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National Archives n.4 in Dalat

----- From: "Hazel Hahn" <hazelhahn@yahoo.com>
To: "Vietnam Studies Group" <vsg@u.washington.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 8:42 PM
Subject: [Vsg] Re: National Archives n.4 in Dalat

In case this hasn’t been posted, the National Archives n.4 in Dalat has been open since December 2007. The address is 2 Yet Kieu. It is open Mon-Thurs from 8:00-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m., and on Friday from 8:00-11:30 a.m. There are documents from the early modern period. For the modern period there are about 4,000 files in French from the 1880-1940 period. These are the RSA files that used to be at the National Archives n.2 in HCMC. There seems to be almost no files from the 1940s. The index is in French and is arranged in the periodical order. You can look up these file titles in the RSA drawers at the National Archives n.2 in HCMC. However the call numbers are different.

There are also about 7,000 files from the 1949-1970s period, for which there is an index in Vietnamese. However these files are in the process of being reclassified and don't seem to be communicated to readers. It is unclear how long the reclassification process will take. The archives are in the process of collecting documents.

The archives consist of three villas that used to belong to Tran Le Xuan, as well as a new large building. One of the original villas houses an exhibition about Vietnamese history, especially the war, for which photos from the War Remnants Museum are on display. The villas are a new tourist attraction in Dalat and have been getting about a thousand Vietnamese tourists a month. There is also a restored swimming pool--not for visitors--and a restored Japanese garden with a pond in the shape of the map of Vietnam, with a little bridge dividing the North and the South. There is also another pond.

As with other archives in Vietnam, in order to get access to the archives a letter of introduction from a university in HCMC or Hanoi is necessary. Once you receive the reader's permit you are allowed to consult the indices and order files. Permit requests, file requests and photocopy requests are faxed to Hanoi for approval. I received my permit in two days, and my first batch of file requests were approved in just two hours, but I think that was exceptionally fast. Since then it’s been taking up to five days to process. I have been working at the archives for several weeks, and I have been the only researcher most of the time.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me off line.

Hazel Hahn
Associate Professor of History
Seattle University
Seattle, WA 98122



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