The Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office


View of the stacks

13 ° C


© dwd.de

The Political Archive is the “memory” of the German foreign service. The archive contains 26 linear kilometres of material, which can be consulted for research purposes in line with the legal regulations. This website will tell you more about the services provided by the Political Archive.

Important information

Use of the reading room of the Political Archive under COVID-19 health and safety regulations as of 6 April 2021

Under the Federal Foreign Office’s current protective measures, visits to the reading room of the Political Archive are only possible in exceptional cases by prior agreement.

An exceptional case might be one where a research query cannot be answered with the aid of already regularly digitised documents (preferred method) but requires you to consult paper files.

The procedure:

  1. The archivist will decide, on the basis of their knowledge of the holdings, whether exceptional approval for a visit can be granted or whether digital copies can be provided in response to your query.
  2. The archivist will inform both you and the reading room if exceptional permission for a personal visit has been granted. In keeping with the existing procedure, the reading room staff will arrange your appointment and allocate your work station. Reservations for mornings (9.00 am – noon) and afternoons (1.00 – 4.00 pm) need to be made separately.
  3. You are required to wear a FFP2 mask covering our mouth and nose at all times in the building of the Federal Foreign Office, reading room included.

  4. Disinfectant is available for your use just outside the reading room.
  5. Disposable gloves are provided in the reading room.
  6. You won’t have any access to the archive’s reference library or computer terminals or analog finding aids.
  7. You will therefore need your own laptop/tablet/smartphone to order items.
  8. When you have obtained an exceptional approval to visit the Political Archives to consult paper files you are free to preorder up to 40 files at least three days in advance of your visit.
  9. You can look through 20 files per day when you are in the reading room - thus it is possible for the staff to wait 24hrs before re-shelving the files to lower the risk of contamination.
  10. Files that you have ordered before 12pm (working day) will be available for consultation at the reading room the next day.
  11. When you have finished consulting the files, please place them on a trolley.
  12. We cannot offer any personal consultations. A list of the archivists’ phone numbers is available in the consulting room, should you have any questions. Inquiries can also be made by email.

Please note that the regulations may change at short notice in response to the current COVID‑19 Situation. Due to an increased amount of enquires there may be a delay in processing your request. We thank you for your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.

Contact and opening hours


Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office



Postal code



+49 (30) 1817-2179


+49 (30) 1817-5-2179


Kurstraße 36

Opening hours

Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m - 12:00 a.m and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (only with special permission)


Pull times for records


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