Archives de la Ville de Bruxelles / Archief van de Stad Brussel

  • The Archives of the City of Brussels
  • Stadsarchief Brussel
  • Archives of the City of Brussels
  • ASB-AVB

History

The archives were kept at first in the church St Michel and in the tower of the St. Nicholas church. In the 16th century they were transferred to the City Hall. They then moved again to two different buildings: Spiegel and Boterpot. These buildings were reduced to ruin during the bombardment of Brussels by the troops of Louis XIV in 1695, so destroying a considerable part of the administrative memory of the city.

In spite of this disaster, the City enriched its collections thanks to an acquisition policy implemented by professional historians in the 19th century to whom the City entrusted the management and the administration of the archives.

The main role of the Archives of the City of Brussels is to safeguard the documents produced by the municipal administration of the city since the Middle Ages.

Archival and Other Holdings

The Archives of the City of Brussels (ACB) store exclusively the administrative records of the Brussels municipality and those of the adjoining municipalities of Haren, Laeken and Neder-Over-Heembeek.

The Archives' collections are divided into ten sections and include: the third-largest collection of newspapers and periodicals in Belgium; an iconographic collection of more than 35,000 documents; a large collection of maps and plans; a collection of posters and advertisements of all kinds; and administrative collections from the various services of the City administration, such as charities, religious groups and burials, finances, public education, fine arts and public festivals, police, streets and municipal public works.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

Researchers can consult the Archives' inventories via the database Pallas

Opening Times

Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Distribution of documents from 8 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.)

Wednesday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Distribution of documents from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

The reading room is closed on Monday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

The reading room is close in July and August

Conditions of Access

Documents can only be consulted in the reading room of the Archives of the City of Brussels. Access to the reading room is free, but visitors have to register beforehand and be in possession of an identity card or passport.

Documents cannot be requested by phone, email or letter.

Certain documents (those less than one hundred years old and subject to privacy laws) may require authorisation before being consulted. The form to make a request to consult such documents can be found here:

https://www.bruxelles.be/sites/default/files/bxl/Consultation_FR.pdf

Reproduction Services

Authorized reproduction methods:

• There is a photocopier in the reading room for formats smaller than A3 (0.25 euros per photocopy, A4 or A3 format)

• The use of a personal camera is allowed. The reader will communicate the list of documents photographed using a form provided in the reading room

• The Archives Department offers a scanning service for documents smaller than A1 (58 cm x 83 cm). The use of personal scanners is prohibited

• The reproduction of housing plans (hard copy or scanning) is carried out by a private firm

Sources

  • http://archives.bruxelles.be consulted 18/07/2019

  • Pierre-Alain Tallier (dir.), Gertjan Desmet & Pascale Falek-Alhadeff, Sources pour l'histoire des populations juives et du judaïsme en Belgique/Bronnen voor de geschiedenis van de Joden en het Jodendom in België, 19de-21ste eeuw, Brussel, ARA-AGR/Avant-Propos, 2016, 1,328 p.