If you understand French, you may find the answers to most of your questions on the following web page:http://www.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/camt/fr/invent...
The original Company, which created the Suez Canal in the middle of the 19th century, was a French company named Compagnie Universelle du Canal de Suez
This company had the headquarters in Paris, with a second office in London, due to the numerous British shareholders
In 1956, when Nasser took over the Canal, most European staff had to leave, and the company became an investment group, named Compagnie Financiere de Suez
The Compagnie FinanciÃ¨re de Suez merged with Lyonnaise des Eaux in 1997, and it is now named Suez Lyonnase des Eaux Suez Lyonnase des Eaux decided to offer all company documents related to the Suez Canal since 1854 to the French National Archives, now located in Roubaix
The files are 1,5 Km long !
All these files have different references, the files related with the staff start with 2000 038 xxxx (more than 500 references)
These references and documents exist only on paper, and only in Roubaix
Anybody can go to Roubaix and look at the references, which I fully copied (more than 100 pages)
Then, if you want to have access to some of the files, you have to ask for access in writing !...
It take about 3 weeks to get an answer, via regular mail
You have to give a reason, for example genealogy, and give details about your research
The request can be done on line:http://www.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/camt/
then click on "demande de communication" then on "derogation ou une autorisation"
Fill out the form (in French !)
and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
For example, I asked for access to about 100 references, which could include data about my familiy (Bonguardo) according to the above mentioned reference book
So I now have access to 20 percent of the staff archives
I started to look at the documents in Roubaix, and I spent only one day there so far. I live 300 Km away from Roubaix, (I am near Paris).
During this day, I had time to closely look at 10 boxes of documents only, but I copied almost everything (a digital camera and a notebook are essential, since you have to look at the documents there, and you can ask for a few photocopies only, which are charged 0,20 Euro)
I intend to go there at the end of August 03 again
In Roubaix I found a very large file (more than 100 pages) about my great great father named Jules Bonguardo, son on my ancestor from Korcula named Marco Bonguardo. It includes a lot of personnel data, such as birth certificates ot the kids, one hand-written letter to his boss asking for a cash advance, etc...
In his case, the file was very large, because he was among the so called "peronnel classe" (high ranked staff)
For the workers, I assume, there is less data, but I will see next time I visit Roubaix
My Idea is to make people aware of the data in Roubaix, and perhaps if everybody goes there, we could step by step collect the data and make it available on line
Archives du Monde du Travail
78 Boulevard du General Leclerc
F 59100 ROUBAIX
Phone : + 33 - 3 20 65 38 00
Fax : + 33 - 3 20 65 38 01
If you need help, do not hesitate to contact me