Algemeen Rijksarchief 2 - Depot Joseph Cuvelier / Archives Générales du Royaume 2 – Dépôt Joseph Cuvelier

  • National Archives 2 - Joseph Cuvelier repository
  • ARA2-AGR2


Hopstraat 26-28 / Rue du Houblon 26-28
Brussels Capital


+32 (0)2 274 15 00


In retrospect, the National Archives of Belgium were established by the French law of October 26th 1796 (5 Brumair V), which, amongst others, foresaw in the organisation of departmental depots (amongst others, in Brussels), in which the archives of the disbanded institutions of the Ancien Régime would be stored. In 1831, the archive depot in Brussels was officially named the National Archives of Belgium. Already in the early nineteenth century, more archival depots in the provinces were installed, which were officially placed under the direction of the National State Archivist (who holds his office in the National Archives) in 1851. The“Archives Générales du Royaume”(National Archives of Belgium) and the“Archives de l’État dans les Provinces”(State Archives in the Provinces), in other words the State Archives are a federal academic establishment that forms part of the“Service Public Fédéral de Programmation Politique scientifique”(Belgian Federal Science Policy Office). The institution includes the“Archives Générales du Royaume”in Brussels and 18 State Archives that are distributed throughout the country. The State Archives ensure the proper preservation of archival documents produced and managed by the state authorities. For this purpose, the State Archives issue directives and recommendations, conduct inspections, organises training for civil servants and act 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 State Archives obtain and preserve (following sorting) archive documents that are at least 30 years old from courts, tribunals, public authorities, notaries and from the private sector and private individuals (companies, politicians, associations and societies, influential families, etc. that have played an important role in society). They ensure that public archives are transferred according to strict archival standards.

Archival and Other Holdings

The National Archives of Belgium 2 – Joseph Cuvelier repository preserves the archives of the external services of the Federal Public Service Justice (penal institutions), the courts and tribunals under the responsiblity of the Brussels-Capital Region (justices of peace, police tribunals, Court of Cassation, etc.), the Federal Public Service Economy (patents), the Ministry for Reconstruction (files on war damages) and business archives.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

There are several online search engines: keyword, archives, creator, persons, themes ( In order to facilitate access to documents, archivists produce academic reference works aimed at users, such as archive group overviews, guides, historical source studies and, in particular, inventories and search guides with detailed indexes. The search guides can be consulted in the reading room, and they are currently subject to a digitisation initiative, which aims to make them fully accessible on-line or via the intranet available on the computers in all the depositories of the State Archives.

Opening Times

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays upon appointment: from 9.00 am to noon and from 1.00 pm to 4.30 pm. An appointment has to be taken with the archivist, via the e-mail address of the NAB 2 (


  • State Archives in Belgium website consulted on 27/10/2014

    Pierre-Alain Tallier (dir.), Gertjan Desmet & Pascale Falek-Alhadeff, Bronnen voor de geschiedenis van de Joden en het Jodendom in België, 19de-21ste eeuw, Brussel, ARA-AGR/Avant-Propos, 2016, 1328 p.