Inventories and collections
Since the 17th century and the creation of a complete repository, the papers produced or acquired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are filed and catalogued so they can be accessed. Carrying out research in these inventories assumes that one takes into consideration the department of origin of the documents described, and, consequently, the diversification of positions and variations in administrative organization charts through time. It should also be remembered that the nomenclature and form of finding aids depend on a method that, since the 18th century, has evolved considerably in favour, in fine, of a strict observance of the origin of the holdings before a subject-specific distribution of documents.
In its current state, the guide comprises succinct instructions making it possible to identify the holdings’ original administrative structures as well as the filing methods, key information and essential precondition for a meticulous analysis of the documents. To go deeper into the search process, inventories providing the item-by-item breakdown of these holdings can, in some cases, already be downloaded in PDF or RTF format. Those that cannot be downloaded yet must still be requested, in printed or typed version, in the reading rooms of La Courneuve and Nantes.
To consult the inventories available in PDF format (in French).
- A tour of the Quai d’Orsay
- A tour of the Quai d'Orsay