Archives de l'Université catholique de Louvain

  • Archives of the Catholic University of Louvain


Archives de l’Université Catholique de Louvain

Place Montesquieu 3


+32 10 47 48 84


The Catholic University of Louvain created an archival centre in 1982 following the decision of the Administrative Council on 29 April 1981. The creation of the archives were necessary after fonds and collections divided between UCLouvain and KUL were brought on in 1979, which is also the year that UCLouvain definitively moved to Louvain-la-Neuve and Louvain-en-Woluwe.

Mandates/Sources of Authority

Creation of the archives was due to the decision of the Administrative Council on 29 April 1981.

Administrative Structure

The Archives of UCLouvain are part of the administration of UCLouvain and are under the authority of General Administrator.

Records Management and Collecting Policies

The archives are responsible for the entirety of the archives kept at UCLouvain. They are also responsible for managing all documents from all departments of UCLouvain. They hold definitive archives of the institution and its members as well as certain exterior or deposited fonds .

Archival and Other Holdings

The Archives of UCLouvain hold many different types of documents (texts, photographs, visual and audiovisual, but also objects) in paper and digital form. They include:

  • Fonds and collections regarding the former University of Louvain (1425-1797), the State University of Louvain (1817-1835) and the Unitary Catholic University of Louvain (1834-1968) given to UCLouvain according to the agreement with KUL.

  • Archives generated by the Catholic University of Louvain since 1968 (archives of the education office, central administration, faculty administration, archives of the institutions and research centres.

  • Personal archives (donated by professors, students or persons affiliated with the university), isolated pieces received or gained.

  • Documents holding their very own cultural value (collection of manuscripts, external fonds regarding various subject not linked with the university.

  • Several fonds from the Center for the Study of Contemporary European History/Centre d'études d'histoire de l'Europe contemporaine de l'UCLouvain (CEHEC) have been donated.

  • Documents with their own cultural value (manuscript collections, so-called "external" collections on various subjects not related to the University).

The entirety of the archives are held in fonds and collections.

The Fonds

The Archives hold fonds that can be divided into four distinct categories:

  • Fonds of the institution (FI) which cover UCLouvain and its members. This fonds holds documentation concerning the administration of the niversity as well as student life (student associations) and its members (professors, researchers, administrative staff or students). Some fonds have been donated by private persons, others are administrative fonds which are regularly donated by university departments.

  • The external fonds (FE) comprise documents donated to the Archives of UCLouvain by institutions and private persons who do not have a direct relation to the history of the university, but whose documents are important to preserve.

  • The deposited fonds (FD) are those fonds which have been donated by UCLouvain or other entities to the Archives so that their preservation can be ensured and so that they can be made easily accessible to visitors in the Archives' reading room. However, it is important to note that the entities who deposited their collection with the Archives retain their rights over the documents (and ownership in the case of third parties at UCLouvain) and they are responsible for issuing consultation authorisations.

  • The managed fonds (FG) are fonds that are not held by the archive of UCLouvain, but for which the Archives are also partly responsible, in co-management with other entities.

The Collections

Documents related to UCLouvain as well as external documents that have no link to UCLouvain can be found in the Archives' collections.

One collection of particular importance includes documents related to the workings of UCLouvain and holds directories and study programs of UCLouvain from 1834, regulations, official reports, publications, etc. It also holds bio-bibliography files on professors. The other collections hold visual and audiovisual documents, courses (since 17th Century), folders, newspapers, paintings, etchings, scientific objects, educational material, certificates, medallions, flags, emblems, furniture, clothes, manuscripts and papyri.

The Libraries

The Archives have two distinct libraries:

  • The History of the Universities of Louvain Library
  • The Archival Library

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

Publications :

  • Françoise HIRAUX et Françoise MIRGUET, Collection de cours manuscrits de l’Université de Louvain 1425-1797, Catalogue analytique, Louvain-la-Neuve, Academia-Bruylant, 2003, 585 p.
  • Françoise HIRAUX et Françoise MIRGUET, L'institut supérieur de philosophie de Louvain (1889-1968). Inventaire des archives Introduction historique, Louvain-la-Neuve, Academia-Bruylant, 2008, 520 p.

Many non-published inventories are currently being encoded in the Archives' online catalogue, AtoM, but can be given after sending a request to the archivists. A summary list of the fonds and collections is available on the site of the archives at:

Opening Times

Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed during official holidays, 27 September and from 25th December until 1st January.

Between 1 July and 31 August, members of the public are only able to access the archives after having made an appointment.

Conditions of Access

Entry to the archives is free after registration, ask an archivist. A piece of identity is required. The consultation of fonds and collections is done in the reading room and is subjected to the regulations of the archives. The regulations can be found here:

The consultation of documents is only possible after submitting a request for consultation and within the legal limits, especially regarding privacy. The archives of the administration of the UCL are only accessible after authorisation from the department or the creator.

The loan of documents is prohibited unless it is for an exposition. In this case, specific conditions apply.


The archives are accessible to persons with reduced mobility.

Research Services

The archival staff is there to help with scientific research at the archives or by email.

Reproduction Services

The reproduction of documents is authorised (photocopies and digital copies) for private or scientific use. A photocopier (€0.05 per black and white photocopy, €0.10 for colour) and a scanner are available for readers, subject to authorisation from the archivists. High quality reproductions may be made by the Archives under certain conditions.


  • consulted on 22/07/2019

  • 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.