View archiefinstelling

National Archives Curacao

Identity area



Authorized form of name

National Archives Curacao

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name



Contact area

Contact information


Street address

Scharlooweg 77-79





Country name

Netherlands Antilles

Postal code





Description area



Foundation and Purpose
The National Archives of the Netherlands Antilles was founded on August 26th 1969. The original purpose was to manage the records of the country’s history, which were in bad shape at that time, professionally and prepare them for public viewing.
The National Archives were given custody over the records dating from 1828-1939, with a volume of app. 3 km1.

The originals of the oldest records (Oud Archief Curacao) dating from 1711 which are stored in The Hague, the Netherlands, were microfilmed in an extended project and are accessible in Curacao as well.
The collections were steadily extended with public as well as private collections, newspapers, about 400.000 photos and negatives, audio visual material dating from app. 1929 and a rich collection of illustrations, maps and drawings. Together they form our national memory. In principle and mandatory this memory is free for public viewing.

In 1989 a master plan was designed to improve the professionalism in archives and records keeping. Part of that plan was the first draft for an Archives law which was drawn that year. It passed Parliament in 1996. Since then a lot has been done to set up a professional infrastructure for recordkeeping in the Netherlands Antilles. These improvements culminated in a new Archives law in 2008 (PB 2008, no. 7) and the building of a new repository for the current, 20 year old records.

Geographical and cultural context

The Netherlands Antilles originally consisted of six Islands: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten. The National Archives of the Netherlands Antilles managed the federal records and those of its predecessors. In 1996 Aruba seceded from the federal structure.
Due to the 2010 constitutional reform, the federal -five island bond - was dissolved. According to the Principles of Provenance every Island is destined to hold their own Island territory records, together with the federal records, created on their territory.
According to these outlines, the National Archives of the Netherlands Antilles was reformed to the National Archives Curacao in 2010.

Mandates/Sources of authority

In 1989, the first ordinance to federal archives was drafted. It regulated the life cycle of the government information. The first Archives Law passed Parliament in 1996. In 2008 an entire new Archives Law was empowered PB 2008, no. 7). Since the nineties, a master plan was developed, based on the (new) requirements of the Archives Law. The trajectory plotted from then included a comprehensive update of organization, housing, services and regulations.

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies

Government records are mandatory transferred to the National Archives after a period of 20 years. Appraisal of these records is the responsibility of the government agencies and departments. The National Archives supervises these management tasks. However there is a severe backlog for appraisal and the challenge is to address this in the coming years on the basis of projects.

Private collections, if they meet our acquisition profile, are acquired by means of gifts, purchase and/or loan. The policy includes active survey.
Private collections include: records of churches (retro acta of Civil Record Records), enterprises and/ or persons / politicians.


The National Archives Curacao is housed in three buildings. The main building is a historic baroque style monument called “Bolo di Batrei” (“Wedding Cake”). This building was recently restored and houses the public functions, such as reading rooms, auditorium and the exhibition room.
Supporting and administrative functions are housed in an adjacent – also monumental -building.
Records are stored in a newly build repository, right behind the “Bolo di Batrei”.


Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

Monday 13.30 - 16.30
Thuesday 08.00 - 11.45 13.30 - 16.30
Wednesday 08.00 - 11.45 13.30 - 16.30
Thursday 08.00 - 11.45 13.30 - 16.30
Friday 08.00 - 11.45 13.30 - 16.30

Access conditions and requirements

By principle all original records are open for public viewing without charge, as long as material state and state of accessibility does allow so. Reproductions are charged.
Possible restrictions on public viewing are displayed in the finding aids. All restrictions are nullified after 70 years.


Services area

Research services

Reproduction services

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes