ArchivesWhen countries became independent, the archives of administrations that had exercised sovereignty functions were repatriated (collections of governors, residents, prefectures, police, consular posts, files of French personnel, etc.) while the management archives (health, public works, education, finances, economic services, court registers, etc.) were left in place.

Archives concerning the following were repatriated:

  • Indochina in 1951-1954
  • India in 1954
  • Madagascar and French Equatorial Africa in 1960
  • Algeria in 1962
  • Comores in 1974
  • Afars and Les Issas in 1977
  • New Hebrides in 1980

There are enormous differences in the classification of these archive collections because some territories had a real archiving organisation such as Indochina and Algeria and others had none.

The circumstances of decolonisation were also determining factors in what happened to the archives, which on arrival were stored almost anywhere in France, until they reached the building in Aix-en-Provence specially constructed to house them in 1966. Since then a significant classification effort and one of redacting search tools has been accomplished.