Accessing the Western Cape Archives | Western Cape Government


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(The Government of South Africa)

Accessing the Western Cape Archives


The Western Cape Archives and Records Service provides public access to government records and private collections, older than 20 years. Researchers are welcome to access the archival records in our Reading Room situated at 72 Roeland Street, Cape Town.


Researchers may conduct research during opening hours: Monday to Friday 08h00 and 14h00 (subject to change, due to Covid-19).

Upon arrival at the Western Cape Archives and Records Service you will be required to complete the Visitors Register, in accordance with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), 2013 (Act 4 of 2013). You will also be provided with the rules and regulations before entering the Reading Room. You will be allocated a locker to store your belongings. The reading room official at the front desk in the foyer will assist you.

To conduct your research please bring a pencil and paper. Ink pens are not allowed when working with archival records. You may bring your laptop and plug-points are provided. You will be directed to the Reading Room where you will be assisted by Archivists who will be able to assist you with your research.

Please note that the following additional rules and regulations apply during the Covid-19 Pandemic:

  • No more than 14 researchers allowed at a time in the Reading Room. Access into the Reading Room is on a first come first served basis.
  • Please sanitise hands, laptops and equipment in the foyer.
  • No entry into the Reading Room without properly fitted mask covering the mouth and nose.
  • Assistance provided behind the glass shield only.
  • 10 documents allowed per researcher per day. Only 1 document allowed on your table.
  • Used documents will be quarantined for 2 days (48 hours) and will not be accessible again during that period.
  • Please approach the Archivists behind the counter when copies of records are required.
  • Only 10 copies of documents per person allowed per day.
  • Copies will be certified and emailed (email address must be provided when completing a work order in the Reading Room).
  • Only one certification per document.
  • The waiting period for copies is 15 working days.

Contact details for the Western Cape Archives and Records Service:

Switchboard: 021 483 0400

Reading Room: 021 483 0405/06


Postal address: Western Cape Archives and Records Service, Private Bag X9025, Cape Town, 8000

Street address: 72 Roeland Street, Cape Town


Provided by:
Government Body: (The Government of South Africa)
The content on this page was last updated on 3 September 2021