earlier days when in the Rockhampton Diocese. It holds general material about Parishes and some Diocesan organisations and agencies. Some Baptismal and Confirmation Registers from the 1800s and more recently are held. More recent Baptismal and Confirmation, Marriage and Funeral registers are retained by individual parishes.

Religious Orders generally tend to maintain their own archives. The Catholic Education Office holds some archival records relating to Catholic Schools in the Diocese.

A complete set of the former Diocesan Newspaper The Catholic News published from 1935 until 1973 is housed in the Archives as well as a large photograph collection. While a considerable amount of cataloguing has been completed there is still a large volume to be catalogued appropriately. The Archive also holds a significant library of old books and a considerable number of artifacts and museum items from the past.

Any enquiries regarding information from the Archives should be submitted in writing and any reasonable requests will be considered within the constraints of time and privacy requirements. 

A small fee may be charged to locate and issue copies or records from the Archives.

Any enquiries regarding information from the Archives should be submitted in writing and any reasonable requests will be considered within the constraints of time and privacy requirements.

Townsville Archive Centre
276 Stuart Drive
Wulguru, 4811
Ph: 07 4729 1392 

The Diocesan Timeline 1770 - 2021

The Diocesan Timeline is an ongoing research project on the history of the Catholic Church in north Queensland and, from 1930, of the Diocese of Townsville.

The research and documentation of this history was carried out by John White, an Archive volunteer since 1985.

Some primary sources have been used in this project but much of the information comes from secondary sources and it is possible that further information is available. If anyone has such information please contact the Diocesan Archive through and include your sources such as family documentation, newspapers, etc.

To search the Timeline simply open the time period you wish to search, if no search window appears then press 'Control (Ctrl) F' on your keyboard and a search window will appear in the top right corner of the screen, alternatvely if you are using a MAC then press 'Command F'. Now  type in the word you wish to search for and you will altermatically be taken to the first page it appears on in the Timeline. You can continue to scroll through the pages, all occurrances of your search will be highlighted on the page or click on the arrows that appear to the right of the seach window and these will also take you to all occurances of your search. Keep in mind that you may need to shorten your search eg. 'St Patrick's Church South Townsville' may need to be shortened to 'St Patrick's' because the complete name may not have appeared in the orginal news paper article.

# Timeline documents are best viewed using Adobe Acrobat Reader. A FREE version is available here.

Townsville Diocesan Timeline - 1770 to 1929
Townsville Diocesan Timeline - 1930 to 1949
Townsville Diocesan Timeline - 1950 to 1959
Townsville Diocesan Timeline - 1960 to 1969
Townsville Diocesan Timeline - 1970 to 1989
Townsville Diocesan Timeline - 1990 to 1999
Townsville Diocesan Timeline - 2000 to 2009
Townsville Diocesan Timeline - 2010 to 2019
Townsville Diocesan Timeline - 2020 to 2021

International Archive Week

8-14 June 2020

As part of International Archive Week 2020, we would like to share some historical documents and memoirs that may never by formally published.

Memories of Fr Thomas O'Dwyer

Where would the Diocese have been without the contribution of the Irish clergy and religious who responded so generously to the Missionary call to a most remote area of a far flung land, Australia?

Fr Tom O’Dwyer’s personal reflections on his call to be a Missionary, his early travel experiences on the way to Australia eighty years ago, together with his lifelong service to almost every parish in the Diocese, will fill most readers with gratitude and joy.

Click here to download the document.

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