All museums of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin are closed until further notice. Explore our online offers instead! Read more

Overview of holdings at the Zentralarchiv – the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s official archives

Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung (Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection)

Volume: 2 linear metres (132 files)
Period: 1823–1945
Contents: Founding and setting up of the museum at Schloss Monbijou, records from Giuseppe Passalacqua, records of: expeditions led by Richard Lepsius, installation of exhibition rooms in the Neues Museum, acquisitions, official statements and inquiry responses, publications, restoration treatments, correspondence to and from editors of 'Morgenland' magazine 1924–1930, files from the Papyrus Collection for the years 1926–1943

Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities)

Volume: 3 linear metres (129 files)
Period: 1836–1949
Contents: Old Pergamonmuseum (first building), new Pergamonmuseum (current building), acquisitions, excavations in Anatolia (incl. Miletus, Priene, Samo), loans, Constantinople office of the Berlin museums, safeguarding and relocation of the museum collections during the Second World War

Construction management

Volume: 27 linear metres (846 files), approx. 12,500 construction plans
Period: 1821–1968
Contents: Files and construction plans from the museum construction management department regarding new constructions, renovations of existing buildings, interior design and maintenance of:

  • museum buildings (incl. Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Nationalgalerie, Kaiser Friedrich-Museum, Asiatisches Museum Dahlem, Pergamonmuseum, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Museum für Völkerkunde, Kunstbibliothek)
  • buildings put to temporary use by the museums (Schloss Monbijou, Berlin Palace/Stadtschloss, Zeughaus, Bauakademie, Palais Kreutz, Kronprinzen-Palais)
  • other buildings not used as museums (incl. Königliche Akademie and Königliche Bibliothek on Unter den Linden, Schauspielhaus, Brandenburger Tor, Berliner Dom)

Chemisches Laboratorium (Chemistry Laboratory)

Volume: 0.1 linear metres (1 file)
Period: 1916/17, 1928
Contents: Internal documents belonging to Friedrich Rathgen

Frühchristlich-byzantinische Sammlung (Early Byzantine Collection)

Volume: 0.5 linear metres (59 files)
Period: 1842–1958
Contents: Acquisitions, exhibitions, publications (collection catalogues of Oskar Wulff and Fritz Volbach), safeguarding of artworks during the Second World War


Volume: 15 linear metres (369 files)
Period: 1827–1953
Contents: Acquisitions, acquisition proposals, requests, donations and legacies, exchanged and surrendered artworks, exhibitions, establishment of the German Museum, loans (incoming and outgoing), statements of expert opinion and evaluations, restoration and conservation of paintings, publications, reation of the paintings department in the Kaiser Friedrich-Museum

General Administration

Volume: 90 linear metres (approx. 2250 files)
Period: 1824–1947
Contents: Personnel records of the directors-general, museum accounts, invoices and receipts of museum financial department showing revenue and expenditure

Gipsformerei (Replica Workshop)

Volume: 0.2 linear metres (5 files)
Period: 1890–1940
Contents: Inventories and lists of personnel

Islamisches Museum (Islamic Museum)

Volume: 3 linear metres (88 files)
Period: 1896–1957
Contents: Acquisitions, excavations, loans, publications, acquisition of the Mshatta Facade 1902–1904

Kaiser Friedrich-Museum: internal documents (house files)

Volume: 3.5 linear metres (192 files)
Period: 1843–1966
Contents: Establishment and inauguration of the museum, acquisitions of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum Verein, restoration of artworks, sales of catalogues and postcards, thefts

Königliche Kunstkammer (Prussian royal cabinet of art)

Volume: 2 linear metres (66 files)
Period: 1696–1918
Contents: Establishment, acquisitions, files from the museums’ general directorate, acquisitions in the period 1850 to 1868, files relating to the dissolution of the Kunstkammer

Kunstbibliothek (Art Library)

Volume: 0.4 linear metres (27 files)
Period: 1887–1954
Contents: Acquisitions, exhibitions, personalia, safeguarding of the museum collections during the Second World War

Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts)

Volume: 1.1 linear metres (38 files)
Period: 1867–1972
Contents: Acquisitions, inventory of objects presented to the Kunstgewerbemuseum by the Zeughaus, construction and setting up of the museum, matters relating to the premises, educational institute

Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings)

Volume: 2 linear metres (78 files)
Period: 1846–1949
Contents: Acquisition proposals, acquisitions, exhibitions, official statements and inquiry responses, publications, internal documents of Friedrich Winkler

Münzkabinett (Numismatic Collection)

Volume: 6 linear metres (145 files)
Period: 1810–1946
Contents: Acquisitions of antique coins and coins of the Middle Ages and the modern period, exchange and surrender of duplicates, expert evaluations

Museum für Deutsche Volkskunde

Volume: 3.5 linear metres (159 files)
Period: 1891–1946
Contents: Acquisitions, exhibition, loans, publications, ethnographic research, public-relations work, activities of the 'School and Museum' department

Museum für Völkerkunde (now: Ethnologisches Museum)

Volume: 72 linear metres, 1102 files, currently accessible only on 391 microfilms
Period: 1830–1947
Contents: acquisitions files Europe, South Pacific and Australia, Americas, Asia, Africa; acquisitions generally, Baessler archive, investigations of old ship types, ledgers, staff lists, inventories, budget, regulations, various matters, general, items on loan, new museum building, directions for staff, collections, conferences, conservation and restoration, yearly reports of the Ethnological Department, opening of the museum, lectures and talks, matters relating to the premises, submission and exchange of doubles, library matters, treasury, bookkeeping and budget matters. 

Museum für Völkerkunde, Ostasiatische Kunstabteilung (Museum für Völkerkunde, Department of East-Asian Art)

Volume: 2.5 linear metres (42 files)
Period: 1896–1948
Contents: Acquisitions, acquisition proposals, the travels of Otto Kümmel to East Asia, donations, loans

Museumsbibliothek/Jahrbuchredaktion (Museum library/yearbook editorial team)

Volume: 2.5 linear metres (117 files)
Period: 1880–1946
Contents: Setting up the library, acquisition proposals, purchase and exchange of publications, internal documents of director Friedrich Winkler relating to art-historical research and publications from the years 1925 to 1931, editorial correspondence surrounding the 'Yearbook of the Prussian Art Collections' for 1901–1910, 1919–1931, and 1939–1945


Volume: 52.5 linear metres (approx. 1600 files)
Period: 1864–1969
Contents: Installing collection and administration of the building of the National Gallery, acquisitions of paintings, sculptures, and drawings, acquisition proposals, donations and legacies, sale and exchanges, loans, exhibitions, expert evaluations, official statements and inquiry responses, files on artists and files of employees, files relating to: collection of hand drawings, portrait collection, proposed Schinkel Museum, proposed Rauch Museum, New Department in the Kronprinzen-Palais for modern art, Nazi’s 'Degenerate Art' campaign.

Skulpturensammlung (Sculpture Collection)

Volume: 7.5 linear metres (190 files)
Period: 1845–1957
Contents: Acquisitions, acquisition proposals, donations, founding of the Deutsches Museum (German Museum), loans (incoming and outgoing), expert evaluations, exchange and surrender of objects, internal documents of Theodor Demmler, controversy surrounding the Flora Bust

Vorderasiatisches Museum (Museum of the Ancient Near East)

Volume: 4 linear metres (315 files)
Period: 1890–1984
Contents: Setting up of department in the Pergamonmuseum, acquisitions, excavations, publications, official statements and inquiry responses, research partnerships and research funding, personalia, travels

Internal business records of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz (West Berlin and reunited Berlin) (1948–)

Nationalgalerie Ost

Volume: 1199 files
Non-indexed files: 5 ½ linear metres
Period: [1919, 1930–1932, 1936–1937] 1945 – 1992 [1993–1997, 2006–2007]

Most of the files were taken over when the National Gallery's archives were merged in 1987. The files of the Otto-Nagel-Haus are excluded. These were integrated when the house was closed. As part of the creation of a bachelor thesis, the files were made accessible by an intern in 2018. An extensive inventory history (PDF, 70 KB) was also created.

