Scanning Central Archive of the Special Jurisdiction started

Scanning of the Central Archive of the Special Jurisdiction will start in September 2023. Over four years, the 3.8 linear kilometres of archive will be digitised in its entirety with 150,000 scans per week. From January 2025, when the archive becomes public, the first files can then be offered digitally. A total of some 30 million scans are involved.

The Central Archive of the Special Jurisdiction (CABR) is managed by the National Archives. The CABR contains files of people suspected of collaborating with the German occupiers during World War II. Scanning will start as part of the Oorlog voor de Rechter (War in Court) project and last from September 2023 to 2027. The CABR will be digitised in its entirety to provide the first files digitally from January 2025, when the archive will become public. Some 8 million scans are expected to be digitised between September 2023 and January 2025. In the following years, the remaining 22 million scans from the CABR will be scanned.

The archive will be scanned on the basis of arrangement of the special justice system and not on the basis of a suspect’s name. Work has started on digitising the files of the Bijzondere Raad van Cassatie (Special Supreme Court), the Bijzondere Gerechtshoven (Special Courts) and the Tribunalen (Tribunals). The files of the Procureurs Fiscaal (Procurators Fiscal) will then be digitised during 2024.

CABR temporarily not fully accessible

This also means that from now on certain files cannot be consulted in the National Archives’ reading room. Files that are scanned will not be retrievable for about 8 to 12 weeks. After that scanning period, the scanned files can again be viewed as limited public records at the National Archives reading room.

It is possible that information on one suspect within the CABR is spread over several files, falling under different institutions of special justice. It is therefore possible that some of the CABR documents on this person will be scanned and some will be available for inspection. You can then choose whether you want to view the available part as soon as possible, or wait until all files are ready for consultation in the reading room again.

Anyone wishing to consult the CABR can submit a request for inspection to the National Archives through the regular channels, after which a preliminary search will be carried out. Feedback on the possibilities for inspection then follows within six weeks, depending on the availability of the files.