Das Bundesarchiv

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Overall concept

Provision of knowledge, researching of sources, encouraging an understanding of history.

We are a modern provider of services for the general public as well as research and administration bodies. We document, and save as archives, testimonies to, and evidence of, modern and contemporary German history and make this information available to everyone.

Responsibilities

We maintain the civil and military archives of the Federal Republic of Germany and its predecessors, the German Confederation, the German Reich and the German Democratic Republic, on the basis of the Federal Archives Act, and supplement these with archives of private origin. 

We make decisions concerning permanent value, describe the archives, and make these available for the public after consideration of protection laws. We also offer advice and information to our users.

We maintain archives and libraries for the long term by professionally storing and conserving them and, if necessary, restoring and microfilming or digitalising them for protection. We preserve, on a sustained basis, archives that have originated in electronic form and make these accessible.

We compile source editions, present archives at exhibitions and in the Internet and support historical research with scientific publications.

We relieve Federal Ministries of documentation that is not needed on an ongoing basis and allow recourse to these by storing them in our intermediate archives.

We keep documentaries, feature films and photographs, as well as other audiovisual sources of historical and cultural importance.

We provide information from our library system, including a special scientific library, for use by anyone.

We are involved in the training of archivists as well as of trainees in other disciplines.

Challenges and goals

Our goal is to provide a high quality of service. 

We encourage examination of German history and guarantee retrospective checks of Government and Administration.

We offer comprehensive and fast access to our sources. We distribute the results of our description work promptly in online and printed finding aids.

We continuously develop our work methods further, to meet the demands of the information society.

We utilise both national and international standards and contribute to their follow-up.

Our strategies regarding personnel and organisational development, as well as the targeted and effective use of personnel and materials, place us in a position of being able to guarantee our services even when resources are scarce.

Cooperation

We jointly carry the responsibility for the internal and external appearance of the Federal Archives and for the quality of our work. We treat each other with respect, openness and honesty. 

We carry out our tasks and achieve our goals through initiative, enthusiasm, teamwork, specialist exchanges and suitable further education. The perception and recognition of performance increases our motivation.

Our management carries overall responsibility, strategically managing the Federal Archives using modern management tools. With significant support from our departmental and divisional heads, it avails itself of the specialist knowledge of the employees.

Our managers operate cooperatively and in a team-oriented fashion based on clear agreements on goals and traceable decisions. They utilise their professional and social abilities to create a good working climate. They encourage creativity and a strong sense of self-responsibility by comprehensively informing and delegating.

We are aware, that we as the staff of the Federal Archives, are the great potential of this institution. We are loyal and attain the agreed goals with professional competence. We are open to innovations. The behaviour of each and every one of us determines the working climate.

Partners

We understand ourselves to be a supplier of services for citizens and society, Parliament, authorities and courts, science, business and the media. 

We advise users knowledgeably and in a friendly fashion, opening up access to the sources for them.

For current records administration, we work competently and reliably with all Federal Government and Administrative Departments.

We operate actively and cooperatively at the national and international level by maintaining numerous relationships with other archives and scientific institutions.

We cultivate cooperation with private and public institutions that support us in the fulfilment of our tasks.