El Salvador Archives and Libraries

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El Salvador
Archives and Libraries

El Salvador Archives are intended to store, collect and preserve the original documents of a number of Church and Government organizations.  Many of the historical records have been compromised through the years due to lack of resources, fires, and civil/military unrest.  Due to these factors and many others, the research possibilities in the country may present a significant challenge to any researcher.  Aldo Lauria-Santiago explained some of those possibilities as well as some of those challenges.[1]
According to Lauria-Santiago, the archival sources in El Salvador can be separated into the following:

  • The National Archives
  • Asamblea Nacional
  • Ministries and other Government Offices
  • Census Materials
  • Catholic Church Archives
  • Universidad Centroamericana (UCA)
  • Biblioteca Nacional
  • Municipal Materials

The National Archives
You will have the option to visit a number of repositories but any visit to the Salvadorian Diplomatic Archives must be approved by the administration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The location for the National Archives is at the old Palacio Nacional, Centro Histórico, Avenida Cuscatlán San Salvador.  The address for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Historical Archive is Final 17ª Avenida Norte, Plan Maestro Centro de Gobierno, Anexo “B” Edificio Número 2. San Salvador, El Salvador.

Many documents created prior to 1930 may still be found at the National Archives. Lauria-Santiago states that the materials lack a proper indexing and organization. Researchers should first contact the Historical Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and provide a letter from their sponsoring university or institution.


  1. Research by Aldo Lauria-Santiago regarding historiography and research possibilities and conditions in El Salvador can be found at the following link: http://www.google.com/url?sa=trct=j;q=el%20salvador%20national%20archives&source=webcd=6cad=rjaved=0CEwQFjAFurl=http%3A%2F%2Flasa-2.univ.pitt.edu%2FLARR%2Fprot%2Fsearch%2Fretrieve%2F%3FVol%3D30%26Num%3D2%26Start%3D151;ei=aC2nUZaHKMPh0gGn94GIBwusg=AFQjCNHagCgcxLQI9LIq4TOAof2os3p1VQbvm=bv.47244034,d.dmQ