Contacting the ICRC archives

19 November 2020

*** Because of the current pandemic, the general public archives reading room is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays only (opening times: 08:30am to 01:30pm). 

We only welcome researchers living in Switzerland and on the French border (within a 30 km perimeter from Geneva). Only one person can physically work in the reading room. 

Treatment of remote requests has been re-established. A new follow-up about the situation will be communicated late August/early September. 

Thank you in advance for your understanding and collaboration.***

  • General archives

The general public archives cover the history of the Institution since its foundation in 1863 until 1975. They contain general files as opposed to the "Agency archives" which contain individual data. If you wish to consult the ICRC's historical archives, the public reading room is open, by appointment with Fabrizio Bensi, from 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday. Most archive documents are in French. Digital cameras and laptops are allowed in the reading room, scanners are forbidden.

Fabrizio Bensi, archivist
+ 41 22 730 2966

Daniel Palmieri, historian
+41 22 730 2943

General contact

  • Agency archives

The Agency archives contain data about individuals that has been collected by the ICRC in the course of its humanitarian work in armed conflicts and other situations of violence.

  1. First World War: visit the ICRC's digital archives on individuals from the First World War.
  2. Spanish Civil War and Second World War : more information on how to seek informations about a person - military or civilian - detained during the Spanish Civil War or the Second World War
  3. Current armed conflicts and other situations of violence : to trace people caught up in current conflicts and other situations of violence, visit the Restoring Family Links website.
  • Audiovisual archives

The ICRC's audiovisual archives consist of photographs (1850-), films/videos (1921-) and sound recordings (1940-). They illustrate and document the institution's activities in armed conflicts and other situations of violence around the world. These collections are continuously enriched.

Tens of thousands of documents are available in digital format on the ICRC audiovisual archives portal.

If you have any questions about these collections, you can contact the archivists at .

Visit our audiovisual archives portal