Archives départementales du Nord

  • Departmental Archives of the North


Rue Saint-Bernard 22


+33 (0)3 59 73 06 00


+33 (0)3 20 48 07 67


The Archives du Nord was very quickly given the very rich archives of the Chambre des comptes de Lille which, when this institution was abolished by Louis XIV, had been entrusted to an archivist in charge of its conservation and inventory, Denis Godefroy, who was succeeded by his son.

In the middle of the 19th century, the collections of the bishopric-archbishopric of Cambrai, the officiality and the metropolitan chapter were transferred to the Archives du Nord, an invaluable enrichment since the oldest original document of the Nord (804), the terrier of the Bishop of Cambrai (1275) and four imperial diplomas sealed with gold bulls are preserved there. Alongside the archives of the chapters (including that of Saint-Pierre de Lille, famous for its donation charter of 1066), there were nearly 250 collections of religious establishments.

The courts of justice (including the Parliament of Douai), the provincial administrations (intendances, Bureau des Finances), and educational establishments (including the University of Douai) are also well represented.

Among the archives from the Ancien Régime are: registers of baptisms, marriages and burials kept by the parish priests; notaries' minutes, whether or not grouped together in tabellions, where all civil acts are recorded; documents relating to the communes and guilds; and family titles.

At the same time, the archivists of the Nord have never ceased to be concerned with safeguarding the administrative archives: revolutionary administrations of the department, districts and cantons, the Prefecture, the Sub-Prefecture, the General Council, state, financial and tax administrations, the Ponts-et-Chaussées, the Rectorate and the Inspectorate of the Academy, the courts, prisons etc. It is these archives that have continued to grow since then and which occupy the majority of the 68 km of archives kept today.

In the 20th century, archivists extended the collection to include notaries' minutes over 100 years old, then to family archives, scholars' papers, company archives, architects' archives (including those of Louis Cordonnier), and the century-old archives of municipalities with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants, not forgetting hospital archives (including those of the hospitals of Lille) or chambers of commerce and industry (particularly those of Lille, Roubaix and Tourcoing).

Geographical and Cultural Context

Hauts de France - Nord-Pas-de-Calais

Mandates/Sources of Authority

The Departmental Archives, created in 1796, and attached to the Departments in 1986, collect, conserve, classify and communicate to the public all the archives of public bodies that exist or have existed on the territory of the Department, as long as they are of interest for the justification of everyone's rights and as a source of historical research. These missions are set out in legal texts (Code du patrimoine).

Opening Times

Reading room open:

  • from Tuesday to Thursday (9:00 - 17:00) with a lunch break from 12:00 to 13:00
  • on Fridays (9:00 - 16:00) with a lunch break from 12:00 to 13:00

Holidays (closed): public holidays from 1st to 14th July

Conditions of Access

Access to the archives in the reading room

What do I have the right to consult? The communication of public archives is governed by the Heritage Code.

Public archives are communicable by right. However, deadlines have been set for certain categories of documents: See the Heritage Code. Chapter 3: Communication regime (Articles L213-1 to L213-8) For more information: Exemptions are provided for consulting documents that have not yet reached the legal deadline for disclosure. (French Heritage Code, Articles L. 213-1 to L. 213-5)

Do not forget your ID for registration. Bring a 1 euro coin or token for the deposit (coats and bags must be left in the cloakroom).


By metro, coming from the station: line 1, direction CHR: get off at "Porte des Postes" station line 2, direction Saint-Philibert: get off at "Montebello" station

Reproduction Services

  • photocopies,
  • very high and high definition digitisation on request,
  • copying of available image files,
  • correction and adaptation of image files,
  • transfer of the image files produced, including communication of selections.


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