The Brandenburg Main State Archive

The Brandenburg Main State Archive is the main archive of the federal state of Brandenburg. It is responsible for documents and materials from the state government of Brandenburg, the state administrative agencies, its governmental agencies and their predecessors.

The “Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv” makes its certificates, registers, files, maps, plans, posters, audio-visual records and many other archival objects available to help carry out public tasks as well as to protect legal concerns. The archival materials are used for historical studies or projects, e.g. regional, local or genealogical studies.
The Archive conserves its complete collection of records and keeps them safe, but these records need to be made available for consultation at the same time.
Another permanent task is the appraisal and acquisition of archival material from the administrative agencies of Brandenburg which they no longer need for their daily work or whose retention periods have expired.

With all its tasks the “Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv” serves as a link between past, present and future.

The Main State Archive of Brandenburg contains about 54,000 linear metres of records and archival material dating from the 12th century to today. Among these records are approx. 14,000 charters and about 230,000 maps and plans.
The “Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv” is an institution under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture, Science and Research of Brandenburg. The legal basis of its work is the Brandenburg Archive Act or “Law on the protection and use of public archival materials in Brandenburg” (Brandenburgisches Archivgesetz – BbgArchivG) from 7th April 1994 (cf. GVBI I/94, p. 94).

Current project
In order to find references for the current locations of Nazi looted art and cultural assets, the approximately 42,000 personal files of the record group Rep. 36A Oberfinanzpräsident Berlin-Brandenburg (II) are restored, digitised and made searchable by means of OCR. Find out more

A brief administration history
The „Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv“ was established in 1883 as the „Brandenburgisches Provinzialarchiv“ and has been the „Staatsarchiv für die Provinz Brandenburg und die Reichshauptstadt Berlin“ since 1931. All tasks before 1883 were execute by the „Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz“ therefore the province Brandenburg was the only province without its own state archive up to that time.

After World War II the newly formed „Land Brandenburg“ didn’t have a Main State Archive. A decree from the Ministry of the Interior of the Land Brandenburg established the „Landeshauptarchiv Brandenburg” in June 1949. It has been the „Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv“ since 1951 and was the „Staatsarchiv Potsdam“ from 1965 to 1990.

Terms of Use (abridged version)
The archive is open to public use, e.g. scientific research and genealogical, local or regional studies. The use of archival materials must be requested and be approved by the “Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv” staff.

Some material may not be accessible like archival material that is either younger than 10 years or related to a living natural person. The access date to documents concerning natural persons is usually 10 years after the death or 90 years after the birth of the person concerned have passed. In case the year of birth cannot be specified, the access date is 60 years after the records were closed. Users can apply for exceptions to these access dates.

Records documenting the activities of persons of contemporary history or bearers of a public office as far as their activities have been related to their public office don’t have access dates.
The archive is entitled to impose conditions on the use of its records or even completely deny access, e.g. very poor condition of the archival document, if there are severe disadvantages to the Federal Republic of Germany or any other state, violation of legitimate interests of any third party, usage inconsistent with the preservation of records or violation of laws.

In particular cases, the archive is entitled to charge fees for the use of the archival material or copies of archival documents. For details please check the scale of charges and fees (Gebührenordnung für das Brandenburgische Landeshauptarchiv [LHAGebOJ] from 26th January 2000, GVBI. II/00, p. 53).

For further information contact:
Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv (BLHA)
Am Mühlenberg 3
14476 Potsdam


Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv (BLHA)
Postfach 60 04 49
14404 Potsdam

Phone:  +49 (0) 331-56 74-0
Fax:      +49 (0) 331-56 74-212
or write an email