Visiting the Nationaal Archief for the first time
There are a few things which you need to know when you visit the Nationaal Archief. Below you will find a brief summary of these.
Preliminary research on the website
You are looking for information on a specific subject or you are searching for a document. We recommend you visit our website first to make sure the Nationaal Archief is the right place to find what you are looking for or whether you would be better off looking in a different archive or checking with a different institution first.
Under ‘Q and A’ you will also find our research guides and FAQs.
Also bear in mind that a number of our archives have highly restricted access and cannot therefore be viewed in the reading room itself. These are predominantly recent court archives (going back less than 75 years) and archives relating to World War II. If you want to view these archives, you will need to submit a written request in advance.
What to remember before your visit
You have visited our website and you want to visit our reading room to view some records. It will save you time if you create a profile on this website before you visit. Then you will be able to reserve records from home before you come.
Don’t forget to bring your passport with you. You will need this to be able to register as a visitor to the reading room. It is particularly useful to bring a laptop and a camera with you so that you can make notes or photograph the records.
Registration on arrival
You will find the reception desk in the foyer of the Nationaal Archief. The first time you visit, the receptionist will register you as a visitor of the Nationaal Archief on presentation of a valid passport. You cannot be registered as a visitor without your passport. You will also be asked for details of your profile so that you can be registered as a visitor for this day. You will then receive a handy wallet-sized card on which to enter your profile details.
Finally, every time you visit you will be given a day pass showing your table number. When you request records using the request terminals, you will need to enter this day number in the ‘table number’ box. The tables in the reading room are not numbered. You can sit where you like (except when consulting restricted public archives). You must hand in your day pass again at the end of your visit. The curators may ask you for it.
Reading room rules
To make visiting the reading room and viewing records as pleasant as possible for all visitors and to protect the records in the best way possible, we have drawn up some reading room rules (in Dutch). Visitors must abide by these rules. For example, you may take a note pad, pencil and laptop with you into the reading room, but you must leave all other belongings in a locker in the cloakroom. In addition, you are not permitted to eat, drink or smoke in the reading room.