Prepare your visit


To save you as much work as possible and to make your research uncomplicated and efficient, we have compiled the following useful information. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

We are looking forward to your visit!

Subject matter

Determine whether the archive of the Federal Foreign Office is the best source for your research or whether it would be better to consult other archives with holdings concerning foreign policy. Overviews of archives with such holdings offer the Archives Portal Europe and the Archivportal-D.

Use the search in invenio without registration (select ‘Suche ohne Anmeldung’) to check which record groups and files of the Political Archive are relevant for your research. The more you get to know our holdings, the better we can assist you. Our research guidelines (in German) can help you here to save time and effort.

Read publications about your subject. On our page Gut zu wissen (“Good to know”) you can find a list of essential reading materials and (if available) links to their digital versions.

The sources and references in them will give you important pointers to relevant holdings

Useful notes

Check invenio to see whether files are available for your specific time period. Please consider the rules of the Federal Archives Act, especially those concerning general accessibility of files (§11 Abs. 1) and accessibility of documents relating to persons (§11 Abs. 2).

If you have not visited the Political Archive yet for your current research project, please contact the Political Archive using the contact form “Enquiry to the Archive” and explain your research topic. Doing so, you are welcome to ask questions and ask for help.

When you have gotten an answer including the permission to visit our Archive, please use the contact form “Reserving a work station” to arrange an appointment to reserve a seat in our reading room. Please get in touch at least two weeks in advance since the reading room has limited seating. At peak times the reading room might be fully booked.

Have you already used the Political Archive in the past years but are not registered in invenio yet? Upon request, we will provide you with your User ID and password for logging into invenio. You will receive an e-mail from the sender “Lesesaal-im-Politischen- Archiv@bundesarchiv.de”. The subject of the mail is “Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amts - Ihre Zugangsdaten für BASYS 2 - Invenio”. With these data you can log into invenio.

Are you using the Political Archive for your research for the first time? Please register in invenio to pre-order files for your visit.

When you arrive

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