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Office de recherche universitaire socialiste (OURS)

Page history last edited by Paul Keenan 14 years, 4 months ago

Date of tip: June 2005

Source: Stephanie Hare, stephanie.hare@sant.ox.ac.uk


Location: L'OURS 86 rue de Lille 75007 Paris, France


How to get there: Metro station is Assemblée Nationale on line 12.


Language: French. 


Getting started: Before you go: Check out the on-line inventory and note down all the cotes that you need. You will need this when you write to the director of the archives requesting permission to see the files you need, which you should list by cote in your letter (see below).

The consultation of the archives is permitted by appointment and by permission. Some of the papers are only shared after a written request from the researcher, accompanied by a supporting letter from a supervisor or an editor. It is indicated on the on-line inventory where this is applicable.

On the first visit, the consultation of the inventory is free. To consult the periodicals or the archival materials, you need to purchase a reader’s card (carte de lecteur). The prices are as follows:

 • One  visit : 2 euros

 • Card for 8 entries : 10 euros

 • Annual card (Carte annuelle) : 20 euros

Note : the consultation of the archival materials is reserved to researchers and to academics preparing a thesis, a university work or a publication. A reader’s card is required.

Send your letter requesting permission to consult the archives to: 

Mr Alain Bergounioux

président de l'OURS

86, Rue de Lille

75007 Paris, FRANCE

Your letter must include the following information: your address, your university qualifications (degrees), a reference from your supervisor, the nature and purpose of your work, the name of your supervisor or the publishing house with whom you are working. Authorisation will be given for the entirety of the archives, with some exceptions.

OURS is located at 86, rue de Lille, 75007, Paris. Researchers are received there by appointment only for the first day of their research. The consultation will take place in the presence of the manager of the archives. 


Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday, 1pm – 5:30 pm 


General working conditions: There is a reading room with a big table which seats approximately 20 people. OURS has a great library as well as all of the papers. The archivists are incredibly knowledgeable about the collection and will point you in the right direction.

You will have to grab your lunch before you come to OURS, as it is only open from 1-5:30pm. There is a café outside of the archives.


Policy on technology: unknown 


Photocopy policy: Documents in hardback (books, newspapers, magazines) are not able to be photocopied. A4: €0.20, A3: €0.30 (magnifying or reduction included) VAT is included in this price. Note: No photocopies will be made after 5pm.


Particularities: Only open in the afternoons, so best to combine this trip with hitting another archive. 


Contact: e-mail info@lours.org


Places to stay: (Please note that this is my general paragraph for Paris, which features in some of my other Paris-based archive tips.)

Everyone has a different philosophy when it comes to staying in Paris. Some people want to be right next to the National Archives so they don’t have to waste a minute commuting to and from their hotel. This is great, and the neighbourhood surrounding the Marais is wonderful, but it can be a little expensive. I can recommend the Hotel Sevigné on the rue Mahler, but you need to book well in advance in order to be sure of getting a room. The rooms are small but clean and the bathrooms are spotless. Also, you will have easy access to the rue des rosiers, with one of the best delicatessens on the planet, Sacha Finkelsztajn. Try their chocolate cake, which is as light as air. (Closed Saturdays). There is also a little café just as you turn onto the rue des rosiers from the rue Mahler called Café La Théière or something similar. They do great meals and have a nice atmosphere, but unfortunately they are not open late. 

Regardless of where you are staying, you may want to get a healthy and inexpensive meal after a day at the National Archives. I can recommend L’Apparament for just this purpose. It is next to the Picasso Museum, on the rue des coutures. Open late (after midnight), this place has chess and chequer games that you can borrow, as well as back issues of Paris Match to read. You are given a little menu from which you can choose any number of items for various prices, but the most expensive is around €15, and you get a big plate in return. In this way, you can vary what you have there over several evenings, if you so choose. Also, they have a nice drinks menu and play very cool music (I think) which is an antidote to the silence of the archives.  

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