History Time: Prussian Privy State Archives
The Prussian Privy State Archives (German: Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz or GStA PK) is an agency of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation headquartered in Berlin, Germany.
A Federal statutory body, it is one of the largest repositories of Primary source documents in Germany and spans the history of Prussia, Brandenburg, the House of Hohenzollern and the Prussian Army.
The origins of the Archives can be directly traced 1282, when a collection of official papers under the auspices of the Margrave of Brandenburg was first documented. Formal organization of the stocks occurred in 1468, and in 1598 the Elector of Brandenburg appointed Erasmus Langenhain “Registratura Archivorum” to bring systematic order to the sovereign’s documents, official records and files.
Today’s GStA PK traces itself back to this professional tradition. In the middle of the 17th century the holdings became a personal repository of the first King of Prussia under archivist Christoph Schönbeck and granted the honorific title “Privy State Archives”.
In 1803, the Archives were expanded with the addition of Prussian governmental, judicial and regional documents and renamed the “Prussian State Archives.”
By 1901, the institution had developed precise standards for the preservation of public records that have had a pronounced effect on the archival profession.
During World War II, the majority of the holdings were evacuated to abandoned mines at Stassfurt and Schönebeck between 1943 and 1944 to protect them from Allied bombing. As the Soviet Army advanced on East Prussia, the Königsberg State Archives were evacuated to Göttingen. After the war, holdings that wound up in the Soviet occupation zone were moved relatively unscathed to a newly created German Central Archive housed in Merseburg, East Germany.
The original Dahlem headquarters building wound up in the western occupation zone in West Berlin. In 1946 it became the main archive for West Berlin’s government and included partial stocks from the historic collection. In 1963, these came under the jurisdiction of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Archive was again named the “Privy State Archives”. From 1978-1979 the Königsberg collection was relocated to Berlin. After German Reunification, from 1993 to 1994, the GDR Archives maintained in Merseburg were also brought back to Berlin and the historic record was again complete.
Approximately 35,000 linear meters of archives with a library service of some 185,000 volumes and 200 periodical subscriptions.
The archives include:
Official papers of successive governments of Brandenburg-Prussia, including central administrative and judicial proceedings of institutions such as:
Many documents were composed in several languages (besides German) such as French, English, Polish, Hungarian and Latin.
See also: The Berlin State Library
Oktober 17, 2012 @ 00:57 with 3 Anmerkungen
Tagged: #prussia #history #germany #berlin #libraries #privy archives