The Reunion Island Department of Archives

Archives of the Department of La Reunion


The Archives of the Department of La Reunion collect, conserve, classify and interpret the archives produced in La Reunion. Created in 1946, the archives are structured by the French law of July 15th 2009 which defines Reunion archives as "the entire collection of documents, whatever their time period, form or material, produced or received by any physical or moral person and by any service or organization, public or private, in any activity". Whether written, iconographic, oral, or on film, the Archives of the Department of La Reunion are continually growing.

Archival accessions are regularly made from public organisations and government offices in La RĂ©union. The Archives also seek to accession private collections in the form of donations, loans legacies or purchases to enhance the existing collections.


The collections of the Archives of the Department of La Reunion conform to French archival rules. Nevertheless, the collection and periodization also takes into account the specific administrative organization of the island of the last three and a half centuries

Older Series (1667-1815)

Divided into three series :

The Old Series collections in the Reunion Archives come from the administrations of the French East India Company (1665-1767), the direct management of the royal administration (1767-1790), the administrations of the Revolution and the Empire (1790-1810), and the five years when the British occupied La Reunion (1810-1815).
These collections concern the general administration of the island, landholding, commerce and slavery.

Modern Series (1816-1947)

Contemporary Archives (since 1947)

W : All state archives after 1947

Additional Collections

Library, newspapers and periodicals

This collection of approximately 8500 pamphlets and booklets mostly pertains to La Reunion, Mauritius, the Eastern Coast of Africa and India


PER : Local press, trade newspapers, directories, local government and parish publications and the administrative gazette (in which all laws, decrees and ministerial decisions are published).


Access to the Reading Room

Anyone may consult holdings at the Departmental Archives of La Reunion. Entry is free of charge.
A reading room is available for anyone wishing to conduct research or consult documents.
However, French law regulates access to archive documents. Information on access conditions, communication and consultation of documents is displayed in the entry hall.

Data Communication

Some documents cannot be consulted until a specific time period has passed.
Consultation of private archives is subject to the particular conditions of donors or lenders.
As a rule, most public archives over 30 years old can be freely consulted. However some archives have specific legal constraints.

Dispensations may be granted with the agreement of the Managers of the French Archive services.


Exhibition Policy

The Archives of the Department of La Reunion has an exhibition gallery, a seminar room for up to 30 people and an 80-seat auditorium. The educational department serves the general public and school pupils through cultural events, visits and exhibitions

Touring Exhibitions

Touring exhibitions are available to schools and public sector organisations in La Reunion. Exhibition loans are free of charge for a maximum of one month although the borrower is liable for transport and assembly. Three touring exhibitions are available.

« Colonial Photography in the Indian Ocean, 1880-1910 »

Departmental Archives of La Reunion, 2003

« From barter … to the Euro , 350 years of economic history in La Reunion »

Artis Facta, 2002

« Bourbon, the Archives of Slavery 1665 – 1848 »

Departmental Archives of La Reunion, 1998

The Reunion Island Department of Archives


Archives d épartementales de La Réunion
4 rue Marcel Pagnol
97490 Sainte-Clotilde


T : 02 62 94 04 14
F : 02 62 94 04 21


Open from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm.
No annual closing,
although closed on public holidays
and the local holiday of 20th December



Please book in advance with the Educational Service..