The Archives Nationales, situated in the heart of Paris, is a custodian of the nation’s historical treasures and an architectural gem that bears witness to the unfolding narratives of France. This institution stands as a guardian of centuries of collective memory, preserving and making accessible an invaluable trove of documents that illuminate the tapestry of the nation’s past.
Housed in the Hôtel de Soubise and the Hôtel de Rohan, two magnificent 18th-century mansions, the Archives Nationales serve as a repository for an extensive collection of documents spanning over a millennium. These holdings encompass records from royal, judicial, administrative, and governmental sources.
The architectural splendor of the Hôtel de Soubise and the Hôtel de Rohan provides an exquisite backdrop to the archival treasures within. The buildings themselves are symbolic of the grandeur of France’s past, contributing to the immersive experience of delving into historical records.
Chronological and Thematic Diversity: The archives cover a vast chronological and thematic spectrum, from medieval charters to modern administrative records. Researchers and historians can explore a myriad of subjects, including politics, culture, society, and governance, gaining insights into the evolution of the French state.
In adherence to the principles of transparency and academic inquiry, the Archives Nationales are open to the public. Scholars, historians, and curious minds alike have the opportunity to delve into primary source materials, unlocking new perspectives on France’s rich and complex history. Beyond its role as a research facility, the Archives Nationales host temporary exhibitions that bring selected documents to the forefront. These exhibitions shed light on specific historical events, figures, or themes, making the historical wealth of the archives more accessible to a broader audience.
The institution actively engages in educational initiatives, offering guided tours, workshops, and educational programs. These initiatives aim to instill a sense of historical consciousness and appreciation for archival research among students and the public.
Preservation is at the core of the Archives Nationales’ mission. The institution employs advanced conservation techniques to safeguard delicate manuscripts, parchments, and documents, ensuring that future generations can continue to explore the nation’s heritage.
The Archives Nationales, with its rich archival holdings and commitment to historical preservation, serves as a custodian of France’s past. Its halls echo with the whispers of centuries, inviting those who seek to unravel the intricacies of history and gain a deeper understanding of the forces that have shaped the nation.
Following the terror attacks in Paris on Friday, november 13, 2015 and to ensure the safety of our visitors, the National Archives are applying the security measures decided by the French authorities. The National Archives are fully opened. It is strongly recommended not to bring suitcases and luggages to the National Archives. Only luggages not exceeding 55cm*35cm*20cm will be accepted. This applies to the Soubise Musuem and Paris and Pierrefitte reading rooms.