Germany Archives and Libraries

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Germany Archives collect and preserve original documents from organizations such as churches or governments. Libraries collect mostly published sources, such as books, maps, and microfilm. This section describes Germany's major repositories of genealogical and historical records and sources.

If you plan to visit one of these repositories, contact the archive or library and ask for information about its collection, hours, services, and fees. Also ask who may use their facility.

Although the original records you need may be in an archive or library in Germany, the Family History Library may have a microfilm copy of them, or they may be available on the Internet. Check the FamilySearch Catalog and online resources before writing to or visiting archives in Germany.

Materials useful for family history research can be found in various archives. German archives and parishes often refer family history letters to historical or genealogical societies. Members of these societies can usually search the local archives. Sometimes the archive will recommend other archives to which you can write.

When writing to a German-speaking archive or library, it is best to write in German. For help in writing a letter in German, see the German Letter-Writing Guide. Electronic translation tools should be avoided. Letters written in English are preferable to those translated electronically.

Federal Archive[edit | edit source]

This German Federal Archive (Bundesarchiv) website explains holdings that may be helpful to family historians. Collections include, but are not limited to:

  • Records from the time period of the NS-regime
  • Records of prisoners during the GDR period
  • Military records up to 1945 (especially for WWI and WWII)

The collections are divided between various physical locations in different German cities.

State Archives[edit | edit source]

Each modern state archive also preserves useful records, including:

German state archives are generally open to the public.

If the Family History Library does not have the records you need, you can contact the state archive for the area in which your ancestor lived. The archive will briefly describe its collections and provide a list of researchers you can hire to search the archive.

Addresses and websites for state archives in areas of heavy emigration are listed below.

Baden[edit | edit source]

Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe
Nördliche Hildapromenade 2
76133 Karlsruhe

Cuxhaven[edit | edit source]

Archive of the district of Cuxhaven
Tel. +49 (0) 4751 91480
Fax +49 (0) 4751 914891
Market Street 2
D-21762 Otterndorf

Pfalz (Palatinate)[edit | edit source]

Landesarchiv Speyer
67326 Speyer
Internet: Rheinland-Pfalz Landesarchivverwaltung 

Rheinland (Rhineland)[edit | edit source]

Landeshauptarchiv Koblenz
Postfach 201047
56013 Koblenz
Internet:  Rheinland-Pfalz Landesarchivverwaltung

Other Archives[edit | edit source]

Academiegebouw Universiteit Leiden.png

  1. Baden-Württemberg
  2. Bavaria (Bayern)
  3. Berlin (excluding Brandenburg)
  4. Brandenburg (excluding Berlin)
  5. Bremen
  6. Hamburg
  7. Hessen
    Kassel and Waldeck are listed here.
  8. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
  9. North Rhine-Westphalia
  10. Rhineland-Palatinate
  11. Saarland
  12. Saxony
  13. Saxony- (Sachsen-) Anhalt
  14. Schleswig-Holstein
  15. Thüringia

German Center for Genealogy[edit | edit source]

A specialty archive, the Central Office for Genealogy [Deutsche Zentralstelle für Genealogie] was founded as an archive for genealogical materials. Later its holdings were incorporated in the Leipzig State Archive. Its extensive collection of German church records from Posen, Ostpreußen, Westpreußen, Pommern, and Schlesien (now in Poland, Russia, and Lithuania) was microfilmed by FamilySearch. The Central Office collection also includes records of many German settlements in eastern Europe. The Family History Library has microfilms of these records, but if you need more information, you can contact the center. For a fee, employees of the center will try to find genealogical sources. But as a general rule, research must be done in Leipzig by the researcher.

The mailing address is:
Sächsisches Staatsarchiv
Staatsarchiv Leipzig
Schongauer Strasse 1
04329 Leipzig
Internet: (main page archive)

Archives Outside of Germany[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has on microfilm many German records from areas now in Poland, France, Denmark, Belgium, Russia, and Lithuania. If you cannot find the records you need in the FamilySearch Catalog, you can write to the parish where your ancestor lived, the German Center for Genealogy, or the archives of the country. The main archives outside of Germany are described below.

Poland[edit | edit source]

The Polish State Archive may be able to help you with records from Brandenburg, Ostpreußen, Westpreußen, Pommern, Posen, Schlesien and other areas now under Polish jurisdiction. You may write in English, but it is better to write in Polish. There is a fee for any work done. Records from Poland are now gradually coming online.  So be sure to check the website of the archive you need information from before requesting a search.

The State Archive holds civil registration records more than 100 years old.

The mailing address is:
Naczelna Dyrekcja
Archiwów Państwowych
Ul. Długa 6, skr. poczt. 1005
00-950 Warszawa
Fax: 48-22-31-75-63
Internet: Polish government archives in English (also translates into Polish)

Addresses for State Archive in Poland can be found at Rootsweb.

Archives are arranged alphabetically by name of archive. E-mail addresses are included.

A detailed inventory for the Stettin [ Szczecin] State Archive, searchable in German systematcally, alphabetically, and by key word, is found at Archivfuhrer Stettin.

