Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Peru - General Archive of the Nation

It is the governing institution regarding the protection and preservation of the documentary legacy of the country. It gathers the largest amount of documents associated with slavery and the life of afro-Peruvians from the colonial period to the 20th century.  

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The General Archive of the Nation (AGN by its Spanish acronym) is the most important repository of documents regarding slavery and the life of the population of African descent, from the 16th century and up to the 19th century. Likewise, the AGN coordinates de management of regional archives in the country.


A large part of this documentation is in the notarial and judicial collections. Likewise, in order to facilitate access, the AGN has uploaded to its web page some digitalized documents, among them are some referring to the Colonial population of African ancestry (Freedom letters, slave’s sales-purchase documents and powers of attorney).


At present, the AGN has started a campaign to acknowledge the heritage value of certain substantive documents for the memory and history of the country. It is possible to include in this initiative part of the documentation referring to the Afro-Peruvian history (Free Womb Decree, Manumission Decree, etc.).


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Other data of interest




Founding Date

14 December 1859


Gathering, classification and service of the historic documentation of Peru.


Local del Archivo Colonial: Jr. Camaná N° 125, Cercado de Lima  Local del Archivo Republicano: Calle Manuel Cuadros s/n, Cercado de Lima

Telephone Numbers

01 4267221 / 4272996 / 4275930 / 4275939

Person in charge

Dra. Luisa Vetter Parodi - Director

Other members of the Executive

Lic. David Fernández Villanova National Director of the National Division of the Historical Archive

Objectives of the institution

-Organization and description of the documentary collections, facilitating access by the community.

-Digitalization of the collections.

-Physical restoration of deteriorated documents.

Heritage documents under its protection

The Ambulatory Protocol of the Conquistadores, the oldest document of Peru, has been declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation. It is also known as “Libro Becerro” (the Vellum Book), from the 16th century. This document is made up by 804 papers in 551 pages, from the years 1533 to 1538. The document makes reference to the slave presence and transactions in Peru.

The state of conservation of this documentation is good.

Public access for research purposes.

Periodicals published by the institution

Magazine of the General Archive of the Nation (latest issue: 32, year 2017)