Federale Overheidsdienst Buitenlandse Zaken / Service Public Fédéral Affaires Etrangères

  • Federal Public Service Foreiegn Affairs Archives Administration
  • Ministère des affaires étrangères, direction des archives / Ministerie van Buitenlandse zaken, archief

Archival and Other Holdings

Two main collections are kept at this archive; the Africa Archive and the Diplomatic Archive. The Africa archive became the property of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the conclusion of an agreement on 26 August 1960 by Minister for African Affairs A. De Schryver and the government archivist E. Sabbe. That agreement was in line with a Royal Decree covering the legacy of the former Ministry of Colonial Affairs which assigned Belgium’s responsibilities for African affairs to the respective federal ministries. The Africa Archive 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. The Diplomatic Archive contains Collections of political correspondence and general publications, starting in 1830. Belgian consular and diplomatic correspondence is categorised by country and in chronological order. Most of the political correspondence up to 1934 is kept in bound volumes. Correspondence with consulates between 1832 and 1890 and between 1900 and 1910 is gathered together in separate bound volumes. All documents of political and economic importance are listed using a continuous numbering system and divided into subjects or listed geographically or filed by name.

Opening Times

The reading room is open from Monday to Friday from 9h00 to 16h00.

Conditions of Access

All researchers must apply in writing ( by post, fax or email) stating the subject, the period and the scientific aim of the research.


  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Archives Administration website consulted on 29/10/2014

    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.