Archives de la Préfecture de Pointe-Noire (APPN-CON)

Material that is from an earlier year than 1998/99 (years of the Congolese civil war) can be found in one small store room, of which the left side is still filled nearly up to the ceiling. On the basis of the 99 boxes that were created out of reclassified files during the reorganization process, the overall material could amount (after a full classification exercise) to 2'000-2'500 boxes.

The material available can be grouped chronologically into four periods; but it could also be categorised in function of the origins of the files (territorial, regional, unclear origins). The form of the material includes very variable record types, including correspondence, reports (social and political, police and financial services, land organisation and religious affairs), telegrams, lists, invoices, budget tables, and maps.

The four chronological phases include.

  • the early phase of the colony of the Middle-Congo (1890-1930), which is particularly marked by the role of concession companies and complex processes of land use – very few dossiers of this chronological period could be found within the archival holdings of the Préfecture of Pointe-Noire;
  • the period of the established colony through the late colonial state, towards autonomy and the transfer of the colonial capital from Pointe-Noire to Brazzaville in 1958, into which belongs a considerable part of the archival documentation, especially for the years between 1946 and 1948;
  • the transition period from the end of colonial rule (in 1960) to the fall of the Youlou regime during the “Trois Glorieuses revolution” of 1963; the files from this phase are less frequent, but those who could be found include impressively important documents, such as security reports from the region of the Kouilou;
  • the independent state, from 1963 into the 1990s, which includes a huge variety of documents and probably represents more than half of the documentation available at the Archives de la Préfecture.

The material could also be categorized into three statuses of provenance, which can be described as follows.

  • files from the old territorial archives (called here “Archives du Moyen-Congo”), which do apparently no longer exist as a coherent archive; a number of more general issues represented in dossiers mainly from the period after the Second World War certainly belong to this type of material;
  • dossiers that are either from the services or postcolonial services of the District of Kouilou (to which Pointe-Noire belonged) and its subdivisions, or from the city of Pointe-Noire (which was a “Commune-Mixte” under the largest part of colonial rule, and then had a city administration under the independent state, which also produced an abundant documentation – some of which can also be found in the Archives Municipales de Pointe-Noire (AMPN-CON), which is an alternative archival repository in the city of Pointe-Noire).

A part of the archival files were reclassified during EAP project 844 (EAP844), leading to creation of 99 historical boxes and a preliminary inventory.

Archives from various larger series, including the.

  • territorial archives of the colonial territory of the Middle-Congo under French rule ("Archives du Moyen-Congo");
  • the archives of the Commune-Mixte of Pointe-Noire;
  • the archives of the District of Kouilou from the colonial period;
  • the archives of the District of Kouilou from the postcolonial period.

The archives are now integrated in the Préfecture de Pointe-Noire, but under the tutelage of the Archives Nationales de la République du Congo (in Brazzaville), part of the Centre National des Archives et de la Documentation, belonging to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Congo