State Archives of Belgium

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Am I allowed to take pictures of archive documents with my own camera? How much does reproduction cost?

Find concrete answers to your most pressing questions here:


The applicable conditions and tariffs for reproductions were fixed by the Ministerial Decree of 25 May 2018 (Belgian Official Journal of 5 June 2018). It was indexed on 1 March 2024 to better reflect actual costs. A copy of this document is available at the counter of each depot.

Which documents may be reproduced?

All types of document reproduction – either made by the State Archives or the reader – are subject to the same limitations. Only the following documents may be reproduced:

  • Public documents for which access and reproduction rights have been granted;
  • Documents that are not the property of the State Archives but for which you can produce a written reproduction authorisation issued by the proprietor (depositor);
  • Documents not subject to copyright;
  • Documents containing personal data and for which you have been given a written reproduction authorisation issued by the competent public authority;
  • Documents that do not form a major part of a record group (a volume, tome, series or sub-group).

Of course, documents or items that may not be accessed due to their physical state of preservation may also not be reproduced.

What are the conditions for using a reproduction?

All reproductions, made by the State Archives or the reader, are for private use only. Private use implies that the reproductions and the right to use them may not be distributed to, shared with or transferred to third persons under any circumstance.

Reproductions used in publications or for commercial purposes are licensed according to the tariffs of the State Archives.

Which types of reproduction are available?

Please consult our tariffs list: it contains the prices for all types of analogue and digital reproduction that can be produced by the State Archives. Reproductions not listed can be produced to specifications.

Reproduction of original documents by the State Archives:

  • the originals are digitised with special equipment by State Archives personnel;
  • restrictions applicable to photocopies have been abolished so that almost all documents can now be scanned;
  • reproductions can be supplied in digital or paper format;
  • paper prints of scans or via reader-printer in the reading room are payable by Xafax card.

Reproduction of microfilm images:

  • Readers can make copies of microfilm images with the reader-printer;
  • Copying carried out by State Archives personnel is considered as a purchase order.

Reproductions with your own devices:

Such reproductions are allowed provided you fill in and sign the Declaration about the personal creation of photographic reproduction of archive documents and hand it over to the reading room personnel. The following rules must be observed:

  • No physical contact between you and the archive item may take place (handheld scanning devices are prohibited).
  • Flashlights and additional lighting are prohibited.
  • The document may not exceed the reading table size.
  • The document is photographed lying on the reading table or, if necessary, on a book rest or support cushion.
  • A camera tripod is only allowed if its use does not bear the risk of damaging the archive item or work table. e-Procurement