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Status: Archivsparten > Business Archives

Business Archivese

Historisches Archiv der Porsche AG
Mercedes-Benz Archive & Sammlung
Rich. Hengstenberg GmbH & Co.
TECHNOSEUM Landesmuseum für Technik und Arbeit
Unternehmens- und Familienarchiv Freudenberg & Co.
Unternehmensarchiv der Robert Bosch GmbH
Wirtschaftsarchiv Baden-Württemberg

Business Archives (Wirtschaftsarchive) in Baden-Württemberg

The business archives hold records of archival value from businesses and make them available to the general public. Enterprises, federations, organisations, trade unions, social institutions, chambers of commerce, trade corporations etc. they all are part of the economy. The State Archives Act (Landesarchivgesetz) is responsible for the access to archives from public agencies. The same applies to records from public corporations (Körperschaften des öffentlichen Rechts), such as chambers of commerce, or trade corporations. Yet private enterprises decide independently which of the records they keep or which they destroy after the legal deadline (tax law) has been met.

The records from the different business sectors are a comprehensive documentation of the social, economic and cultural environment of society. Records of archival value are contracts, statistics, balance sheets, patents, account books but also photos, ads and technical drawings. These records are a treasure trove for researchers of various disciplines like history, economics, sociology, art history, technic etc. but also for museums, the media and the interested public.

Generally there are two possibilities of archival processing of economic records:

  • First, the Stiftung Wirtschaftsarchiv Baden-Württemberg ( ) as the responsible business archives for the whole Bundesland preserves the records.This institution founded in Stuttgart in 1980 caters for the needs of endangered business archives and fulfils legal obligations by holding the current records of the chambers of commerce and the trade corporations. Besides,it has an extensive collection of company reports and ads.
  • Second,an enterprise or corporation has its own archive with either a trained full-time archivist, a part-time archivest or an archivist who works in an honorary capacity.


A good summary: Deutsche Wirtschafts-Archive. Nachweis historischer Quellen in Unternehmen, Körperschaften des öffentlichen Rechts (Kammern) und Verbänden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, hrsg. im Auftr. der Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte e.V., bearb. von Renate Schwärzel u.a., Bd. 1. - 3., Stuttgart 1994. ISBN 3-515-06211-4.


Archivists of business archives are members of the "Vereinigung deutscher Wirtschaftsarchivare e.V., (