Logo des Archives nationales (France)

Authorisation to consult (private archives)

User guide
The Archives Nationales holds private records entrusted to them by their owner. In accordance with article L.213 6 of the French Heritage Code, the owners may place conditions on accessing and copying the records they have given to or deposited with the Archives Nationales. These conditions have to be respected.
When you draw up your "list of reference numbers" in your personal workspace on the online catalogue, a table displays the automated results. Records marked as "access to record group blocked" are not openly accessible, in which case you may request authorisation to consult them.

  • Return to your list of reference numbers, click the check box for the reference(s) for which you want the restriction to be lifted, then click on "authorisation to consult private archives" (at the bottom of the screen).
  • Fill out the form then click on "submit request".

then click on "print request". You need to sign the form. Once you have signed it, hand it in at the main reading room desk or send it by post to:

Archives Nationales
Direction des fonds
59, rue Guynemer
93383 Pierrefitte-sur-Seine cedex

Only request records that are useful for your research, as requests for large numbers of documents may be rejected.
If the documents you wish to consult are from several different record groups, you will need to fill out a form for each record group as they belong to different owners.
For university research it is a good idea to append a brief note from your supervisor supporting your request.
It is essential that you know the reference number for the article(s) concerned in order to place a request.
Incomplete requests cannot be processed. If you do not know the reference number of the documents you wish to consult because the corresponding calendar has not been published or is not yet available online, then you will need to come to the Archives Nationales in order to find the reference number.
Authorisations to consult records are strictly personal. If several people wish to consult the documents for which a request is being filed, each person needs to make a separate request.
Documents for which clearance has been granted can only be copied if authorisation to do so has been requested along with clearance, and formal authorisation been granted, irrespective of the means used to copy the document. You will not be able to copy a record you have come to consult unless you have such authorisation.

Tracking progress with your request
Click on "track my forms" in your personal workspace of the online catalogue (you can also reprint your request from here if need be).
Once your request has been processed the Archives Nationales will send you a letter informing you of the owner's decision.
If you have received clearance for all the records corresponding to a given reference number, request access to these from your personal workspace on the online catalogue. If you have received clearance for extracts corresponding to a given reference number, you will need to contact the person indicated in the letter you have received. The Archives Nationales will then reserve the extract for the date indicated.
It is not possible to appeal against this decision. Access to private archives is at the owner's discretion, and they alone decide on how on the duration of any authorisation.
Go to the online catalogue