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Find archived material

Accessing and using records

The State Archives of North Rhine Westphalia hold hundreds of thousands of documents, covering more than 1200 years of history. On the following pages, you will find information about the use of our archives and how to conduct a search, both online and in person, in our Reading Rooms in Duisburg, Münster and Detmold. If you’d like to visit a Reading Room, you can also find out how to prepare and plan for your visit in practical terms.

Finding and using records online

Are you looking for historical documents for your questions or research? This is where you can find out how to carry out an online search for archived records and which online stocks you’ll be able to access.

Our stocks

Are you at the beginning of your research, and you’re not sure whether the State Archives actually contain documents that are relevant to your questions or project? This is where you’ll find an initial overview of the historical areas covered by the records at our facilities.

Good to know


Would you like to access documents that are still subject to closure periods? Would you like to obtain reproductions of documents?