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About the Historical 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 Historical Archives of the European Union

Key figures 2020

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.

  • 272 fonds, 8.300 linear metres for a total of 443.325 archival files.

Books and Documentation

  • 15.196 library units
  • 551 doctoral theses including some based on HAEU archival fonds
  • E-Resources (DORIE, Agence Europe…)
  • ‘Official Journal of the European Union’ (from 1952 to 1999 in all EU languages).
  • ‘Debates of European Parliament’ (1952 until 1999).

Audio-visual and Artefacts collection

  • 60.578 photographs and 2.129 posters
  • 8.213 audio recordings and 897 oral history interviews
  • 1.219 video recordings and films
  • 330 artefacts inventoried


  • 454.116 database descriptive items
  • 443.325 archival files
  • 51.671 digitalised archival files

Access figures

  • 374 research sessions
  • 86 new registered users
  • 279.914 visits on the archival database
  • 96.484 visits on the Archives' public website
  • 14.977 files consulted (including 4.365 reading room requests, 10.612 online downloads)

Read our brochure for more information.


Preserve and make accessible for research the archives deposited by EU institutions according to the thirty-year rule governing access to archival material, 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.

A third Framework Partnership Agreement was signed between the EUI and the European Commission in 2019.

HAEU Quality Management System

The HAEU provides consistent and high-quality services to its users. In this view, it engaged in a project seeking certification to the ISO 9001 quality management standard. More information here

Page last updated on 19/11/2021

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