State Archives of Belgium

The General State Archives in Brussels preserves the largest collection of historical sources in the country: some 315 km worth.

The National Archives and State Archives in the Provinces, in short the ‘State Archives’, is composed of the National Archives in Brussels and 19 State Archives repositories throughout the country..

The State Archives obtain and preserve (following appraisal) archive documents that are at least 30 years old from courts, tribunals, public authorities, notaries and from the private sector and private individuals (businesses, politicians, associations and societies, influential families, etc. that have played an important role in society). It ensures that public archives are transferred according to strict archival standards..

The State Archives ensures the proper preservation of archival documents is conducted and managed by the state authorities. For this purpose, the State Archives issues directives and recommendations, conducts inspections, organises training for civil servants and acts as an advisory body for the construction and preparation of premises for the conservation of archives and for the organisation of archive management within a public authority.

The scientific personnel of the State Archives makes archives accessible for research by authouring inventories and other search aids such as research guides, archive overviews, guides and institutional studies. Indeed, one of the key tasks of the institution is to make these archive documents available to the public, while respecting the privacy of particular information..

By means of its 19 reading rooms, the State Archives provides appropriate infrastructure to a wide public. Maintaining a direct service to the public via the Internet is another of the institution’s key priorities..


CEGESOMA, Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Society, is the Belgian centre of excellence for the history of 20th century conflicts. It carries out research, organises public events and holds document collections. It is a platform for academic and public activities in Belgium and abroad, in particular with regard to the two World Wars.

The centre serves as a portal for research in the area of Belgian contemporary history and in so doing maintains relations with all of the country’s universities and scientific institutions. It also takes part in the international networks that link similar institutions together..

The CEGESOMA publishes a newsletter, a scientific journal and monographs, and organises colloquia and seminars. The Centre has started the process of digitising its collections.

It has also earned distinction with an important publication on the complicity of the Belgian authorities in the persecution of the Jews during the German occupation.


National Archives of Belgium
Ruisbroekstraat 2 Rue de Ruysbroeck
B-1000 Brussels
  +32 (0)2 513 76 80
  Contact form

Luchtvaartsquare 29 Square de l'Aviation
B-1070 Brussels
  +32 (0)2 556 92 11

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Agenda: conferences, symposia and Exhibitions

In 2017 the Institute underwent a peer review. A summary of the evaluation can be found in the ‘Management Summary‘.