gahetNA in the National Archives

Reading Room

When you want to study original records, you can make an online reservation. The reserved documents will be collected for you from the repository and brought to the Reading Room for you to study. The entrance of the Reading Room is at the end of the Information Centre, on the right hand side of the information desk.

The Reading Room is accessible free of charge. However, in order to visit the Reading Room, you need a visitor pass. If you don’t already have a visitor pass, you can have one made at the information desk on presentation of a valid passport. 

To make your visit to the Reading Room as pleasant as possible and to protect the records in the best possible way, we have drawn up some Reading Room rules. Visitors must know these rules and abide by them. Curators are present to monitor this.

Collecting and studying records

You can collect the reserved records at the issuing desk. The assistant present will also give you a reservation number. You need this number if you want to make other reservations that day. The reservation number appears on the displays in the Reading Room, the Information Centre and the entrance hall as soon as your order is ready to be collected. You can have a maximum of 3 boxes on your desk at a time.

When you’ve collected your records, you can take a seat where you like. Some tables have sockets for laptops. Please note that the large table in the middle of the Reading Room is reserved for visitors consulting documents with restricted access.

To make the reading of thick tomes more comfortable, so called reading cushions and lead-weighted bookmarks are at your disposal in the Reading Room. If you want to view negatives, you can use the light box. When handling negatives – and photographs – you have to wear gloves. Gloves are available at the issuing desk. Large tables at the far side of the Reading Room are at your disposal for studying maps. If you want, you can leave your camera or laptop in one of the lockers.

If, whilst doing research in the Reading Room, you come across other records you want to study, you can order them via our website on one of the computers at hand. In that case, please fill out the reservation code you received earlier on. When you use WIFI, you can make reservations with your own laptop.


Under certain conditions, it is allowed to take pictures of the records. (Please read the Reading Room rules for more information.) You can use one of the so called dolly’s (tripods) available in the Reading Room. Reproductions (scans or photocopies) of records can be ordered at the issuing desk. Often photocopies or scans can be made straightaway. You can also order a reproduction online. Please bear in mind that we charge at least € 16,75 research costs.


For questions on the delivery of your order, Reading Room facilities or other practical issues, you can turn to the issuing desk. If you need help with your research, you can ask the archivist at the information desk in the Information Centre for assistance. If you have a question about a record you’re studying in the Reading Room, please ask the archivists to come to your table. We urge you not to bring the record concerned with you into the Information Centre. 

Renewing an order

If you don’t have enough time to consult all your ordered records, you can renew your reservation for a next visit. This visit has to take place within the next 3 working days. Please fill out the form at the issuing desk and inform the assistant that you want to renew your reservation. To secure renewing of the order, please  make sure you do so 15 minutes before closing time. If you wait until closing time there is a possibility that, in the ‘last minute’ commotion, your records accidently will be brought back to the deposit. is a website of the National Archives of The Netherlands in cooperation with the Society for the National Archives and Spaarnestad Photo.
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