The archive of the Deutsches Museum
A treasury introduces itself
Millions of valuable originals from nine centuries are stored in the archive of the Deutsches Museum.
The archive of the Deutsches Museum is one of the world's leading specialized archives on the history of science and technology. On 4.7 kilometers of shelves in the library building on Museum Island, central bequests of important scientists and researchers, manuscripts and documents, plans and technical drawings, extensive archives of companies and scientific institutions as well as more than one million photographs are stored. Since the museum was founded in 1903, it has formed a central pillar of the institution alongside the museum collections and the library.
Focusing on selected areas of natural science and technology, high-caliber original documents are acquired, catalogued in depth, conserved to a high standard and made available to the public for research and investigation. It is probably unique in the German archival landscape that almost all documents were handed over as endowments. Together with other German archives, the archive of the Deutsches Museum pursues the strategy of "collecting in a network". The Archive of the Deutsches Museum is working with the Archives Working Group in the Leibniz Association to implement this idea.
Over the years, an archive of inestimable value has been created, which is continuously supplemented by documents from the more recent past. The oldest document kept here is an Albertus Magnus codex on physics from the 13th century. From the 20th/21st century come the most recent documents, such as the estate of physicist Paul Kienle (1931-2013) or physics Nobel Prize winner Rudolf Mößbauer (1929-2011). And of course, the personal estate of Oskar von Miller, the founder of the Deutsches Museum, is also kept in "his" archive. This includes, among other things, a card that von Miller dropped over Munich on a zeppelin flight in 1929 with warm greetings to his staff at the Deutsches Museum.
With its extensive holdings, the archive of the Deutsches Museum is today an important source for scholars and interested parties from all over the world. The staff of the archive, with their knowledge of the document holdings, are happy to help with research at any time. As a public archive, the archive is open to everyone. The visit is free of charge. An informal written reservation by e-mail is requested.
The archive of the Deutsches Museum also regularly opens its doors to the general public at various events, such as the "Day of the Archives", which takes place every two years throughout Germany, and provides interesting insights into its treasure trove with exciting guided tours and lectures.
The press release for download.The Archive (PDF 14 MB)