Archives nationales

Documents that are extracted for consultation

Certain documents and files are "extracted" from their box prior to access, for one of the following reasons:

  • Due to their state of conservation.
  • Photographs housed in specific low-temperature stacks may be "extracted" prior to consultation, meaning there is a lapse of time between when they are requested and when they are available. Their proper conservation makes this necessary, as they are placed in a transfer lock where they are progressively brought up to the temperature of the reading room. In this case the "extract" procedure is used both for entire items and for extracted records.In order to avoid any risk of items from different files being mixed up in a single box, the box contains both openly accessible documents and others which are not on open access.
  • The time needed to obtain the requested documents depends upon the material condition of the documents and the preparation needed (for example new packaging, numbering the items in the file, etc). The department in charge of preparing the requested extract is unable to specify in advance how long it will take. On average it takes two weeks. If longer is needed (particularly for material reasons), the department will inform the reader.


Ordering an extract.
When you draw up your "list of reference numbers" in your personal workspace on the online catalogue, a table displays the automated results. For documents marked as "extraction required for access" you will need to:

  • Return to your list of reference numbers, click the check box for the reference(s) for which you want to request extraction,
  • then click on "consult an extract from a reference number" (at the bottom of the screen).


Fill out the form describing exactly what you wish to consult for each reference number, the specific reason for the request, and any useful additional information. Click on "submit request".

The automated result is displayed:

  • If the reference is available for open access, confirmation is displayed on screen. Your request for an extract has been registered and will be carried out by a member of staff.
  • If your request is automatically validated it will appear in the list of your current requests for access.
  • If the reference is not available or not on open access, your request will be taken into account. You can track your request by clicking on "track my forms".


Once your request has been processed by the Archives Nationales, if validated it will appear in your list of ongoing requests for access in the "track my records accessed" tab, along with the date it will be available.
The document will be available for 21 consecutive days (including bank holidays). After this period the document will be returned to the stacks and will not be available for access unless you re-request it.
See requests for naturalisation files.

Got to the online catalogue