State Archives of Belgium

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Document management

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Efficient document management is a basic prerequisite for a sound business management and a legal obligation for the public authorities. Indeed, public information cannot be used at discretion. By virtue of the Belgian Law on Archives and the corresponding executive decrees (Archives supervision and transfer of archives) the public authorities are obligated to conserve their archivesin good state, sorted and accessible“ and to hire qualified personnel for document management. Archives must not be destroyed without the authorisation of the State Archives. After 30 years, the archives must be transferred to the State Archives.


Correctly sorted (paper or digital) archives offer many advantages:

  1. Documents can be found quickly, which benefits the daily work and service to the public.
  2. The public authorities can justify their policies and decisions. Professional archive management increases transparency.
  3. After the expiration of the administrative utility period, documents with historic value are transferred to the State Archives.


More Information:

The State Archives has published a number of directives and brochures about various aspects of material conservation and archive management. They are destined for the large public and for specific target groups. These directives and brochures can be downloaded as PDF files via the links below.

You can also consult our FAQ section and the international norms about archive management.



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