Decide whether the archive of the Federal Foreign Office is in fact the best source for your research or whether it would be better to consult other archives with holdings concerning foreign policy.
Check the online guide to holdings to see whether the Political Archive has anything relevant to the subject of your research. The better you prepare for your visit, the better we can help you.
Read publications about your subject. The sources and references in them will give you important pointers to relevant holdings. You can go through these record groups systematically in the Reading Room.
Check whether files are already accessible for the period you are interested in.
Apply for permission to use the archive. Describe your topic as precisely as possible, so that we can point out relevant holdings.
Did you already get the permission to use our archive? In that case, you can arrange an appointment and pre-order files. Please get in touch at least two weeks in advance to your visit since the reading room has limited seating. At peak times the Reading Room might be fully booked.
Read through our research guidelines. That will save you a lot of time and effort in the Reading Room!