Contact:Rue de Ruysbroeck 2
How to get there
T : 02 513 76 80
F : 02 513 76 81
Tuesday to Friday: 8.30 am to 4.30 pm, upon appointment.
July and August: 9 am to 12 am and 1 pm to 4.30 pm => closed between noon and 1 pm.
Closed on Monday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
Due to the health crisis, the reading rooms of the State Archives are only accessible upon appointment.
Book a seat here in the reading room of the National Archives via the online booking form.
- As from Tuesday 5 January 2021, all visitors can access our archives again in our reading rooms, under strict observance of the applicable safety measures.
- Reservation of workspace in the reading room must be made by e-mail to the State Archives in question at least 2 workdays before the visit. You can find the contact details of our repositories here.
- ATTENTION: You must use our online booking form to book a seat in the reading room of the National Archives instead of sending an e-mail.
- Please consult the special preventive measures against Coronavirus/COVID-19 to best prepare your visit.
- Meanwhile, we continue to extend the online valorisation of archives and finding aids.
- You do not know to which service your question should be addressed? Use our contact form.
Op 1 September 2020, a common research project of the State Archives and the University of Antwerp titled DIGHIMAPS was launched. In the future, meticulous georeferencing and vectorisation of maps and (semi-)automatic recognition of their content shall enable us to link more and more maps to other digital contents. Building on the work already undertaken in digitisation and geolocation, this FED-tWIN project examines the potential of digital cartographic collections as a key to our new digital environment.
At the end of September 2019 data experts from across Europe gathered at the UK Data Archive (UKDA) for the annual CESSDA Expert Seminar (CES 2019). Belgium was represented by the SODA project, one of whose researchers gave a presentation about the new Open Data and Public Sector Information directive.
On 18 October 2019, the colloquium 'Saving the Web: the Promise of a Belgian Web Archive' took place in KBR. The colloquium was organised by the researchers of the PROMISE research project that aims to develop a federal strategy for the preservation of the Belgian web. Web archiving is clearly a 'hot topic' because the event attracted 107 participants from Belgium and abroad. The public was very varied and consisted of people active in the archival or library sector, supranational, federal, regional and local government services, research institutions and universities, genealogy, ...
“Cooperation, and even more so international cooperation, can be considered as a very positive factor in every regard”: With these words, National Archivist Karel Velle welcomed some hundred participants on March 18th to the launch event of the Time Machine project, a pan-European initiative and flagship project of the European Commission.
On 10 October 2016, the Belgian State Archives organised a congress about the impact of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) on the core activities of archive services and on their relationship with citizens and users. Eminent speakers from abroad, senior public servants, legal practitioners and archivists with in-depth expert knowledge and international experience reflected on the priorities of archive services, on issues and opportunities to live up to criteria such as accessibility, reliability, authenticity and completeness, but also on tools and procedures to defend and facilitate the very important right to information. The congress proceedings are now available!
The SODA project team would like to wish you a most happy new year! 2019 is the home stretch for the SODA project. Our feasability study for the establishment of a data archive and service provider for the social sciences in Belgium will yield its final report by the end of the year. This entails several challenges yet also opportunities. On the threshold of Europe 2020 the SODA project will finally deliver a clear roadmap that will guide decision-makers when the time comes to truly launch and sustain the Belgian data archive once the prototype is up and running. The project priorities are the following.
Open (research) data, open science, open access, data management plans, data security, protection of privacy… Such are but a few of the many questions that Belgian social scientists are now faced with more than ever. The SODA project team sought to learn more about the needs and concerns of its target audience by sending a needs assessment survey to all Belgian universities.
For over a decade now, the State Archives has been a key player in digital preservation: the institution’s internal developments and the numerous national and international co-operations bear witness of the commitment of the State Archives to tackle this major challenge of the 21st century.
The European Archives Group has prepared Guidelines for the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by archive services. These guidelines provide basic information and practical guidance to archivists regarding the specific challenges for the application of the GDPR in the archival sector. The Guidelines are addressed to public and private institutions that hold archives: National and State Archives, Regional and Municipal Archives, museums, libraries, foundations, etc. They are a work in progress, subject to improvement and enrichment, thanks to the feedback from the archives sector. The Guidelines are currently only available in English, but Dutch, French and German versions are planned for 2019.
The State Archives holds a real treasure of cartographic materials, but handing out original maps and plans in the reading rooms bears the risk of deteriorating the state of conservation of these documents. Indeed, repeated unrolling and rolling-up of these maps and plans that are sometimes of considerable size has taken its toll on the documents, which called for a large-scale digitization campaign. In recent years, some 60,000 maps and plans were digitised. This number increases steadily. Roughly 44,000 of these digital images have been processed and are now available for research.
In order to reuse some elements of the State Archives' IT infrastructures for the needs of the future data archive, a mapping between Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) and Encoded Archival Description (EAD) was developed. This crosswalk will enable the State Archives of Belgium to feature metadata pertaining to social science datasets in its online catalogues. The mapping is introduced in a paper published by the International Association for Social Sciences Information Services & Technology (IASSIST) in its open-access, peer-reviewed scientific journal, IASSIST Quarterly.
As each year, the Royal Palace opens its doors to the public during summer. Two of the three exhibitions shown there are co-organised by the State Archives! Discover them from 22 July to 3 September 2017. Free entrance.
