Use of the reading room of the Political Archive


Use of the reading room of the Political Archive under COVID-19 health and safety regulations

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

An agreement to visit the reading room will be given when 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 a visit of the reading room ist necessary or whether digital copies can be provided in response to your query.
  2. The archivist will inform both you and the reading room if 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 your 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. File orders and searches are also possible again via the terminals in the reading room.
  7. File orders are also possible via personal Laptops/Tablets/Smartphones.
  8. When you have obtained an approval to visit the Political Archives to consult paper files you are free to preorder up to 40 files in advance of your visit.
  9. You can look through 20 files per day when you are in the reading room.
  10. Files that you have ordered before 2 pm (on a 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.

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