Practical information

Please watch the slide show on the right-hand side!

On the day of your visit

Before your visit, please find out about how and what you can research in the archive.


Enquiry to the Archive

The reading room of the Political Archive is located in the Federal Foreign Office building in Kurstraße 36.


The Federal Foreign Office is a secure area. We kindly request your cooperation with the necessary security measures. After leaving a valid ID card or passport at reception, you will be issued with a visitor’s pass. Please go through the security check and follow the signs to the reading room. You may not bring coats, bags, food or drinks into the reading room. These items may be left in the lockers outside the reading room. Please note that you will need a €1 or €2 coin as a deposit.

If you lose the locker key, you will have to pay for the cost of a replacement.

Registration and reading room 

On arrival, please report to a reading room staff member, and fill out an application form for your visit. Our research guidelines will help you to use the finding aids. The reading room staff will be happy to help you with further questions and to arrange an appointment with the responsible archivist if necessary.

The reading room has 27 work stations, some of which are equipped with microfiche readers. There are sockets for laptops, but no wireless internet access. However, a computer with internet access is available.

The reading room also has a reference library on the history of German foreign policy. This mainly comprises publications by Political Archive users, series published by the Federal Foreign Office and reference material.

Ordering archive material

Archive material can be ordered electronically. Please ask a staff member to register you so that you can use the system. You can order ten files and ten microfiches per day. Please note that restrictions may apply depending on the condition of the material.

The archive material ordered by users are collected from the stacks at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday. You can collect them in the reading room around an hour later. Documents may not be borrowed, but can only be consulted in the reading room.

You may use your own camera to photograph the archive material, provided that you do so quietly and without using a flash. You are not allowed to use reflex cameras or your own scanner.

Working with archive materials

Every document is irreplaceable and must be treated with scrupulous care. You therefore have a responsibility to ensure that no document is soiled or written on, no part of it is removed, and no change is made in the order of any loose pages. Items such as padded strip weights and foam wedges are available from the reading room staff. These aids will help you to deal correctly with the archive materials.

Please note the Regulations for Users of the Political Archive and follow instructions by the reading room staff. It is not permitted to eat, drink, speak loudly or make telephone calls in the reading room. Breach of these regulations may result in exclusion from use of the Political Archive.

There is a seating area and drinks vending machine outside the reading room.

Your way to the Political Archive

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

User and staff member in the reading room

This is where you can find answers to frequently asked questions about using the Political Archive and selected information for specific user groups.