Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Here you can find answers to frenquently asked questions about using the Political Archive as well as selected information.


An overview of all the Political Archive’s holdings can be found online in the Archives Portal Europe. At present, finding aids relating to the content of our holdings can only be consulted in the Reading Room.

The missions abroad were and are subject to instructions from Federal Foreign Office headquarters in Bonn or Berlin. All decisions are taken at headquarters and are documented in the main in its archives. Variants from the missions abroad usually do nothing more than supplement this information.

Decisions by the highest levels of the Ministry are generally documented in the files of the Divisions which were responsible for the issue and prepared the decision. The files from the Minister's Office and the State Secretaries’ Office are not definitive.

Usually yes, though there are exceptions to this. Further information is available under the heading “Reproductions”.

Unfortunately, the Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office cannot help you attribute notes or photos even if the deadline for your Master’s or PhD dissertation is looming.

There are seats and tables outside the Reading Room, as well as a machine selling hot and cold drinks. There are plenty of restaurants, cafés and bakeries within a few hundred metres of the Federal Foreign Office.

No. All users will be given free initial information about relevant holdings. You can then do the research yourself in the Reading Room, also free of charge. The Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office does not take on research commissions.

However, it is possible to employ a private researcher to do the research for you.

List of researchers

You can find information about this on the Federal Foreign Office Website.

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