From 14 to 19 March 2016, the National Association of Italian Archivists carries out actions to raise awareness among the large public for the preservation of archival heritage in Italy and for the need to promote the profession of archivist. We have decided to support our Italian colleagues by spreading their actions and by presenting a number of documents about the history of Italy conserved in our repositories.
The National Archives of Belgium conserves one of the most voluminous collections of seal moulds in the world. Until recently, these 38,000 seal moulds were only accessible in the reading room of the National Archives in Brussels. But now they are also accessible online via our website.
On 27. August 2015, the Cartesius website was officially launched at the National Archives of Belgium in the presence of the state secretary for science policy and the defence minister. The State Archives, the Royal Library, the Royal Museum for Central Africa and the National Geographical Institute each conserve rich cartographic collections. The four institutions now have joined forces to bring their historical cartographic collections for the first time together to the broad public.
Two hundred years ago, on 18 June 1815, the famous battle of Waterloo was fought. The State Archives conserves hundreds of linear metres of records from this period that can be searched with archive guides, inventories, historical studies, etc. A number of events are also organised this year in relation with the commemorations.
In March 2014, that is to say 100 years after the First World War broke out and 75 years after the start of the Second World War, the 17 linear metres of archives (100 boxes) were returned to Germany – to the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. Indeed, diplomatic archives are the property of the country that created them.
Directorate-General and Central Services
Director-General – National Archivist of Belgium: Karel Velle
Directorate-General Secretariat: Chantale Merckaert
Risk Prevention Officer: Philippe Fabry
Head: Kathleen Devolder
Archivists: Arnaud Charon, Flore Plisnier, Marij Preneel, Nicolas Surdiacourt
Trainer: Danielle Caluwé
Archive teams: Sigrid Dehaeck, Valérie Gheysens, Kenzo Lanoo en Sophie Vanderus
International and External Relations
Head: Karin Van Honacker
Translators: Alexander Hezel, Pascal Neckebrouck
Public Relations, Communication and Press: Stéphanie Deschamps, Geertje Elaut
DIGI P@T (Digital Conservation & Access)
Head: Rolande Depoortere
Technical Support: Yves Lardinois (staff leader), Romain Blan, Evy Cuyt, Eddy Lermytte, Sélim Teyar, Sandra Théate
Content Support: Annelies Coenen, Freya De Schamphelaere, Benjamin Peuch, Sébastien Soyez, Johan Van Der Eycken
Scanning/Data Input/Quality Control agents: Marjolijn Bijloos, Daniel Bovy, Peter Fraussen, Françoise Graindorge, Kathleen Jorissen, Guillaume Lebbe, Claudine Lelubre, Antonius Renard, Marie-Noëlle Verhulst
Directorate of Support Services
Director of Support Services: Eric Dam
Head: Caroline Huys
Staff: Pascale Bataille, Viky Heirweg, Marcel Delwiche
Head: Carine Delhovren
Staff: Carine Bourmanne, Stephan Hamtiaux, Aurélie Hessel, Lieve Maes
Head: Peter Van Overveldt
Staff: Patrice Blanche, Frédéric Gatisseur, Benny Huyghe
Head: Eric Dam
Facilities and Transport Staff: Emmanuel Etienne, Eddy Leliveld, Guy Ongenae, Ronny Schoofs, Fabrice Vanderlinden
Cleaning Staff: Henriette Benvanuta Calligaro, Rik Dewaele, Christel Hanssen, Fatima Siraj, Afafe Taj
Acting Head of Brussels Department: Pierre-Alain Tallier
Section 4: Public Service – Ancien Regime Archives – Restoration Workshop – Library
Head of Section: Marc Libert
Archivists: Lieve De Mecheleer, Dirk Leyder
Reading Room: Benoît Jacquet, Annemie Mahieu, Anja Marginet, Madiha El Maimouni
Library: Catherine Vandenbruggen
Restoration Workshop: Bart Boon, Bénédicte Muls, Frank Van Laethem
Reproductions and Loans: Yolande Schaltin
Conservation, Preservation and Stacks Maintenance: Naima Ferrouj, Chantale Heuschen, Charlène Mol
Reception: Najima El Hajoui Zaroili
Section 5: Contemporary Archives (NAB + NAB2)
Head of Section (NAB + NAB2): Pierre-Alain Tallier
Head of Section 5 for NAB: Michaël Amara
Archivists: Guy Coppieters, Madeleine Jacquemin, Filip Strubbe
Stacks Managers: Faissal Beddi, Laurent Caltabellotta, Antoinette Delvaux, Ilse Van Damme, Michaël Van Leliendael, Chantal Windels
Conservation, Preservation and Stacks Maintenance: Faissal Beddi, Laurent Caltabellotta, Antoinette Delvaux, Ilse Van Damme, Michaël Van Leliendael, Chantal Windels
Operational Directorate I
Operational Director Flanders: Eddy Put (deputy)
Operational Directorate II
Operational Director: Sébastien Dubois
Operational Director Wallonia: Sébastien Dubois
Publications and Printing
Head: Roland Van der Gracht
Print Shop: Jan Fabri
Publications Sales: Patricia Liétard
Project collaborator: Sofie Onghena