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Archdiocese of Louisville Records

Identifier: DBL

Scope and Content

Chiefly correspondence files of Michael Bouchet acting in his capacity as vicar general (1871-1903), including many letters addressed to Bishop McCloskey, who referred them to Bouchet for action.

Also receipts and accounts of purchases (1840-1919); legal records and property deeds (1798-1914); parish records and surveys (1879-1832); case files on clergy and religious of the diocese (1880-1904); records of marriage cases, annulments, and dispensations (1887-1907); and subject files, including correspondence with the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide in the Vatican (1817-1838), diocesan documents (1810-1861), correspondence of priests and other Catholics during the early years of the diocese, documents regarding the history of the diocese, reports of societies in the diocese, undated sermons, and other documents of the daily operations of the diocese and its priests and bishops.

Correspondents include bishops Simon Bruté, Guy Ignatius Chabrat, Benedict Joseph Flaget, John Louis de Cheverus, John Lancaster Spalding, Martin John Spalding, Joseph Macheboeuf, Peter Joseph Lavialle, and William George McCloskey; Benedict Joseph Spalding and other members of the Spalding family; and Trappists of the Abbey of Gethsemani; with a diary of Bishop Flaget (1813?), photocopies of letters from Bishop Flaget to St. Sulpice Seminary in Paris (1808-1858), lectures and a thesis of Martin John Spalding, records of subscribers to the Louisville Cathedral (1849) and Rev. Stephen T. Badin's will.

Microfilm contains a diary (1815) and a letterbook (1828-1837) of Bishop Flaget, an account book of Bishop Chabrat (1835-1836), records of St. Francis Xavier Church in Marion County, Kentucky (1846-1912), a list of priests ordained by Bishop John Floersch (1923-1962), letters from priests of the diocese to Rev. Louis Deppen, editor of the Louisville Record, providing autobiographical information to be used in obituaries (1915), and other letters from bishops and priests of the diocese.

ms 67-916


  • Creation: 1808-1961 (bulk 1870-1905)


Language of Materials

English, French, and Latin


Erected in 1808 as the Diocese of Bardstown, a suffragan see of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, with Benedict Joseph Flaget as the first bishop. The see was transferred to Louisville in 1841. Martin John Spalding became coadjutor bishop in 1848 and succeeded to the episcopate in 1850 and served in that position until 1864, when he became Archbishop of Baltimore.

His brother, vicar general Benedict J. Spalding, served as administrator until the third bishop, Peter Joseph Lavialle, was consecrated in 1865. William George McCloskey served as fourth bishop (1868-1909), with John Lancaster Spalding as his secretary and later chancellor (1868-1872) and Michael Bouchet as his vicar general (1871-1903).

Denis O'Donaghue served as fifth bishop (1910-1924) and John A. Floersh as sixth bishop (1924-1937) and first archbishop (1937-1967). (The diocese became an archdiocese in 1937.) Thomas McDonough served as second archbishop (1967-1981) and Thomas C. Kelly as third.


12 linear feet. 8 reels of microfilm.

Archdiocese of Louisville Records
University of Notre Dame Archives
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Archives Repository

607 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame Indiana 46556 United States
(574) 631-6448