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Archives of the Royal Palace

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Contact:

Rue Ducale, 2
1000 Brussels
  How to get there

T : 02 551 20 20
F : 02 512 56 85
cap@kppr.be

Opening hours:

Open Tuesday to Friday, upon appointment, from 9 am to 12.15 pm and from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm.
Due to access control and limited number of available seats, an appointment must be made with the archivist beforehand in writing or per telephone. The reading room of the Archives of the Royal Palace has no digital reading room.

  Click here for the complete list of closed days

As from 1 January 2017, the reading rooms of the State Archives will have new opening hours, based on a differentiated approach for each repository. This modification is due to decreased funding and staffing, and to varying requirements at regional and local level.
The reduction of opening hours does not entail cutbacks on service to the public however. When the reading rooms are closed, the State Archives remains at your disposal (by phone and e-mail) for your research and to answer your questions. Our institution of course continues to make the archival holdings it conserves accessible, to digitise them, to organise various events, to feed the data base http://search.arch.be/, etc. Those visitors of the State Archives who would no longer be able to carry out their research due to the new opening hours are invited to contact the head of the repository in question.

22/07/2015 - Digitisation

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.

The Archives of the Royal Palace were set up in 1962. The service is under the authority of the Cabinet of the King but run by two archivists of the State Archives by virtue of to the Ministerial Decree of 10 January 1967.

The Archives of the Royal Palace are housed in the former Hôtel d'Assche, at the crossroads between Place des Palais/Paleizenplein and Rue Ducale/Hertogstraat. In addition to the Archives, the Cabinet of the King and the Civil List of the King as well as the Military Household of the King are located there.

The Hôtel of the Marquis d’Assche was built in the late 18th century and acquired on 28 September 1852 by the Belgian government. In 1856, the General Staff of Adrien Goffinet (Officer to Prince Leopold), the offices of the Royal Palace and the Library of the King moved there. Twenty years later, the office of the King’s Civil List were also established at the Hôtel d’Assche, which thereby became the so-called “House of the Civil List”. It was rebuilt in 1920.

The Archives of the Royal Palace conserve all archival documents produced until today by the departments and services of the Royal Palace, starting from – in principle – the 21st of July 1831, when Prince Leopold of Saxe-Cobourg (1790-1865) swore the constitutional oath to become the first King of the Belgians.

In principle, all documents dating back to 1951 and earlier, except a few that are subject to particular privacy stipulations or not yet fully inventoried, can be accessed freely. Documents that were already accessible at the moment of their creation (press articles for example) remain freely available of course. Apart from a few exceptions, all archives of the secretariat and the private secretariat of Queen Elisabeth (1900-1965) can be consulted.
 
The Archives of the Royal Palace conserves various holdings and collections:

  • The archives of the Department of the Grand Marshall of the Court,

  • The archives of the Cabinet of the King,

  • The archives of the Civil List of the King,

  • The archives of the Military House of the King,

  • The archives of the Secretariat of the King, 1914-1944,

  • The archives of the Secretariat of Queen Elisabeth,

  • The archives of the Secretariat of the Count

  • The archives of the Secretariat of the Countess of Flanders,

  • The archives of the Secretariat of Prince Leopold and Princess Astrid,

  • The archives of the Secretariat of Prince Charles,

  • The archival holding Goffinet containing among others the archives of Queen Louise, King Leopold II and his collaborators Adrien, Auguste and Constant Goffinet,

  • A collection of maps, plans and illustrations,

  • A collection of photographs,

  • A medal collection,

  • A collection of music partitions.

An overview of the archive holdings and collections is available at the reading room of the Archives of the Royal Palace. All accessible archives are listed either in an unpublished archives list or an inventory.

Library

The Archives of the Royal Palace has a specialised library with the following types of publications:

  • Works on the monarchy and the political history of Belgium,

  • Parts of the library of Queen Elisabeth (including the musical library),

  • A number of official publications: Belgian official journal, Royal Almanac, Administrative and Judicial Annals of Belgium.

Finding Aids

The following inventories can be consulted at the reading rooms of the State Archives and can be purchased at the shop of the National Archives in Brussels or via publicat@arch.be. The most recent finding aids can be accessed online as PDF files (click on the red link).

Bibliography

  • Molitor A., La fonction royale en Belgique, Bruxelles, 1994 (2nd revised edition).

  • Janssens G., Het Archief van het Koninklijk Paleis te Brussel, in: Archives et bibliothèques de Belgique, 62 (1991), p. 307-342.

  • Janssens G., Bewaring en toegankelijkheid in het Archief van het Koninklijk Paleis te Brussel, in: Bibliotheek- en Archiefgids, 71 (1995), p. 110-117.

  • Janssens G., La conservation et la consultabilité des documents aux Archives du Palais royal à Bruxelles, in: Museum Dynasticum, 8 (1996), p.11-19.

  • Janssens G., Das Archiv des Königspalastes in Brüssel, in: Der Archivar, 50(1997), col. 600-607.

  • Janssens G. , Het Staatshoofd, dans : Bronnen voor de studie van het hedendaagse België. 19e-21e eeuw (ed. P. VAN DEN EECKHOUT & G. VANTHEMSCHE), Brussels, 2009, p. 265-287.

Head of Service: Claude de Moreau de Gerbehaye.

Archivist: Baudouin D'hoore.

Reception, Reading Room and Stacks Management: /

Maintenance: /

By public transport:
The Archives of the Royal Palace is located close to Parc de Bruxelles/Warandepark, Place des Palais/Paleizenplein, Place du Trône/Troonplein and a 10 minute walk from Brussels-Central station and Brussels-Luxembourg station. Nearby Metro stations are Trône/Troon, Parc/Park and Arts-Loi/Kunst-Wet. Busses and trams have stops in the streets around Parc de Bruxelles/Warandepark, among others in Rue Royale/Koningsstraat and Rue Ducale/Hertogsstraat.

For metro, tram and bus schedules and network maps please visit the website of Brussels public transport company STIB/MIVB.

Train schedules and network maps are available on the website of the public railway company SNCB/NMBS.

By car:
This archives repository does not have a proper parking ground. It is also difficult to find a parking space in the surrounding streets.

Persons with reduced mobility (PRM):
The State Archives pledges to ensure access to its reading rooms and public spaces for all members of the public. Our infrastructure has been adapted in the past years to improve access to our facilities for persons with reduced mobility (access ramps, accessible toilets, etc.). If you have particular questions about accessing the Archives of the Royal Palace, please contact us by phone at +32 (0) 2 551 20 20 or via e-mail.

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