Archives départementales de la Haute-Loire

  • Departmental Archives of the Haute-Loire


4, avenue Meschede
Le Puy-en-Velay


+33 (0)4 71 02 81 19


+33 (0)4 71 02 98 76


The Haute-Loire has a rich written heritage covering over a thousand years of history. Very early on, the Velay region was concerned with the classification and conservation of archives, both in the royal administration and among the ecclesiastics: in 1485, Canon Sigaud is mentioned as being the custodian of the archives of the cathedral chapter. The first building used for the conservation of the Haute-Loire Archives was the former Capuchin convent purchased by the departmental administration in 1791. Arcis, the first departmental archivist, was appointed that same year. Then came Auguste Aymard, who was responsible for the creation of the repository from 1840 onwards and for the first filing of archives.

After having passed through several premises, the Departmental Archives moved in 1988 to a new building designed by the architects V. Besançon and the Arsène brothers. Besançon and the Arsène Henry brothers. These new premises offer better working conditions for both the public (reading room, inventories and exhibitions) and the staff. Dependent on the State until the decentralisation laws of 1982, the Departmental Archives became a department of the Department under the scientific and technical control of the Inter-ministerial Service of the Archives of France (Ministry of Culture).

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

Opening Times

The reading room is open from Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 12.30 pm and from 1.30 pm to 5 pm, and on Friday from 9 am to 12.30 pm. It is closed on public holidays and during the annual closure of the service, from 1 to 15 July included.

Conditions of Access

Documents may only be consulted in the reading room of the Haute-Loire Departmental Archives. No document loans are authorised, except for administrative services and exhibitions. See the reading room rules (modified by the Permanent Commission's decision of 6 February 2017).

Once registered, readers may request documents to be made available in accordance with the regulations in force. Requests are limited to 12 documents per half-day and per reader, as soon as the number of visitors justifies it. Professional genealogists are authorised to consult more than this limit, except during busy periods.

Each request includes the call numbers of a maximum of 3 documents. Reading room staff collect documents from the storeroom every half hour, from 9.15 a.m. to 11.45 a.m. in the morning and from 1.45 p.m. to 4.15 p.m. in the afternoon. Between 12.30 and 13.30 the Archives are closed to the public.

Documents are given personally on the basis of the consultation form and are returned with the same form after consultation. In order to avoid the risk of accidental mixing, only one document is issued at a time.

The reader may request that these documents be placed on reserve for consultation. This reservation may not exceed three documents and must not exceed one week.

Reservation of documents by telephone or e-mail is possible for all readers registered for the current year, provided that they have the precise call number(s). From one to three documents can be pre-ordered by the reader.

The reading room staff is there to guide and advise the reader. Under no circumstances may they take the place of the reader in carrying out research. It is strictly forbidden to bring food and drink into the reading room. Mobile phones must be switched off.

When the original documents have been digitised, preference is given to consultation of copies, with free access for digitised documents, rather than the originals, unless the Director decides otherwise.

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