Temporary archive

Volume: 500 linear metres (14,500 files)
Period: starting from 1945
Contents: Files of museums and collections, individual departments (incl. administrative), and the directorate general of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Deutscher Museumsbund (depository)

Volume: 15 linear metres (530 files)
Period: 1919–1983
Contents: Files of the Board, minutes of meetings, general assemblies, correspondence

Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft (depository)

Volume: 12 linear metres
Period: 1898–1945
Contents: DOG I general information: general meetings, board and work-group meetings, board elections, correspondence, lectures, exhibitions, sections/chapters, issues relating to individual members, financial affairs; DOG II excavations (including excavation correspondence): Mesopotamia, Palestine, Asia Minor, and Egypt.

To access the DOG archives, please submit a request to the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft by using the form below. Once your request has been granted, the DOG will forward your request to the ZA and we will contact you:

Deutsche Volkskunstkommission

Volume: 1.5 linear metres (42 files)
Period: 1927–1942
Contents: Files of Konrad Hahm, director, on commission’s foundation, participation in international folk art commissions, promotion of ethnographic research, exhibitions, and publications

Gesellschaft für Ostasiatische Kunst

Volume: 0.7 m
Period: 1926–1945
Contents: Members’ concerns, printed matter

Institut für Volkskunstforschung

Volume: 0.3 linear metres (13 files)
Period: 1936–1945
Contents: Files of Konrad Hahm, director, and his assistant W. Schuchardt relating to the creation, establishment, and activities of the institute

Kaiser Friedrich-Museums-Verein

Volume: 4 linear metres (92 files)
Period: from 1894
Contents: Matters relating to charter, membership, and funding, acquisitions on behalf of the Kaiser Friedrich-Museum, minutes of Board meetings and general assemblies

Kunstgeschichtliche Gesellschaft zu Berlin

Volume: 0.3 linear metres (10 files)
Period: 1888–1945
Contents: Matters relating to charter, membership, and funding primarily from the years 1937–1945, lectures, meetings

Verein Buttmannsche Griechheit

Volume: 0.4 linear metres (12 files)
Period: 1810–1943
Contents: Members’ concerns, minutes

Verein der Freunde der Nationalgalerie

Volume: 5 m
Period: starting from 1977
Contents: Members’ concerns, minutes

Verein zur Erhaltung des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz

Volume: 1.5 linear metres (39 files)
Period: 1901–1945
Contents: Institutional matters, membership and funding, reopening after the First World War, research funding (grants, courses of study, and publications), sessions

Legacy of Rudolf Anthes (1896–1985), Egyptologist

Volume: 1 m
Period: 1938–1973
Contents: biographical documents, correspondence, scholarly papers, activities to promote the discipline of Egyptology

Legacy of Herbert Behrens-Hangeler (1898–1981), artist

Volume: 6 m
Period: 1913–1989
Contents: Catalogues of own exhibitions as well as those of other artists, photos of works by the artist, small-sized printed material and newspaper clippings of art events, correspondence (approx. 300 letters)

Legacy of Wilhelm von Bode (1845–1929), art historian

Volume: 30 m
Period: 1860–1933
Contents: biographical documents, journals and notebooks, documents on art-historical research and Bode’s activities within the Königliche Museen zu Berlin, as a member of various associations, and on the art market (notes, manuscripts, reports, statements and evaluations, invoices and bills, newspaper clippings), special-edition prints, approx. 65,000 letters penned by 6000 people.

