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Archives d'Histoire Contemporaine - Centre d'Histoire de Sciences-Po

Page history last edited by Paul Keenan 14 years ago

Date of tip: 06 April 2005

Source: Garret Martin, g.j.martin@lse.ac.uk


Location: France. 56, Rue Jacob (1st floor), 75006 Paris. Nearest Metro is Saint Germain des-Près  (Metro line 4). Phone number of the Archives is +33 1 58 71 71 31. Phone number of the reading room is +33 1 58 71 71 34. 


Language: The archivist is French-speaking, and has basic understanding of English.  


Getting started: First, check out the following link: http://chevs.sciences-po.fr/archives/fonds/index.html. It is a list of all the available private papers, including in most cases an online index. If you find some papers you are interested in, then click the following link: http://chevs.sciences-po.fr/archives/inscription.html. This will lead you to the online registration page, where you are required to give your personal info, the papers you want to consult, and to book dates when you would like to use the reading room. Within a few days, you should receive an email from the archivist, confirming that your application has been successful. Registration is free.


Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9.30 am until 1.00 pm. besides the usual French bank holidays, the reading room is normally closed during the month of August, and in the period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. 


General working conditions: It is certainly a small reading room – that can welcome about 8-9 people – and is not overly comfortable. Moreover, it is a bit lacking in terms of plugs for laptops. 


Consultation: In theory, the archivist allows researchers to consult a minimum of at least three volumes per day. In practice, she is very flexible and that rule is rarely respected. 


Policy on technology: Laptops and digital cameras are allowed. The only caveat is that you are expected not to publicly reproduce those pictures, nor use them for publications.  


Photocopy policy: The standard rate for photocopies is 0, 20 € per page. On the other hand, photocopies are not allowed when it comes to classified volumes. 


Particularities: The reading room is only opened in the morning, and there is no cafeteria.  


How to apply for classified files: Regarding classified files, you generally have to fill in a dérogation. You are basically asking the Archives Nationales for access to classified files, and they promise to send an answer back by post. Stephanie Hare-Cuming (LSE PhD, 2004-8) applied for classified files, and says that it took about two months for the letter to arrive.  


Contact name in case of questions regarding classified files: Dominique Parcollet (dominique.parcollet@sciences-po.fr. +33 1 58 71 71 34). She is in charge of the archives and the reading room. Generally, she mans the reading room on her own, and she is the best person to contact for any query. 


General Assessment: My comments so far on this archive may sound slightly misleading. True, the reading room is small, and the fact it is only opened in the morning is certainly frustrating, in particular when coming from abroad and time is limited. Yet, the material there tends to be interesting, underused, and more importantly, you are dealing with a staff that is actually keen to help researchers, which is something of an anomaly in the world of French archives! 

In many ways, you are benefiting from being in a smaller environment. While far from being as rich as the Quai d’Orsay, or even the Archives Nationales, in terms of material, I would certainly recommend using this archive if you find private papers related to your subject. 

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