Maps and Plans Reading Room
The Maps and Plans Reading Room is located on Level -2.
Covid-19: adapted service
- All collections have to be consulted in the General reading room.
- Seat reservation is required.
- Please reserve your documents 2 working days in advance (reference works too).
How to consult the documents
You have unrestricted access to the reference works in the reading room: biographical and geographical dictionaries, dictionaries of the Belgian municipalities and other municipalities, bibliographies, facsimiles, historical and geographical atlases, encyclopaedias and journals.
If you want to consult any documents that are held in store, please order them via the catalogue. If you are looking for specific maps or if you want to put in a request to consult more than fifteen documents, please make your request in advance by email.
Requested documents are issued at regular times:
- 9.30 a.m.
- 10.30 a.m.
- 11.30 a.m.
- 12.30 p.m.
- 2.30 p.m.
- 3.30 p.m.
- 4 p.m.
You will need the curator’s permission to consult rare and precious documents, such as pieces from the collection of valuable objects. These documents are listed on the inventory in the reading room. Please make a request in advance by email or in the reading room.
History of the Maps and Plans Department
The maps and plans used to be kept in the Prints Department. In fact, it was only in the early years of the twentieth century that a specific geographical classification system was created for these documents and they could finally be catalogued. After the Second World War, people realised the richness and special qualities of the cartographical collections and a separate Maps and Plans Department was founded, where the collections were re-arranged, stored in suitable cabinets and made available to the public.