Visiting the Reading Room

The Zeeuws Archief is open to the general public. You are most welcome to visit and access most documents. There is free access to the reading room, the Archiefcafé and the Exhibition Area. It is necessary to obtain a visitors’ pass to be admitted to the Reading Room.

Opening hours

The Reading Room is open from Tuesday through Friday from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm and every first Saturday of the month from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

The Exhibition Area is also open on Mondays from 9.00 till 5.00 pm.

The building is closed on: most Saturdays, Sundays, New Years Day, 27 April (Kings birthday) 5 May (Liberty Day), Ascension Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The ‘Genealogisch Centrum Zeeland’ is opened on Tuesdays and Thursdays only, from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm, and on every first Saturday of the month from 9.30 am to 4.00 pm, at the same address and using the same entrance as for the Zeeuws Archief.

The Zeeuws Archief knows no admission fee and there is no need to make an appointment.

Getting there

Public transport
There are hourly direct rail links from Amsterdam Central Station (2 hours 15 min.), Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (2 hours) and Rotterdam Central Station (1 hour 15 min.) to the railway station Middelburg. For other rail links, change trains in Roosendaal to a train which Vlissingen as end destination. It is a ten minute walk from the railway station to the Zeeuws Archief at Hofplein – follow the green pedestrian signs ‘Zeeuws Archief’.

By car
Travel along the A58 motorway in the direction of Vlissingen. Exit the motorway direction Middelburg and follow the signs marked ‘P-route’ which lead to paid parking areas located on the outskirts of the city centre. The closest to the Zeeuws Archief is Damplein (P5). There is no free parking in the city centre. It is a ten minute walk from most car parks to the Zeeuws Archief at Hofplein – follow the green pedestrian signs ‘Zeeuws Archief’.

Wheelchair access
All floors of the Zeeuws Archief are accessible by elevator.

Your visit

The Zeeuws Archief is open to the general public. You are most welcome to visit and access whichever documents you please. There is free access to the Archiefcafé and the Exhibition Area. It is necessary to obtain a visitors’ pass to be admitted to the Reading Room.

At the reception desk, on your first visit to the Zeeuws Archief,you are provided with a visitors’ pass with your personal number. You are first required to complete a registration form and produce valid proof of identity. This visitors’ number is particularly important when applying for original records via the computerised Reading Room application system. Without this number you cannot apply for records. On successive visits to the Zeeuws Archief you need only to show your visitors’ pass at the reception desk.

You can identify yourself by means of a passport or (European) identity card. Your personal details come under the protection of the privacy act and will not be placed at the disposal of, or made available to, third parties.

Cloakroom, lockers and toilets
For security reasons you are not permitted to bring your coat or any type of bag or suitcase into the Reading Room. You may not eat or drink in the Reading Room, neither are mobile telephones permitted. You can hang your coat in the cloakroom and put your bag, suitcase and other personal belongings in a locker. The toilets are located in the cloakroom area. The Zeeuws Archief is not liable for theft or loss of articles, clothing or other personal belongings.

Food and beverages
The Archiefcafé offers you self-catering facilities, providing tea, coffee, hot chocolate and soft drinks. The entrance is to one side of the reception desk. Please note that smoking is prohibited throughout the building complex of the Zeeuws Archief.

Archive Shop
A small selection of archival and genealogical guides, information leaflets, brochures and a number of books about the history of Zeeland is available in the Archive Shop in the Reception Area.

The Reading Room

Reading Room - foto ZA The Reading Room at the Zeeuws Archief is large, but comprises various zones. The floor plan indicates where to access the genealogical files, microfilms and microfiches, the library, the original records, maps and drawings.

In the Reading Room silence must be observed as much as possible. A brief, quiet conversation with a fellow visitor will, generally speaking, not disturb others, but if the conversation should take longer you are kindly requested to continue in the Archiefcafé.

In the Reading Room you can examine the archives of your choice. There are some exceptions to the rule, we will advise you when neccessary. Your request, easily made on a computer terminal, will usually produce a file or bound volume containing the actual document within half an hour. While waiting, you could browse through books on the history of Zeeland and its regions and on the history of The Netherlands in general, available in our open access Reading Room library. Frequently requested documents, especially the ones for genealogical research, are directly accessible on scans, microfilm or microfiche copy in the self-service area of the Reading Room.

Self-service printers are available to enable hard-copy versions to be made of microfilm and microfiche documents. Photocopies may be made of all books and other volumes on the library shelves using the self-service photocopier. Furthermore, original documents can be copied for you by members of the staff. The costs for copies can be found on the page 'tarieven’. It is possible to request documents in advance if you know the correct document reference details.

Visitor regulations
The services and facilities that we offer are defined in our visitor regulations. In it is specified, for instance, that there can be a wait of no more than 30 minutes before you are able to view the records you have requested, and that we provide facilities for making reproductions. Members of staff are present in the Reading Room at all times to assist you. They can be recognised by their Zeeuws Archief badges.

The major part of the Zeeuws Archief library is housed in the Reading Room. Without further assistance you may select books and magazines from the shelves. By utilizing the computerised library catalogue, descriptions of the books can be found.

Books and magazines on genealogy, as well as publications about Zeeland can be found at the end of the Reading Room, up one flight of stairs. On the landing above the genealogical part of the Reading Room books and magazines on Dutch history in general are to be found.

Maps, drawings, prints, photographs
The Zeeuws Archief manages a great deal of visual material (maps, drawings, prints, photographs, postcards, films and videos). Two historical topographical atlases form the largest visual collections: the ‘Zelandia Illustrata’ of the ‘Koninklijk Zeeuwsch Genootschap der Wetenschappen’ and the atlas of the Zeeuws Archief. The latter collection contains many prints and photographs of Middelburg. A large part of the visual material is available in the Reading Room in the form of scans, photographic material or as photocopies. Photographic reproduction is possible in most cases, if required. Our staff will be able to inform you regarding the costs.

Facilities for making copies
There is a self-service photocopier in the Reading Room for general use. It may be used to photocopy the volumes and books available in the Reading Room.

Photocopies of original records may only be made by Reading Room staff. There are however a number of restrictions arising from preservation priorities; copies may not be made of sections or volumes thicker than five centimetres, or of parchment, original photographs, maps, drawings or illustrations in colour. For most of these materials an alternative way of reproduction is available.

Microfilms and microfiches can be copied using the self-service reader-printer available.

It is also possible to have a photographic reproduction of a map, print or written record made in almost any size by a professional photographer. The reproduction will be send to you via Wetransfer.

Please ask our staff about costs. A list with fees and prices is also available.

Applying for original records
Records can be applied for between 9.00 am and 4.30 pm. You may only have three files or volumes on your table at the same time. The other items will be kept for you at the information desk until you return the first items. Depending on the nature of the study, and in consultation with the Reading Room staff, exceptions to the rule can be made. Applications are made by computer. By entering the necessary details staff are able to find the required file and pass it on to you. Do remember your table number! As soon as a record is recalled the table number appears on the overhead text signs in the Reading Room and in the Archiefcafé. This indicates that the record(s) requested is (are) ready to be collected.

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