Chile Archives and Libraries
Archives collect and preserve original documents of organizations such as churches or governments. Libraries generally collect published sources such as books, maps, and microfilm. This section describes the major repositories of genealogical and historical records for Chile. When one of these institutions is referred to elsewhere in this outline, return to this section to obtain the address.
If you plan to visit one of these repositories, contact the organization and ask for information about their collection, hours, services, and fees. Some archives have catalogs, inventories, and guides or periodicals that describe their records and how to use them. If possible, study these guides before you go to the archives so you can use your time more effectively. In some archives you may need a letter of recommendation in order to access their collection.
Although the original records you need may be in an archive or library in Chile or Spain, the Family History Library may have a microfilm copy of them.
Archives in Spain
Records of international interest about the European discovery, exploration, and colonization of Chile are found in the Archivo General de Indias and the Archivo General Militar in Spain. The mailing addresses of these archives are:
Archivo General de Indias Avda. de la Constitución 41004 Sevilla, Spain Tel: 422-5158 Fax: 421-9485
Archivo General Militar de Segovia Alcázar 40071 Segovia, Spain Tel: 43-65-11 Fax: 44-31-49
Archivo Central Militar del Servicio Histórico Militar C/Mártires de Alcalá 9 28015 Madrid, Spain Tel: 247-0300 Fax: 559-4371 Archivo Histórico Nacional C/Serrano 115 28006 Madrid, Spain Tel: 563-5923, 261-8003-5 Fax: 563-1199
A summary of the records preserved at the Archivo General de Indias is found in:
Peña, José María de la. Archivo General de Indias de Sevilla: Guía del Visitante (General Archive of the Indies of Seville: Visitor’s Guide). Madrid: Dirección General de Archivos y Bibliotecas, 1958. (FHL book 946 A2s; film 0896895.)
Additional descriptions of documents from the Spanish-American colonial period held at the Archivo General de Indias and other Spanish and Latin American archives, is found in:
Documentación y Archivos de la Colonización Española (Documentation and Archives of the Spanish Colonization). Madrid: Ministerio de Cultura, 1980. (FHL book 946 A3d.)
Guides to the many archives in Spain can be obtained from each archive.
Archives in Chile
In Chile there are several types of genealogical repositories:
- National archives and libraries
- Provincial archives
- Local civil offices (such as municipality level)
- Church archives
National Archives and Libraries
The Chilean government collects records relating to Chilean history, culture, and population. Records of genealogical value at the National Archive include:
- Census records
- Church records
- Civil registration
- Court records
- Emigration and immigration lists
- Land records
- Military records
The National Archive of Chile has two locations, both in Santiago.
- Archivo Nacional de Chile Miraflores #50 Clasificador 1400 Correo Central de Chile Santiago, Chile Tel: (56-2) 632-5735
The National Archive (Archivo Nacional) holds all the documentation of the colonial and republican periods of the country relative to the governmental collection (colección ministerial) of the 19th century. It holds documentation from local administrative government offices (gobernaciones, intendencias y municipalidades),
and judicial districts of the 19th and 20th centuries. It also holds documentation of private collections donated to the archive.
It is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 6:50 P.M. Access is offered to university students, academics, and researchers. Photocopying is available.
The National Archive has 16 separate archive divisions, with more than 500,000 volumes in its collection. The archive has printed indexes and catalogs of records available on site.
- Archivo Siglo XX Agustinas #3250 Santiago, Chile Tel: (56-2) 681-7979
The 20th Century Archive (Archivo Siglo XX) keeps the documentation of the (national) cabinet and the distributions of public administration of the 20th century. Since November 1995, it also holds the documentation of the notary public and real estate from 1810 forward.
The administration of the National Archive is housed in this building. It is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Access is offered to university students, academics, and researchers. Photocopying is available.
