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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 2016

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.

  • 175 fonds, 6.300 linear metres for a total of 300.000 archival units.

Books and Documentation

  • 14.800 library units
  • 542 doctoral theses 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 today).

Image and Audio collection

  • 27.700 photographs
  • 7.230 audio recordings and 600 oral history interviews


  • 300.000 database items
  • 15.000 digitalized archival files

Access figures

  • 878 research sessions
  • 142 new registered users
  • 280.914 hits at the website


Page last updated on 05 December 2017