Archives départementales du Lot

  • Departmental Archives of the Lot


218 Rue des Cadourques


+33 (0)5 65 53 49 00


+33 (0)5 65 30 23 53


As in all the departments of France, whose creation dates back to 1790, the Departmental Archives of the Lot were created in 1796. Until 1985, they were a State service, whose operation was largely provided by the General Council (building, supplies). As of 1 January 1986, they became a departmental responsibility, placed under the full authority of the president of the general council, which became the departmental council in 2015.

The role of the Departmental Archives developed during the 19th and 20th centuries. Initially made up of the files of the administrations, jurisdictions and establishments of the Ancien Régime that were nationalised, they were extended to the archives of the administrations established in the department, to the archives of notaries, communes, hospitals, as well as to private archives...

Among the Ancien Régime documents, we deplore the disappearance of a large part of the archives of the former bishopric of Cahors, following a dispute over their fate, which arose around 1805 between Prefect Bailly, the first prefect of the Lot (March 1800 - December 1813), and Bishop Cousin de Grainville (bishop of Cahors from 1802 to 1828). There is also evidence of the "burning" of documents (feudal titles, old books, parchments, etc.) in 1792 and 1793.

Mandates/Sources of Authority


The Departmental Archives are located in Cahors, the department's capital, and have been housed in the former Capuchin convent since 1921. Enlarged and refurbished, the building has had a new architecture since 1992, harmoniously combining the original structure with contemporary materials.

Archival and Other Holdings

The papers of the administrations of the Ancien Régime, the documents received or produced by the services of the Department, the State services with departmental competence, the public establishments, the educational establishments, the hospitals, the notary's offices, the communes, as well as private papers (from personal archives to company archives) constitute this formidable material, a source of history, indispensable to researchers and the simply curious.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

Opening Times

Tuesday to Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Important: documents are no longer issued from 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. onwards; It is therefore advisable to arrive in the room before these times.12 places are available, so it is strongly recommended that you reserve a place on 05 65 53 49 00 or by email at least 24 hours in advance. No documents are reserved in advance.

Conditions of Access

The research room is open free of charge to any person, of French or foreign nationality, on presentation of a valid official identity document. On your first visit, you will be asked to fill in a form designed to identify the type of research you are undertaking. It is compulsory that you provide references to an identity document. Do not forget to bring your identity card, passport or driving licence! Once you have registered, you will be issued with an individual reader's card, which you will need to present at each new session in the library. Registration is annual, but easily renewable from one year to the next. A decree of the President of the Department lays down a certain number of rules applicable in the research room, which are important to know.

Reproduction Services

In the interest of preserving the archives, photocopies, which have long been forbidden for registers, are now being replaced by digital reproductions. See tariffs here

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