Microfilm copies of many of the records at the National Archive and other archives and libraries are available at the Family History Library. For more information about the National Archive of Chile, visit the Internet address:
Helpful guides to the collection are:
Archivo Nacional de Chile. Catálogo de fondos varios (Catalog of Various Collections). Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1984. (FHL film 1410452 items 5–6.)
Gómez Canedo, Lino. Los archivos de la historia de América: período colonial español(The Archives of the History of America: Colonial Spanish Period). México, D.F.: Instituto Panamericano de Geografía y Historia, 1961. (FHL book 980 A3.)
Branches of the National Archive of Chile
Branches of the National Archive collect records for the area they serve. These branches, including universities, are located in or near a major city. For addresses of these archives, contact:
- Biblioteca Nacional Av. Bernardo O’Higgins 651 Santiago, Chile Tel: (56-2) 224-3782 Fax: (56-2) 632-4803
- The National Library has a helpful collection of published genealogies, manuscripts, histories, directories, maps, and newspapers. The National Library may have published catalogs of its collections. It is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M., and Saturday from 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.
Each province in Chile has its own archive separate from those of the national government. Most of the records of genealogical value are kept by these archives. They serve as repositories for records pertaining to their particular area. Write or call each office for information about the services they offer to the public. Records of genealogical value at provincial archives include:
- Birth, marriage, and death records
- Census records
- Land records
- Some church records
- Notarial records
- Court records
Local Civil Offices
Records created by the local government less than 80 years ago, including birth, death, and marriage records, are kept in local offices. These records are not available to the public. For more information about these offices and their records, see Chile Civil Registration. (These offices are comparable to county courthouses and town halls in the United States.)
You might be able to get information or copies of the records kept at local civil offices by writing. See the Spanish Letter-Writing Guide (36245) for information on corresponding with people in Spanish-speaking countries.
The dominant religion in Chile is the Roman Catholic Church, but there are many Protestant churches due to European immigration.
Church records are usually kept by the local parish. They hold recent records and may also have some older records. All dioceses of the Catholic Church have gathered duplicates of their older church records into a diocesan archive. You might be able to get some information by writing to these archives and requesting brief searches of their records.
Addresses and information about archives in Chile can be found on the Internet at:
Some of the sources you will want to use are also available in other libraries in Chile. Contact these libraries and ask about their collection, hours, services, and fees.
- Subdirección Nacional de Bibliotecas Públicas Alonso Ovalle 1637 Santiago, Chile
Ph: (56-2) 6986406
The public library has collected many published sources, such as books from the 17th through 19th centuries on Chile and America, local histories, city directories, maps, and other resources.
- Biblioteca “Santiago Severín” Plaza Simón Bolivar s/n Casilla 3153 Valparaíso, Chile Ph: (56-32) 213375
- Universidad de Chile Sistema de Servicios de Información y Bibliotecas Avda. Bernardo O’Higgins 1058 Santiago, Chile Ph: (56-2) 6781080
- Pontificia Universidad Católica Sistema de Bibliotecas Avda. Vicuña Mackenna 4860 Santiago, Chile Ph: (56-2) 5522375 - 4764
- Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional Huérfanos 1117 Santiago, Chile PH: (56-2) 675331 - 6725696
Inventories, Registers, and Catalogs
Some archives have catalogs, inventories, guides, or periodicals that describe their records and how to use them. If possible, study these guides before you visit or use the records of an archive so that you can use your time more effectively. A catalog of the National Archive in Chile is:
Archivo Nacional de Chile (National Archive of Chile).Catálogo de fondos varios(Catalog of Various Collections). Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1984. (FHL film 1410452 items 5–6.)
Other published inventories, guides, catalogs, and directories acquired by the Family History Library are listed in the Family History Library Catalog under:
CHILE - ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES CHILE, SANTIAGO - ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES
CHILE - ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES INVENTORIES, REGISTERS, CATALOG
CHILE, SANTIAGO - ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES INVENTORIES, REGISTERS, CATALOG