Archives de l'Université catholique de Louvain

  • Archives of the Catholic University of Louvain


Archives de l’Université Catholique de Louvain

Place Montesquieu 3


0032 10 47 48 84


The Catholic University of Louvain created an archival centre in 1982 following the decision of the Administrative Council on 29th April 1981. The creation of the archives were necessary after fonds and collections divided between UCL and KUL were brought on in 1979, which is also the year tha UCL definitely moved to Louvain-la-Neuve and Louvain-en-Woluwe.

Mandates/Sources of Authority

Creation of the archives due to the decision of the Administrative Council on 29th April 1981. See also:

Administrative Structure

The Archives of UCL are part of the administration of UCL and are under the authority of General Administrator.

Records Management and Collecting Policies

The archives are responsible for the entirety of the archives kept at UCL. They are also responsible for managing all documents from all departments of UCL. They only hold definitive archives of the institution and its members as well as certain exterior or deposited fonds .

Archival and Other Holdings

The archives of UCL hold many different sort of documents (texts, photographies, visual and audiovisual, but also objects) in paper and digitally.

  • fonds and collection regarding the former University of Louvain (1425-1797), the State University of Louvain(1817-1835) and the Unitary Catholic University of Louvain (1834-1968) given to UCL according to the agreement with KUL.
  • archives generated by the Catholic University of Louvain since 1968 (archives of the eduction office, central administration, faculty administration, archives of the institutions and research centres.
  • personal archives (donated by professors, students or persons affiliated with the university), isolated pieces received of gained.
  • documents holding their very own cultural value (collection of manuscripts, external fonds regarding various subject not linked with the university.
  • Several fonds from the Center for the Study of Contemporary European History/Centre d'études d'histoire de l'Europe contemporaine de l'UCL (UCL-CEHEC) have been donated.

The entirety of the archives are collected in fonds and collections.

3 distinct fonds: Fonds of the institution (FI) regarding UCL and its members. This fonds holds any documentation regarding the administration of the university on all levels or regarding the sutend life (student associations) and its members (professors, researchers, administrativ staff or students). Some fonds are private fonds donated by private persons, others are administrative fonds which are regularly donated to the university.

The external Fonds (FE) hold documents donated to the Archives of UCL by institutions and private persons with not direct relation to the history of the university, but those documents are important to preserve.

Deposited Fonds (FD) are fonds that the Archives are committed to a good conservation. They have been donated by UCL or other entities. Those documents are easily available to visitors via the reading room of the archives. This fond preserves the documents and their management and procures the authorizations for consultation.

The managed Fonds (FG) are fonds that are preserved by the archive of UCL, but are also partly co-managed with other entities.

The Collections. The collections hold documents regarding UCL but also external documents that have no link to UCL. An important collection are the documents regarding the working within UCL and holds directories and study programs of UCL from 1834, regulations, official reports, publications, etc. It also holds bio-bibliography filesregarding professors. The other collections hold visual and audiovisual documents, courses (since 17th Century), folders, newspapers, paintings, etchings, scientific object, educational material, certificates, medallions, flags, emblems, fourniture, clothes, manuscripts and papyri.

The libraries. The archives have two libraries with publications:

  • the history of the University of Louvain (in the broad sense) from 1425 until today
  • the subject of archival science

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

Publications :

  • Françoise HIRAUX et Françoise MIRGUET, Collection de cours manuscrits de l’Université de Louvain 1425-1797, Catalogue analytique, Louvain-la-Neuve, Academia-Bruylant, 2003, 585 p.
  • Françoise HIRAUX et Françoise MIRGUET, L'institut supérieur de philosophie de Louvain (1889-1968). Inventaire des archives Introduction historique, Louvain-la-Neuve, Academia-Bruylant, 2008, 520 p.

Many non published inventories are currently being encoded in AtoM, but can be given after sending a request to the archivists. A summary list of the fonds and collections is available on the site of the archives.

Opening Times

Monday - Friday: 9h - 17h Closed during official holidays, 27 September and from 25th December until 1st January.

Conditions of Access

Entry to the archives is free after registration, ask an archivist. A piece of identity is required. The consultation of fonds and collections is done in the reading room and is subjected to the regulations of the archives. The consultation of documents is only possible after submitting a request for consultation and within the legal limits, especially regarding privacy. The archives of the administration of the UCL are only accessible after authorization from the department or the creator. The loan of documents is prohibited unless it is for an exposition. In this case, specific conditions apply. The reproduction of documents is only possible (photocopies) if te material will be used in a private matter or for scientific purposes.


The archives are accessible to persons with reduced mobility.

Research Services

The archival staff is there to help with scientific research at the archives or by email.

Reproduction Services

A copy machine and a scanner are on the premise and available to readers after permission from an archivist. In some cases a reproduction in high definition is possible, but can only be done by the archives.