Belgische Senaat, Sectie Archivering en Historiografie / Sénat de Belgique, Section Archivage et Historiographie

  • Belgian Senate, Archiving and Historiography Department
  • Archives du Sénat
  • Archief van de Senaat


Paleis der Natie / Palais de la Nation
Leuvenseweg 7 / Rue de Louvain 7
Brussels Capital


+32 2 501 70 77


+32 2 501 72 20


The role of the Senate was thoroughly redefined in the fourth constitutional reform (1993); since then it mainly serves as a ‘reflection chamber’. The Senate has the right to discuss and to amend bills (right to review), or to propose own bills to the Chamber.

The Archiving and Historiography Department team (an archivist, two documentalists and a secretarial assistant) grew around the Senate archives. In 2006, the General Affairs Department was reorganised. The archive - the most famous series of which is the senators' biographical files - was housed in its own 'Archiving and Historiography' section. The fact that the Senate archive was considered as a stand-alone entity made it possible to start integrated archive management according to the philosophy of the Lifecycle concept, which means that archive management already starts at the creation of the document.

Geographical and Cultural Context

The purpose of the Archiving and Historiography Section is to document and make known the history of the Senate by participating in publications, activities and making archive sources accessible. In this context, the section manages the historical and administrative archives of the Senate.


This was built in 1783, based on the plans designed by the French architect Barnabé Guimard, for the Sovereign Council of Brabant. Originally known as the Palais des Etats-Généraux in 1817, it became the Palace of the Nation after 1830.

Archival and Other Holdings

The Archiving and Historiography Department aims to document and publish the history of the Senate, by cooperating in publications, activities and making accessible archival sources. The Department's range from 1831 to today.

These general sources of course contain priceless information, for example regarding the organisation of the Jewish recognised religion, anti-Semitism, the refugee issue during the interwar period, the persecution of Jews during the Second World War, post-war commemoration initiatives, attacks against Jewish institutions, the legislation on Holocaust denial, laws on ritual, but for example also naturalisation applications by foreign Jews.

Opening Times

Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. only by appointment

Conditions of Access

In order to consult a document that is not accessible online, researchers must contact the Senate Archivist who will reply to their request within 15 working days.

If the archivist refuses access to the records, they must provide a reason. Researchers, if they so wish, can then lodge an appeal in writing with the Clerk of the Senate.

Once researchers have received a permission to consult the requested document(s), they must make an appointment with the Department in order to view the documents in our reading room.

For further information on the regulations related to the consultation of unpublished documents held by the Senate Archives, see: (in Dutch) (in French)

The documents produced in the current legislative term are not public. Documents containing personal information are only public 100 years after the birth or 20 years after the death of the person concerned.

Reproduction Services

Copies of archival documents may be requested.


  • Belgian Senate website consulted on 24/07/2019

  • 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.

  • Yerusha European Jewish Archives Portal website, last consulted on 07/10/2022

  • "META" nr. 2011 / 8

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