Some additional Polish Archives[edit | edit source]

Archiwum Panstwowe we Wroclawiu oddzial w Kamiencu
Plac Koscielny 4
57-230 Kamieniec Zabkowicki
Ph.: 48 74 817 35 40
Fax: 48 74 817 35 40
Website:Archiwum Panstwowe we Wroclawiu oddzial w Kamiencu

Archiwum Archidiecezjalne we Wroclawiu (Breslau)
ul. Kanonia 12
50-328 Wroclaw

Staatsarchiv Oppeln
Archiwum Panstwowe w Opolu
ul. Zamkowa 2
45-016 Opole

Archiwum Diecesjalne Peplinska (Peplin)
ul. Biskupa Dominika 11
83-130 Pelplin
Ph.: 48-58 5361222
Website: Archiwum Diecesjalne Peplinska (Peplin) 

Archiwum Panstwowe
Pomorska 2
50-215 Wroclaw (Breslau)
Ph.: 48 71 328 8101
Fax: 48 71 328 80 45
Website: Archiwum Panstwowe

Parafia Wroclaw I (Lutheran Archives Breslau)
ul. Kazimierza Wlk. 29
PL-50-077 Wroclaw
Ph.: 48 71 3434730
Fax: 48 71 3723748
Website: Parafia Wroclaw I (Lutheran Archives Breslau)

Parafia Wroclaw II (Lutheran Archives Breslau)
ul. Paryzantow 60
PL-51-675 Wroclaw
Ph.: 48 71 3484598
Fax: 48 71 3484407
Website: Parafia Wroclaw II (Lutheran Archives Breslau)

Archiwum Diecezjalne Opole (Kath. Bistumsarchiv Oppeln)
ul. Kard. Kominka 1a
PL-45-032 Opole
Ph.: 48 77 4412820
Website: Archiwum Diecezjalne Opole (Kath. Bistumsarchiv Oppeln)

Archiwum Panstwowe w Katowicach (Kattowitz)
ul. Jozefowska 104 skr.poczt.1
PL 40-145 Katowice 33
Ph.: 48 32 583831

Staatsarchiv Altkessel
Archiwum Panstwowe w Zielonej Gorze
z siedziba w Srarym Kisielinie
ul. Pionerow Lubukirch 53
66-002 Stary Kisielin

Parafia Ewangelicko-Augsburska
Pl. Kościelny 4
POB 248
58-300 Wałbrzych (Waldenburg)
Tel/FAX 48(74)8423213

Archiwum Archidiecezjalne w Poznańiu (Posen)
ul. Lubranskiego 1
61108 Poznań
e-mail: sekretariat
Website: Archiwum Archidiecezjalne w Poznańiu (Posen)

Archiwum Państwowe w Koszalinie
(Staatsarchiv Köslin)
75-625 Koszalin
ul. gen. Andersa 38

France[edit | edit source]

For information from Elsaß-Lothringen(Alsace-Lorraine), contact one of the following archives:

Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin
5, rue Fischart
67000 Strasbourg
Internet: Archives Departmentales du Bas-Rhin 

Archives départementales du Haut-Rhin
Cité administrative
3, rue Fleischhauer
68026 Colmar Cedex 3
Internet: Archives Départementales du Haut-Rhin

Archives départementales du Moselle
1, allée du château
57070 St. Julien-les-Metz
Internet: Archives de la Mozelle

The French archivists will not do research, but they will help you determine what records are available. For help writing in French, see the French Letter-Writing Guide.

Archive information, including internet and E-mail addresses, for France are found at:

Archives de France d'accueil

Denmark[edit | edit source]

If your research is in Schleswig-Holstein, Oldenburg, Lübeck, or the part of Hamburg that was once part of Denmark, you may be able to hire a researcher through the Danish archive. You may write in English.

The address is:
Landsarkivet i Aabenraa
Haderslevvej 45
6200 Aabenraa
Internet: Danish National Archives 

Civil Registration Offices and Town Archives[edit | edit source]

In most areas, local governments began recording births, marriages, and deaths between 1792 and 1876. Although most records are kept in local offices, a few have been turned over to the state archives.

People who lived in small communities or villages usually registered in the nearest town, city, or municipality. Large cities and metropolitan areas are divided into civil registration districts. Civil registration records are not open for public inspection, but abstracts or photocopies are issued to direct descendants. If a particular archive does not have the records you seek, it will usually refer you to the correct archive. For more information about civil records, see Germany Civil Registration.

Church Parish Offices[edit | edit source]

Most church records are kept at local parish offices. Some are sent to the area's central archive. If the Family History Library does not have the records that you need, you should first write (in German) to the local parish in the town where your ancestor lived. If the records have been moved, the local parish can usually tell you which archive currently has the records, and you can then write to that archive. See Germany Church Records for more information.

Historical and Genealogical Societies[edit | edit source]

Dozens of German historical and genealogical societies exist in Germany and elsewhere. These groups have libraries or archives that collect valuable records. For more information, including addresses of the more prominent societies, see Germany Societies.

