Willkommen beim Portal der Archive in NRW








Recherche im Landesarchiv NRW

The NRW State Archive appraises, takes over, describes and conserves documents on the history of the state and its functional predecessors. It makes its holdings available to the broad public. The State Archive there preserves high-value cultural heritage materials of the State of North Rhine Westphalia as a "memory of the land"; it meets the needs of the society for historical information, transparency of administrative action and legal security.


The headquarters of the NRW State Archive is in Düsseldorf. In addition to the central department, the principle department for archival objectives a technical centre for IT tasks and the restoration in Münster-Coerde, the State Archive maintains three regional archives in Düsseldorf and Brühl (Rhineland department), in Münster (Westphalia department) and in Detmold (East Westphalia-Lippe department). The new building in Duisburg will combine the Rhineland department as well as parts of the central department and the department for archival objectives all in one area.


The holdings of the State Archive date back to the 9th century. The materials available range from certificates, files, registers and maps from the Middle Ages to photos, films and sound recordings from recent times. The authentic sources of the State Archive are the central basis for the research of the history of North Rhine-Westphalia.


The sources of the State Archive are accessible to everyone. They can be found via search tools. These search tools can increasingly also be used electronically via the internet portal "Archives in North Rhine-Westphalia" ( Professional archival assistance is available for written information and consultation on site to assist the users of the State Archive. Many archival materials are already in digitized form. This facilitates the use in the reading rooms on site.


As houses of history, the departments of the State Archive can provide information in lectures, exhibitions and publications about the archival tradition and the use of archival materials. The NRW State Archive is diversely and closely associated with the cultural institutions and associations in the region and cooperates with them.


Archival materials are unique; special care and effort are required to preserve them. Many of the documents preserved in the State Archive have suffered damage over time, to no small extent due to improper storage by the public authorities and courts and due to reference services in the Archive. This ranges from mechanical damages such as bends and cracks to water damages such as interlocking and fungus formation to pest infestation by insects and rodents. Then there is the added problem that the majority of paper industrially created since the mid-19th century, becomes fragile and brittle, and ultimately disintegrates. The State Archive tries to restore damages to the archived materials and to stop the decomposition process through conservation measures. Through the digitalisation and microfilming process of the archived materials, they are protected from excessive stresses from usage and are safeguarded in the event of a disaster.


The tasks of the State Archive have considerably expanded in the past few years in keeping with the changed needs of the digital age. Electronic systems have since been expanded and further developed to such an extent that administration actions are now primarily paper-free. The information which results in this way and perhaps can no longer be maintained in analogue form must be safeguarded digitally for the long-term. After establishing the required professional strategies and the technical infrastructure to takeover electronic documents, the State Archive is striving to play an intensive consulting role with authorities. As a whole, the State Archive provides support to over 1,400 government agencies. The most important future functions of the State Archive include supporting these agencies and institutions within the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with words and deeds in the records management, the introduction of electronic systems and the disposal of files.



Auf YouTube finden Sie eine filmische Einführung in die Aufgaben und Angebote des Landesarchivs Nordrhein-Westfalen (englische Fassung)