Sections and collections

This section gives an overview of the treasures in the archives of Foreign Affairs.

Africa archive

On this page you will find more information about the collections of the Africa Archive of Foreign Affairs.
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A brief overview of the collections

The contents of the Africa archives cover the years 1885-1962.

The collection comprises documents falling within the remit of relevant departments of the Independent State of Congo (Congo Free State) and the former Ministry of Colonies and African Affairs as well as files on similar topics concerning Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi (e.g. religious missions, the Belgian Royal Colonial Institute, annual reports from Belgian Congo, annual reports from Ruanda-Urundi, and such like).

The main topics covered are politics, administration, justice, security, civil status records, economics, public works, mining, communications and telecommunications, education, religion, ethnography, history and official documents dating from 1885 to 1962.

There is also a collection comprising around 90 private bequests.


  • Microfilms on Congo: This collection primarily contains private papers dating from the Congo Free State era to the first few years of Congo as a Belgian colony (1908- ).
  • Microfilms on Ruanda-Urundi, 1917-1961.

The transfer of the “Africa Archives” to the State Archives

The “Africa Archives” are the public records of the Belgian colonisation in Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.

For a long time, these 9.5 linear kilometres of archives were kept at our FPS Foreign Affairs and are currently being transferred to the National Archives of Belgium 2 - Joseph Cuvelier repository (NAB2), in accordance with applicable law (Archives Act of 24 June 1955, amended by the law of 6 May 2009).

To date, about 5 linear kilometres of archives have been transferred since the first batch was handed over in 2016. The Africa Archives remain accessible to the public during the transfer operations under the same conditions that apply to the other collections preserved by the State Archives.

Archives already transferred and related catalogues

Regularly, sets of records are transferred from FPS Foreign Affairs to NAB2. 

The list of transferred archives can be found here

The records listed can be accessed upon appointment in the reading room of NAB2. If not listed, they can be consulted in the reading room of FPS Foreign Affairs, upon request also. In this list you will also find information about:

  • How to access the related catalogues: Parallel to the transfer of the “Africa Archives”, the archives are comprehensively (re-)inventoried according to international standards in order to improve accessibility.
  • How to access files that were digitised.