The Arquivo Distrital de Viana do Castelo is located in a district with ten municipalities and 290 parishes, a universe of more than 250000 inhabitants.
It was created in 1965 by Decree no. 46350 of May 22, but, due to a lack of support by local structures, it would come into office only twenty years later.
Indeed, only on May 18, 1983 could its installation be ensured by the Direcção-Geral do Património do Estado, which transferred for that purpose the building of the former Casa da Vedoria to the Instituto Português do Património Cultural that at the time supervised the Rede dos Arquivos Distritais.
On April 27, 1985, after remodeling works, the Arquivo Distrital was inaugurated, leaving the inhabitants of Viana do Castelo with easy access to the oldest documents previously kept in the Arquivo Distrital de Braga.
In its first years, although more sharply from 1989 onwards, the Arquivo defined as one of its intervention priorities the safeguarding of information collections, which were scattered, uninventoried and in terrible preservation conditions. This corresponded, moreover, to the attributions contained in Decree-Law 149/83, of April 5, among which the dominant concern of “incorporating, conserving, recognizing, inventorying and cataloging“ the district's documentary heritage is emphasized.
Later, in the 90's, in addition to updating the mandatory incorporations, the management of the Arquivo Distrital also started to offer technical consultancy to various entities in the region. This was done with the intention of sensitizing them to the need to establish a Network of Archives, able to promote, in the perspective of the effectiveness of its communication, a better management of Alto Minho's information resources.
It was under this cooperation that the Arquivo became involved in the installation of the nine archive services, already in full operation, in the corresponding Municipalities of Alto Minho. Of the ten municipalities that make up the administrative map of the Viana do Castelo district, only that of Ponte da Barca has not yet shown interest in joining this Network of Municipal Archives.
In the light of the new organic operated by Decree-Law 215/2006, of October 17, which created, among others, the Direcção-Geral de Arquivos (DGARQ), and the provisions contained in Decree-Law 93/2007, of March 29, the Arquivo Distrital de Viana do Castelo assumes, at the moment, the status of flexible organic unit with a regional scope dependent on the central services of DGARQ.
It is part of the National Archives Network, coordinated by DGARQ, and is in charge of ensuring, among other functions, the technical treatment of the files it supervises, so as to make the citizens' access to information easier.
From Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 17:30
Municipal Holiday: August 20