About the Political Archive

Replying to enquiries Enlarge image Replying to enquiries (© Jörg F. Müller/ AA)

As the “memory” of the Federal Foreign Office, the Political Archive has preserved the files on German diplomacy since 1867, as well as the international treaties signed by the Federal Republic of Germany and its predecessors in title. The records are preserved, processed and made available for academic research.

The Political Archive is a public archive, and is open to everyone in accordance with the legal regulations. An archive data bank, inventories and other finding aids are available in the reading room. The reading room staff are happy to provide guidance on consulting the files. Information on the use of the Political Archive is published on the website or communicated verbally.

Legal basis

The Political Archive provides information for official purposes and advises other sections of the foreign service on questions concerning records management and disposal.

The staff of the Political Archive work with authors and institutes on publications about the history of the Federal Foreign Office, the foreign service and the Political Archive. They also edit the volume “Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (AAPD)” [“Files on the Foreign Policy of the Federal Republic of Germany”] on behalf of the Federal Foreign Office.

Document publications

The Political Archive takes part in the Federal Foreign Office’s public relations activities and regularly exhibits archive documents during the annual Open Day. As the Historical Service of the Federal Foreign Office, the Political Archive publishes the “Biographisches Handbuch des deutschen Auswärtigen Dienstes 1871–1945” [“Biographical Handbook on the German Foreign Service, 1871–1945”].

Selected bibliography

Seals and velvet

Seals and velvet: A visit to the archives of international treaties in the Political Archive (in German).

News and Notices (in German)

Nachrichten aus dem Archiv

Federal Foreign Office

Main website of the Federal Foreign Office