Legacy of selected manuscripts of Lothar Bolz (1903–1986), politician and art collector

Volume: 1 m
Period: 1949–1986
Contents: approx. 500 letters to and from contemporary German and Eastern European artists

Legacy of Karl Buchholz (1901–1992), art dealer

Volume: 5 m
Period: 1859–2005
Contents: biographical documents, work on the art market, artists’ letters

Legacy of selected manuscripts of Theodor von Dalvi (1879–1944), art historian

Volume: 0.6 m
Period: 1914–1928
Contents: documentation of activity as representative of supreme military command responsible for locating and securing transportable art collections in the western occupied territories during the First World War, 196 letters from Wilhelm von Bode to Th. Demmler

Legacy of Hans Ebert (1919–1988), art historian

Volume: 4.2 m
Period: 1931–1987, 1990, 1995
Contents: biographical records, correspondence, documents relating to his work as deputy director general at the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and as director of the Kupferstichkabinett, documents on scholarly research into Genelli and catalogue of lost artworks from the Gemäldegalerie Dresden, newspaper clippings

Legacy of Anselm Feuerbach (1829–1880), artist

Volume: 1 m
Period: 1845–1879, (1885–1904)
Contents: biographical documents (certificates, poetic fragments, diary pages, manuscript of an autobiography), correspondence (approx. 700 letters), approx. 800 letters of foreign provenance (correspondence of Julius Allgeyer and Carl Neumann on the publication of a monograph on Anselm Feuerbach)

Legacy of selected manuscripts of Herman Friedrich Grimm (1828–1901), art historian

Volume: 0.3 m
Period: 1842–1901
Contents: Art-historical writings (notes and manuscripts, including on German art history, Raphael and Dürer), correspondence (40 letters), documents relating to the centenary of Jakob Grimm’s birth and the erection of a Grimm memorial in Hanau, Germany

Legacy of Otto Johann Heinrich Heyden (1820–1897), painter

Volume: 0.3 m
Period: 1840–1920
Content: biographical documents, newspaper clippings, correspondence

Legacy of selected manuscripts of Otto Kern (1863–1942), archaeologist

Volume: 0.3 m
Period: 1889–1935
Contents: Notes, manuscripts, and letters about Pozzo drawings

Legacy of Friedrich von Khaynach (1867–1920), artist

Volume: 0.6 m
Period: 1886–1914
Contents: biographical documents (certificates, notes relating to family genealogy), dairies and notebooks, manuscripts on art, cultural theory, and literary topics

Legacy Felix King (1846–1900), art collector

Volume: 0.3 m
Period: 1872–1897
Contents: correspondence to Ernst Friedrich Wilhelm Koenigs (approx. 320 letters)

Legacy of Carl Wilhelm Kolbe (1757–1835), engraver

Volume: 0.3 m
Period: 1795–1815
Contents: correspondence to Johann Friedrich Bolt (50 letters), 4 manuscripts on the French Revolution

Legacy of Hans Carl Krüger (Lepkes’s Kunst-Auctions-Haus)

Volume: 0.6 m
Period: 1849-1950
Content: Inventory lists, auction catalogues (partially annotated), biographical documents, photographs

Legacy of Valerian von Loga (1861–1918), art historian

Volume: 0.3 m
Period: 1904–1921
Contents: notes, manuscript, and correspondence surrounding the editing and publishing of ‘Die Malerei in Spanien vom 14. bis 18. Jahrhundert’ (on Spanish painting from the 14th to 18th c.)

Legacy of selected manuscripts of Hans Mackowsky (1871–1938), art historian

Volume: 1 m
Period: [undated], 1908–1936
Contents: manuscripts, notes, transcripts, documents, and illustrations relating to work on Schadow, correspondence

Legacy of selected manuscripts of the Marées family (jurists and artists)

Volume: 0.3 m
Period: 1737–1931
Contents: family documents (lineages and genealogies, birth announcements, official commissions and appointments, letters, correspondence, treatises) mainly dating from the 1800s, documents relating to the period of military service of the painter Hans von Marées

