Archives Nationales de France

  • National Archives of France


The French National Archives were created after the French Revolution; on 12 September 1790, the Constituent Assembly named it National Archives. Four years later, by the law of 7 messidor Year II (25 June 1794), the Convention specified the role of the National Archives and establishes a "central repository of the National Archives." The law then states three main principles which remain relevant:

  • centralized archives of the Nation;
  • providing free access of the archives to citizens;
  • the need for a national archival network. The Law of 5 Brumaire V (26 October 1796) introduced an archive in each department.

Archival and Other Holdings

The National Archives hold the records of the central state administration (except for the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), the minutes of the Parisian notaries and private funds of national interest.

The National Archives have three sites:

  • Paris: public archives of the Ancien Régime, minutes of the Parisian notaries
  • Pierrefitte-sur-Seine: Public Archives of French Revolution until today, private funds (all periods)
  • Fontainebleau: specific public funds (naturalization records after 1930, career records of officials from the 1960s onwards, records approval of vehicles in particular), audiovisual archives, private archives of architects.

Among others contains restitution- and/or compensation-related materials: holds restitution files, some outlined on CIVS' website: "Guide to searching the Archives on Spoliations and Restitution" (2000)

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication


  • Mémorial/YV/ClaimsCon'06/Maison d'Izieu/online search website repository

  • Claims Conference

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