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About the Archives

"The common European memory is best captured and preserved in the Historical Archives of the European Union, where documents of the Institutions of the European Union are kept along with the papers of pioneers and visionaries, of political leaders, and of the numerous European voices from movements, associations and political groups."

Dieter Schlenker, Director of the HAEU


Preserve and make accessible for research the archives deposited by EU institutions, collect and preserve private papers of individuals, movements and international organizations involved in European integration, facilitate research on the history of the European Union, promote public interest in European integration and enhance transparency in the functioning of EU Institutions.


The HAEU was established in 1983 following the regulation by the Council of the European Communities and the decision by the Commission of the European Communities to open their historical archives to the public. A subsequent agreement in 1984 between the European Commission and the European University Institute (EUI) laid the groundwork for establishing the Archives in Florence, and the HAEU opened its doors to researchers and the public in 1986. Since then, a 2011 Framework Partnership Agreement between the EUI and the European Commission reinforced the Historical Archives’ role in preserving and providing access to the archival holdings of the EU Institutions. In March 2015 the Council of the European Union amended the regulations from 1983 by adopting a new Council Regulation. Subsequently, on 15 April 2015 a new Framework Partnership Agreement between the EUI and the European Commission was signed, setting the frame for an enhanced cooperation and partnership between the HAEU and the EU Institutions.


Key figures 2018

Archival Deposits

In 2012, the HAEU moved into the historic Villa Salviati, a state-of-the-art archives, with 11,000 linear meters of shelving available, which offers magnificent views of the Tuscan countryside from Fiesole to Florence.

  • 246 fonds, 7.934 linear metres for a total of 392.151 archival units.

Books and Documentation

  • 14.950 library units
  • 549 doctoral theses including some based on archival fonds.
  • E-Resources (DORIE, DNSA, DDRS…)
  • ‘Official Journal of the European Union’ (from 1952 to 1999 in all communitarian languages).
  • ‘Debates of European Parliament’ (1952 until 1999).

Image and Audio collection

  • 60.578 photographs, 1.143 posters, 291 video recordings
  • 7.630 audio recordings and 698 oral history interviews


  • 436.023 database items
  • 33.947 digitalized archival files

Access figures (year 2017)

  • 846 research sessions
  • 153 new registered users
  • 304.285 hits on the website
  • 12.700 files consulted (5.800 reading room, 6.900 online downloads)


Page last updated on 25 March 2019