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 at the Archives Portal Europe. At present, finding aids of our record groups can only be consulted in the reading room.

The missions abroad were and are subject to instructions from headquarters of the Federal Foreign Office in Bonn or Berlin. All decisions are taken at headquarters and are documented in their according record groups. Files from the missions abroad usually only complement 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 vending machine for 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 initial information for free 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 website of the Federal Foreign Office.

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