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National Archives of the Netherlands

Nationaal Archief

visiting address
Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 20
The Hague (Den Haag)
The Netherlands

postal address
P.O. Box 90520
2509 LM  The Hague
The Netherlands

+31.(0)70.331 54 00 (general information)
+31.(0)70.331 54 44 (information concerning the holdings)

+31.(0)70.331 54 99



project contact
Mr Lennart Bes
tel: +31.(0)70.3315492
e-mail: lennart.bes@nationaalarchief.nl
archival descriptions chiefly prepared by Dr Edda Frankot and Dr Hanno Brand (Hanse Research Center, Groningen University)

opening hours
Mon closed, Tue 9.00-21.00, Wed-Fri 9.00-17.00, Sat 9.00-13.00

The building is located next to the central railway station (use the exit at platform 12). Access is free to all. Visitors have to register at the desk in front of the reading room. As a rule, access to records less than twenty years old is restricted. Access is sometimes restricted for reasons of privacy or due to the bad condition of the materials. In special cases researchers can get permission from the director of Nationaal Archief to consult restricted archives. Part of the holdings is available on microfilm in open stacks in the reading room.

holdings, mission, structure
The Nationaal Archief is the (inter-)national center for the study of Dutch history and culture. It functions as the "National Memory", which is available to the citizens as well as the government. Nationaal Archief guarantees the safekeeping of its holdings for the present and future generations. It aims to secure the sources for knowledge on and insight in the objectives and proceedings of the Dutch Government, the bodies of state and provincial bodies in the province of South-Holland.
The Nationaal Archief is an agency of the Ministry of Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap (OCW, Education, Culture and Science). Nationaal Archief is divided into three departments: Bedrijfsvoering (facilitary management), Publiek (public service, education, presentation) and Collectie (acquisition, accessibility and physical management).
The holdings consist of 95,000 running meters of documents; 17,000 running meters of charters, 186,400 maps, charts and drawings and about one million photographs (in 2004). The library keeps 2 running meters of manuscripts; 80,000 volumes and 700 journals. Broadly speaking, Nationaal Archief keeps the records of the central government agencies and departments whose functions cover (or used to cover) the State as a whole. Furthermore, it keeps the archives concerning former Dutch colonies and overseas settlements as far as these originate from agencies within the Netherlands, as well as the records that were transferred to the Netherlands. In addition, Nationaal Archief acts as the State Archives of the province of South-Holland.
Among other records, Nationaal Archief thus keeps the archives of the States General (First and Second Chambers), the Secretariat to the King/Queen, the Council of Ministers, the Council of State, the Ministries, the Department of the Generality, the Secretariat to the Stadtholder, the demesnes of the House of Orange, the Admiralty Boards, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the West India Company (WIC) and their legal predecessors and successors.
In its capacity of State Archives of the Province of South-Holland, Nationaal Archief keeps the provincial archives as well as the archives of the central government with a regional function from 1842 onward. Besides, it keeps the archives of the Province of Holland from 1813 till 1842 when it was not yet divided into a northern and a southern part. The institution also keeps the archives of Holland before 1813 when it was respectively County of Holland and Zeeland, one of the states of the Dutch Republic, one of the provinces of the Batavian Republic and one of the provinces of the Kingdom Holland. (Actually, when using the name of Holland, one refers only to the western part of the Netherlands.)
In addition, Nationaal Archief keeps the pictures collection of the Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst (RVD, State Information Service) as well a host of archives and collections of private persons and institutions of national interest.

relevant publications

relevant internet links
Dutch summaries of the Danish Sound Toll Records from the eighteenth century:

holdings concerning the Baltic Sea
Relevant archives and collections include the following:

One should note that in the Netherlands many relevant materials are kept by provincial and municipal archives (in particluar Amsterdam) as well as other institutions such as museums and university libraries.

Map of the Baltic Sea, with drawing illustrating the grain trade, published by Johannes van Keulen,
late 17th or 18th century