The building of the Historical Archives of Belgrade was officially opened on the 15th October 1973. It was the first building built specifically for an archival institution after the Second World War. With acclimatized repositories and specialized offices– photo-lab, bindery, conservation and restoration laboratory, Reading room and Registry office – it was one of the most modern in Europe.
In 1945 when the Executive People’s Council of the City of Belgrade decided to establish a new city institution, the City Archives was located in a building together with City Library and City Museum. Since the Archives soon needed more space and more professional employees, in 1954 the institution was moved in the building of Klasna Lutrija, at the corner of Vasina and Zmaj Jovina streets.
The new building could not meet the needs of the archive services, therefore in 1963 it was decided to make a study for the future building, designed specially to fulfill the requirements of a modern archive. In 1967 the City Assembly granted permission for the construction of the building, the Directorate for New Belgrade Development provided a property in no. 1 Palmira Toljatija Street, finally in 1970 all responsible city departments issued necessary licenses and the next year construction works were initiated. The architectural design was made by an architect Milan Jerković, and the main investors were City Committee of the Central Committee of the League of Communist of Serbia, Belgrade City Council and City Housing Department. The contractor was construction company Trudbenik and the office furniture was supplied by the furniture company Jadran.The building was constructed on the 7.200 m2 with 4.500 m2 of usable area in accordance with five points by Le Corbusier. Repositories for safe keeping of archival material were located in separate part of the building with total area of 2.600 m2. The construction lasted until 1972 and the use permit was issued by the authorities in 1973.
All interested citizens could use the archival material in the Reading Room with fully operational library, informative card register, microfilm readers and other informative aids. The documentation was transported from the repositories to the Reading Room with a freight elevator. A special room for lectures had the latest technical equipment like epidiascope, slide projector, cinema projector.
The building of Archives had to modify once again in order to adjust to the requests and tendencies of the 21st century. In 2002 garage and atrium space were reconstructed and glass shelves of the with 9.838 books, were placed in the hall of the building. The archival building was improved in 2003 when a modern multimedia gallery occupying 240 m2 was created.
The biggest investment occurred in 2019, when the repositories of the archives were reconstructed and equipped with modern air-conditioning system, led lights and stable system for fire protection with security doors.
The City of Belgrade announced new investments in the Archives – construction of a new building which would be next to the existing one, since the existing capacities are all full.
Today the Historical Archives of Belgrade holds 2.882.fonds and collections preserving the documentation of city authorities, courts, schools, cultural, political and religious organizations, banks and other companies, as well as documentation of prominent individuals and families which all together represent precious and inevitable source for researching the history of Belgrade.