Das Bundesarchiv

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Application form for readers

If you are conducting your own investigations, before starting work report to the reading room desk to complete and sign a "Benutzungsantrag" [application form for readers]. This is also available in electronic form, but it can only be sent to the Federal Archives by post, fax or scan. In signing the application form for readers you undertake to comply with legal provisions, including the Federal Archives Act, the access regulations and the cost regulations.

Regardless of whether you would prefer to submit the formal application for readers in the Federal Archives or send it in advance, it is useful if you clarify your request promptly (some time before the planned visit) in writing. At the same time the subject matter and purpose of your enquiry must be stated, if you are not using the application form and are using the contact page. If you are using the application form, please hand this in together with the explanatory letter.

If required, you may also send your application directly to the department or office whose archives you wish to use. You will find contact details together with information on opening times of the reading rooms and directions under the headings "Reference service" and "About us". Please do not send the same enquiry to several departments of the Federal Archives at the same time. Enquiries are dealt with by a process of liaison and information is provided on further options for enquiries.

The use of archives is only allowed in the reading room and governed by the reading room regulations.

Why is it so important to register in good time?

Federal Archives staff like to prepare for your visit and will, if required, give you precise recommendations for your research work. It is therefore recommended to notify them of your visit to a reading room in good time. Finding aids and files are then made available to you and you can use your time in the Federal Archives effectively.
Archival records and materials can only be issued in the reading rooms at specified times for organisational reasons. Local reading room staff will provide you with information.

In order to prepare for your enquiry or visit, you may conduct research in the online guide and the online finding aids and order files for your visit in advance.