We have been to the Municipal Archives of Nancy and have found them to be most pleasant. We were already familiar with their excellent website on which one may view the parish and civil registers of the city, but thought we might make a deeper investigation.
Nancy is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but to get to the Municipal Archives is not a particularly pretty stroll. In a drab street, one finds the drab door opening onto a drab entry. Up the stairs, or perhaps using the battered lift with a quite funny recording, in both French and fractured English, announcing the floor, one arrived in a drab corridor with a coat rail and a stack of tin lockers and the door to the reading room. There, thank heavens, the drabness ends. Comparatively.
The reading room is large and very well lighted, with grand tables on which to spread out massive ledgers. When we were there, students of architecture had covered those tables with historic drawings of the city’s glorious buildings that they were assiduously copying. Very interesting to observe.
The staff were for the most part quite professional and thoroughly familiar with the archives collections in their care. They were polite and keen to be of help (even allowing us to view an original document when the microfilm seemed dubious), but for one surly fellow who would bang onto the desk each huge register we requested and forcefully shove it across at us as if it were a bowling ball and we were the last pin standing.
As in most municipal archives, document requests are made via a computer and an internal request system. The requested items arrived quickly, in ten minutes or so. The Municipal Archives of Nancy have been continuing to microfilm their civil registrations, census returns and other records, which can be viewed on three – all working! – microfilm readers. Civil registrations of births through 1914 now have been filmed, while marriages and deaths have been filmed through 1939.
The usual rules apply:
- one must register and receive a reader's card, but there is no charge;
- a limited number of documents or items per day may be viewed;
- photography is permitted, without flash;
- bags and coats must be left outside, but the lockers provided are free;
- only pencils - not any sort of pen -- may be used.
If your ancestors are from this beautiful part of Lorraine, you will receive great help in researching them here.
3 rue Henri Bazin
Opening hours are 8.30 to 16.30
Read about our visits to other Municipal Archives in our booklet here.
©2016 Anne Morddel