Legacy of Adolph von Menzel (1815–1905), artist

Volume: 3.5 m
Period: 1828–1905
Contents: biographical documents (certificates, testament), correspondence primarily to friends and publishers (approx. 300 letters)

Legacy of Julius Meyer (1830–1893), art historian

Volume: 4 m
Period: 1836–1894
Contents: biographical documents (poetic fragments, documents from days as a student), 38 dairies and notebooks, study materials and manuscripts relating to historical, philosophical, literary and art-historical studies and publications (incl. documents on the Künstler-Lexikon and Galerie-Werk), documents relating to activities as director of the Gemäldegalerie at the Königliche Museen zu Berlin, correspondence (approx. 2000 letters), 11 diaries of Otto Mündler from the years 1836–1863

Legacy of selected manuscripts of Julius Müller (1820–1892), jurist and art historian

Volume: 1 m
Period: 1851–1888
Contents: 66 notebooks with travel reports, records and manuscripts of studies in art history (including on Giorgione and Tiepolo), correspondence (40 letters)

Legacy of Otto Mündler (1811–1870), art dealer

Volume: 0.5 m
Period: 1834–1869
Contents: 13 diaries with travel reports and entries on his activities as an art dealer in France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, itemized list of art in private collections, handwritten catalogue of artists, exhibition catalogues

Legacy of selected manuscripts of Theodor Sigismund Panofka (1800–1858), ancient historian

Volume: 0.3 m
Period: undated [after 1830]
Contents: Notes and manuscripts on hermeneutics and etymology and on criticism of collections of artefacts from classical antiquity

Legacy of Christian Daniel Rauch (1777–1857), artist

Volume: 3 m
Period: 1797–1856
Contents: biographical documents (notes, documents, honours), diaries and travel notes, records of commissions and works (statues, monuments, busts, medals), documents relating to the management of the workshops (incl. financial accounts), documents relating to membership of art and museum commissions and to his work as an art teacher, correspondence (approx. 1500 letters)

Legacy of Paul Ortwin Rave (1893–1962), art historian

Volume: 2.5 m
Period: 1921–1972
Contents: 7 diaries and notebooks, documentation relating to art-historical research, publications, documents from his work at the Nationalgalerie, as a university professor, and in art associations and commissions (notes, manuscripts, photos, statements of expert scholarly opinion, newspaper clippings), special-edition prints, correspondence (approx. 700 letters)

Legacy of Johann Gottfried Schadow (1764–1850), artist

Volume: 2 m
Period: 1790–1850, 1927–1951
Contents: biographical documents (letters and manuscripts for an autobiography, poetic fragments), 67 calendar notebooks, documents relating to commissions and works, correspondence (approx. 750 letters), research material and publications by Hans Mackowsky on Schadow and his work (notes, manuscripts, and excerpts)

Legacy of Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781–1841), architect and artist

Volume: 2 m
Period: 1803–1840
Contents: biographical documents (notes, honours, official appointments, patents), drawings of buildings in Berlin and beyond, statements of expert opinion, essays and explanatory notes (for instance regarding architectural designs and painting), theoretical writings on architecture, literature, and philosophy, diary, travel reports and drawings from his time as head architect of the Prussian Building Commission, correspondence (approx. 330 letters), travel diaries of his daughters, Susanne and Elisabeth Schinkel

Legacy of selected manuscripts of Robert Schmidt (1878–1952), art historian

Volume: 0.6 m
Period: 1899–1943
Contents: Documents relating to art-historical research and publications on glass, faience, porcelain, furniture, and metal (notes, excerpts, manuscripts, photos, statements of expert opinion), correspondence (approx. 200 letters)

Legacy of Richard Schöne (1840–1922), art historian

Volume: 0.3 m
Period: 1869–1945
Contents: biographical documents, scholarly papers, membership in clubs and organizations, correspondence, special-edition prints

Legacy of selected manuscripts of Heinrich Nikolaus Ulrich (1807–1843), classical scholar

