National Archive Information Retrieval

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National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System

Description | Steps to follow | Legal framework | Service standard | Cost | Forms to complete | Contact details


The National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS) is an archival information retrieval system that has the means of identifying archival material on a given subject irrespective of whether it is public or non-public, and regardless of its location or type.

NAAIRS assists users of archives to identify and locate archival material relevant to their requirements.

NAAIRS contains only information about archival material, and not the actual texts of the documents.

The majority of the archives are public records in the safekeeping of the National Archives Repository and provincial archives repositories. NAAIRS also incorporates national registers of non-public records in the custody of over 40 private archives repositories. Although actual access to archival documentation is free of charge, the public is charged for the reproduction of material for further use; either on film or paper. Publications are sold.

Steps to follow

Request information or copies by:

  • visiting the archives repository
  • writing to the archives repository
  • faxing or e-mailing
  • searchingonline.


Legal framework

(Documents are provided in PDF format. To open PDF documents, you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.)


Service standard

It may take seven working days to locate archival material.



The service is free.

Forms to complete

Requisition forms are obtainable from the repository.


Contact details

     Please select one option:

o   National

o   Eastern Cape

o   Free State

o   Gauteng

o   KwaZulu-Natal

o   Limpopo

o   Mpumalanga

o   North West

o   Northern Cape

o   Western Cape