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Oldenburg Archives and Libraries

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Archive Addresses and Repositories[edit | edit source]

Listing of the Archives and Libraries in state of Niedersachsen (not the Societies and associated Libraries and Museums).

Oldenburg[edit | edit source]

  • Ev.-Luth. Oberkirchenrat
    Philosophenweg 1
    26121 Oldenburg
    Germany
    Ph.: 49 4417701 270
    Fax: 49 441 7701 299
    Email: bibliothek@ev.kirche-oldenburg.de
    Web: www.ev-kirche-oldenburg.de
  • Staatsarchiv Oldenburg
    Email: Oldenburg@nla.niedersachsen.de
    Web: www.staatsarchiv.niedersachsen.de
  • Bischöflich Münstersches Offizialat
    Bahnhofstr. 6
    49377 Vechta
    Germany
    Email: info@kirchentuer.de
    Web: www.offizialatsbezirk-oldenburg.de

Research in Lower Saxony’s State Archives[edit | edit source]

The most important responsibility of a state archive is to prepare and make available scientific, local historical, and genealogical sources. The archives aim to evaluate their stocks. This they do by working together with others such as societies, archives, or private authors. In ensuing publications they offer inventories and source editions. They do orientations about general aspects of archival functionality and publish books on research topics. One can find so called Findbücher (detailed explanation of what a certain record type contains and what time frame it covers). A state archive will also do exhibitions, invite guest speakers, and offer classes in which the history and application of a record type will be explained.

Of interest is to know what the archival catalog online is based on. The criteria on what materials are archived are as follows:

The principle of provenience applies. All materials are organized by epochs and tectonics:
For instance:

Old Archive (Altes Archiv)
I. Documents
   Fürstentum Calenberg
   Original archive
   Fürstentum Lüneburg-Celle
   Hochstift Hildesheim
II. Files
   Fürstentum Calenberg
   Fürstentum Lüneburg-Celle
   Fürstentum Hildesheim

Middle Archive (mittleres Archiv)
   Documents and Files
   Non-state materials

New Archive (Neues Archiv)
   Documents
   Non-state materials

Archival materials of interest (family history is not of public interest in the archive’s estimation) are among others:

Border issues
State issues, especially important documents like treaties
Sensational cases (criminal law)
Court cases (i.e., they become public 10 years after the death of the offender)
Environmental issues
Financial issues
Insurance issues

As an example the archival material for the Amt Diepholz is organized as follows:

1. General concerns (Generalia)
2. State issues (Hoheitssachen)
3. Military issues (Militaersachen)
4. Tax and customs
5. Dominialsachen (anything to do with the land)
6. Church and school matters
7. Local administrative issues
8. Police matters
9. Matters concerning Amt Diepholz in regards to outside issues.

Of all archival materials offered to an archive only a minute percentage is kept.
The rest is shredded. The reasoning of what should be kept is very subjective. 

The inventory of the Niedersächsische Staatsarchive (Lower Saxony State Archives) can be found online at  Clicking on “Online-Recherche”, then on “AIDA-online”, choosing “über Archive und Beständegruppen” one can select any archival name. When selecting an archive, “Dokumente” and “Akten” are the next choices. Dokumente (documents) deal mainly with official documents bearing seals, while “Akten” (folders) are concentrating on documents having to do with all kinds of administrative activities. Concentrating on “Allgemeine und gebündelte Verwaltung”, “Polizei und Justiz” as well as “Kirchen und Schulen” most likely contain information pertinent to the family historian.

Under Allgemeine und gebündelte Verwaltung one can find the documents of each Amt (administrative jurisdiction). Each Amt in the former territories of Hannover was responsible to look after the affairs of state as well as deal with the poor and needy.

Choosing an Amt from the drop-down list gives the researcher another list. “Gliederung” classifies all subjects with which the Amt was concerned. If one wants to know what exactly the archive houses in regards to “Armensachen” (matters of the poor), a click on the classification number would hi-light a text explaining the content. If one was to take a look at the document, the order number is given as well as the signatur. Knowing these facts about a document makes it easier for the archival staff to retrieve it when visiting the facility. If the item is not what was wanted, a glance further down the list will provide more clues of what the archive can provide re. Armensachen.

Under the Amt one can also search by other terms, such as Archivalien, Konkordanzen and Indexbegriffe. Archivalien (records) show the same tables as shown in the link. Konkordanzen (concordances) are listed by older registers or older classifications, and Indexbegriffe (index) list alphabetically concepts pertaining to the Amt’s documents. Here one can find at a glance what is available when, what the content and what the ordering number is.

Going back to the Allgemeine und gebündelte Verwaltung one does find other research categories. Depending on the area and time frame one could choose “Landdrostei Aurich” or “Landkreis Aurich” which will list archival material according to the administrations of the day, i.e., Landdrostei Aurich existed from 1823-1885, Landkreis Aurich since 1885. There is also a category “Personenstandsregister” which lists all registers for births, marriages and deaths when civil registration was implemented.


References[edit | edit source]