Volume: 0.3 m
Period: 1833–1843
Contents: 5 dairies and notebooks of travels in Greece

Legacy of selected manuscripts of Heinrich Vogeler (1872–1942), artist

Volume: 0.3 m
Period: 1908–1941
Contents: biographical documents (official documents, certificates), diaries and notebooks, notes and manuscripts incl. those relating to his stay and travels in the Soviet Union after 1931, photographs and notes from political agitation texts and pictures

Legacy of Joachim Heinrich Wilhelm Wagener (1782–1861), art collector and first patron of the Nationalgalerie

Volume: 0.3 m
Period: 1821–1859
Contents: Correspondence (approx. 1300 letters), hand copy of the catalogue of the Wagener Collection

Legacy of Wolfgang Willrich (1897–1948), artist

Volume: 4.5 m
Period: 1903–1948
Contents: Diaries and notebooks, drawings, watercolours on paper, correspondence

Documentation on the art of the 19th to 21st century

Volume: 125 linear metres (approx. 22,500 artists)
Period: from the end of the 19th century
Contents: Photographs, newspaper clippings, and printed material, mainly from German-speaking countries, by and about artists, artworks and art events

Photograph collection

Volume: 8700 photographs
Period: from 1876
Contents: Photographs of buildings, museums, and collections, staff and events, over 700 photos illustrating the construction of the Pergamonmuseum in the period 1910–1930

Audio-visual collection

Volume: 266 film reels and audio recordings on tape
Period: starting 1929
Contents: Film clips and footage on the museums and collections

Handwritten letters collection

Volume: 3.5 m
Period: starting 1608
Contents: approx. 7200 letters from artists, scholars, collectors, and publishers mainly from the 19th and 20th century

Poster and placard collection

Volume: 658 posters
Period: starting 1935
Contents: Exhibition posters

Collection of official documents

Volume: 0.3 m
Period: 1880–2002

Collection of manuscripts and written works

Volume: 2 m
Period: 19th to 20th century
Contents: Documents written by art historians, publishers, collectors, archaeologists, and artists who either did not work for the museums directly or whose work was not collected by the museums

Printed matter collection

Volume: 0.6 m
Period: 1835 onwards
Contents: Statutes, forms, official notices, invitations, events programmes, fact sheets and visitor information, staff indexes and organizational charts for the Königliche Museen zu Berlin, later Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Press documentation and newspaper clipping collection of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Volume: 20 m
Period: (1920s) then from 1945
Contents: Newspaper clippings of articles relating to the buildings, the museums and collections, staff, and events

Documentation on individuals and museum staff

Volume: 4 m
Contents: Photographs, newspaper articles, official staff ID documentation, printed material

Documentation of collection objects belonging to the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin that, as a consequence of WWII, were removed and put into safekeeping, went missing, and were subsequently repatriated

Volume: 6.5 m
Period: 1939 onwards
Contents: Photographs, printed material, lists, copies of documents from archives

Special collection documenting the National Socialist’s 'Degenerate Art' campaign

Volume: 2 m
Period: starting 1930
Contents: Photographs, newspaper cuttings, small-sized printed material and copies of documents from the archives relating to Nazi policies on art in Germany

Special collection documenting the New Department of the National Gallery in the Kronprinzen-Palais

Volume: 1.3 m
Period: starting 1919
Contents: Photographs, newspaper clippings, small-sized printed matter and copies of documents from the archives written by and on artists of the high modernist period whose works were displayed in the Kronprinzen-Palais on Unter den Linden from 1919 until its forced closure in 1937, collection of historical material in preparation for the 1988 exhibition 'The Fate of a Collection' (German title: Das Schicksal einer Sammlung)

Special collection on 'Proletarian Art – ASSO' (Assoziation Revolutionärer Bildender Künstler)

Volume: 2 m
Period: 1960–1988
Contents: collection of diverse material and correspondence collated by the working group Geschichte der proletarischen Kunst in Deutschland, specializing on proletarian art in Germany