Rules and regulations

On this page you will find more information on the regulations concerning the diplomatic archive and the Africa archive.

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Regulations for the use of the Diplomatic archive and the Africa archive

  • Duly signed, dated registration on an index card bearing the name, full contact details, profession, nationality and scientific references (institution or person leading or coordinating the research in question) and the aim of the research.
  • Reading room opening hours: Mondays to Fridays, 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    Anyone needing to consult the archive for research purposes is informed in good time when the reading room will be closed. In principle it only closes between Christmas and New Year.
  • Access to the Archive Department reading room is granted to consult microfilms of files that are not available on paper. There are two reader-copiers in the reading room.
  • Photocopying: Photocopies of documents may be obtained from the reading room supervisor upon submission of a request form filled out by the individual in question and initialled for authorisation by the Head of the Archive Department.
    Prices: €0.25 per page for A4 format and folio copies, €0.60 per page for A3 format copies, and €4 for burning onto a CD-ROM.
    Reproductions of documents, photos and scans on CD-ROM are available on request. Prices for this service will be based on a minimum charge. Copyright rules apply.
  • Embargo: Pursuant to a ministerial decree dated 27 July 1981 and subsequently confirmed by a ministerial decree on 12 December 2003, only documents that are over 30 years old may be consulted.
  • For documents between 30 and 50 years old, prior authorisation from the Diplomatic Committee (comprising diplomats and/or senior officials from Central Office) is required. Such authorisations are issued in response to requests to consult files that are submitted by researchers to the Archive Directorate (Diplomatic archive and Africa archive).
  • Access to documents over 50 years old is authorised by the Archive Directorate itself, subject to general criteria mainly concerning the protection of Belgium’s international relations, as specified by the 1994 law on administrative publicity, and the protection of privacy as per the 1992 privacy law.