Archive Addresses[edit | edit source]

The following are good directories of German archive addresses:

The list of archives with addresses, Part 2 of 2, which correspond to the localities list, can be found at this link Archive Addresses Please note that in the second column, with the heading of "key" matches the Archive "number" in the first link which contains the database.

International Directory of Archives = Annuaire international des archives. München, Germany: K. G. Saur, 1992. (FHL book 020.5 Ar25 v. 38.) You will need to update the postal codes in this directory by using the postal code book cited in Germany Gazetteers.

1993 Updated Addresses to German Repositories. Burbank, California, USA: Immigrant Genealogical Society, 1993. (FHL book 943 D27gr 1993.) Alphabetical by city.

Websites that give archive addresses:

Archiveschule Marburg

State Archives of Baden and Wuerttemberg:

A list of archives in Baden-Wuerttemberg, maintained by Andreas Hanacek.

Public Archives[edit | edit source]

Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe
Nördliche Hildapromenade 2, D-76133 Karlsruhe
Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart
Konrad-Adenauer-Str. 4, D-70173 Stuttgart
Staatsarchiv Freiburg
Colombiastr. 4, D-79098 Freiburg
Staatsarchiv Ludwigsburg
Schloß Ludwigsburg, Schloßstr. 30, D-71634 Ludwigsburg
Staatsarchiv Sigmaringen
Strohdorfer Str. 11, D-72488 Sigmaringen
Staatsarchiv Wertheim
Bronnbach 19, D-97877 Wertheim
Hohenlohe Zentralarchiv
Neuenstein - Schloß, Neuenstein/Württemberg

Church Archives[edit | edit source]

Evangelisches Landeskirchliches Archiv
Blumenstr. 1, D-76133 Karlsruhe
Landeskirchliches Archiv der Evangelischen Landeskirche in Württemberg
Balingerstr. 33/1, 70567 Stuttgart-Möhringen, Tel. (0711) 2140-254
Landeskirchliche Archiv Stuttgart
Erzbischöfliches Archiv Freiburg
Herrenstr. 35, D-79098 Freiburg
Bischöfliches Ordinariat, Diözesanarchiv,
Bischöfliches Palais, Eugen-Bolz-Platz 1, D-72108 Rottenburg (cf. Information zu Kirchenbüchern im Diözesanarchiv Rottenburg)

Kirchlicher Suchdienst
HOK Zentrum Passau
Ostuzzisstr. 4
94032 Passau
Email: (Help with finding displaced persons WWII)

Landeskirchliches Archiv in Berlin (ELAB)

011 49 30 / 22 50 45 - 0
Fax: 011 49 30 / 22 50 45 10

Evangelisches Landeskirchliches Archiv in Berlin

Archives of religious communities[edit | edit source]

Archiv der Herrenhuter Brüdergemeinschaft
Zinzendorfplatz 3, D-78126 Königsfeld, Phone (07725) 93820


Libraries[edit | edit source]

Library of the Vereins für Familien- und Wappenkunde
in Württemberg and Baden
Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart
Konrad-Adenauer-Str. 8, D-70173 Stuttgart
Badische Landesbibliothek Karlsruhe
Erbprinzenstraße 15, D-76133 Karlsruhe
Library in the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen
Charlottenplatz 17, D-70173 Stuttgart

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

(Family History Centers of the Church of Latter Days Saints (Mormons)
In Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart and in Karlsruhe. For the addresses, see this page.

Inventories, Registers, Catalogs[edit | edit source]

Some archives have catalogs, inventories, guides, or periodicals that describe their records and how to use them. If possible, study these guides before you visit or use the records of an archive so that you can use your time effectively.

The following source is an overall guide to the collections of archives and libraries in Germany:

Minerva-Handbücher. Archive: Archive im deutschsprachigen Raum (Minerva handbooks, archives in German-speaking areas). Two Volumes. Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter, 1974. (FHL book 943 A5m 1974 Vol.1-2.) See also

Google Books (Add title: Archive im deutschsprachigen Raum)

 For a much shorter but more current list:

Pies, Eike. Aktuelle Adressen und Informationen für Familienforscher (Addresses and information for genealogists). Solingen, Germany: Verlag E. & U. Brockhaus, 1993. (FHL book 943 D24pe.) Mainly includes German state archives, state-wide church archives, and genealogical society archives.

These guides are available at the Family History Library. They may also be available at your public or university library or through interlibrary loan.

The Family History Library has copies of some published inventories as well as guides, catalogs, and directories for other libraries. The following are examples of such sources:

  • Wermes, Martina, et al. Bestandsverzeichnis der Deutschen Zentralstelle für Genealogie Leipzig (Inventory of the German Center for Genealogy in Leipzig). Two Volumes. Neustadt/Aisch, Germany: Degener, 1991-1992. (FHL book 943 D25givol. 24-25m.)
  • Hope, Anne, and Jörg Nagler. Guide to German Historical Sources in North American Libraries. Washington, D.C., USA: German Historical Institute, 1991. (FHL book 970 A3ho.)

These types of records are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under one of the following headings:




Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:   

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • Archives Portal Europe provides access to information on archival material from Germany as well as information on archival institutions throughout the European continent.
  • Archivportal provides access to archival collections from Germany.

References[edit | edit source]