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Status: Archivsparten > Church Archives

Church Archivese

Archiv der Akademie der Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart
Archiv des Deutschen Caritasverbandes
Diözesanarchiv Rottenburg
Erzbischöfliches Archiv Freiburg
Landeskirchliches Archiv Karlsruhe
Landeskirchliches Archiv Stuttgart

Church Archives in Baden-Württemberg

1. Protestant Church Archives
2. Catholic Church Archives

1. Protestant Church Archives in Baden-Württemberg

The church archives hold and describe records which have been produced by institutions of the church for the use of research and teaching. This is a task in accordance with the responsibility of the church to maintain its cultural heritage.

I. Central Church Archives

There are two independent Protestant church archives in Baden-Württemberg - one is responsible for the Protestant Landeskirche in Baden, the other for the Protestant Landeskirche in Württemberg. These archives are - as central archives - responsible for the record groups of the administration and the top management of the church, of all corporate bodies and institutions, in so far as these institutions do not have their own archives. They secure and acquire the current records of religious societies and private persons who played a leading role in the life of the church (will, Nachlässe). Besides, they supervise all the other archives which belong to their respective Landeskirche. The archives of the Landeskirche take an active part in the publication and research of the history of the church.

Church Archives of the Protestant Church in Baden (Landeskirchliches Archiv der Evangelischen Landeskirche in Baden)

The Evangelische Landeskirche in Baden comprises the former Grand Dutchy of Baden (Großherzogtum Baden). Karlsruhe is the seat of the Landeskirchliches Archiv, which has its origin in the old registries of the Evangelischen Oberkirchenrat (church council) and the immediate church fonds. Karlsruhe has about 3 linear km of record groups.

Church Archives of the Protestant Church in Württemberg (Landeskirchliches Archiv der Evangelischen Landeskirche in Württemberg)

The Evangelische Landeskirche in Württemberg comprises the two Länder Württemberg and Hohenzollern, which had been independent until 1952. Stuttgart is the seat of the archives, the position of a trained archivist was filled for the first time in 1952. Stuttgart has about 3,5 linear km of record groups.

II. Archives of the Church Districts (Kirchenbezirke) and Church Parishes (Kirchengemeinden)

The archives of the church districts (Dekanate, deaneries) are - to a great extent - held as deposits in the relevant archives of the Landeskirche. Single deaneries and most of the church parishes (Pfarrämter) have their own archives in the place. Detailed information about these archives will be given at the appropriate archives of the Landeskirche.

III. Archives of Religious Institutions and the Diakonie (social welfare institutions)

The independent religious and social welfare institutions maintain either their own archives or have deposited their records in the relevant archives of the Landeskirche. Information will be given by the archives of the Landeskirche.


Evangelische Landeskirche in Baden

Verordnung (regulation) zum Schutze des Archivgutes in der Evangelischen Kirche in Baden vom 23. Mai 1989

Evangelische Landeskirche in Württemberg

Archivordnung (regulation) für die Evangelische Landeskirche in Württemberg vom 14. Februar 1989 (Abl. 53 Nr. 20)

Verordnung (regulation) des Oberkirchenrats über die Gebühren (fees) für die Benutzung kirchlicher Archive vom 15. Dezember 1998 (Abl. 58 Nr. 13) mit Änderung vom 30. Juni 2000 (Abl. 59 Nr. 6).


A survey of the current situation of the Protestant archives in Germany can be found in: Handbuch des kirchlichen Archivwesens, Band I: Die zentralen Archive in der evangelischen Kirche, 4. Auflage, Verlag Degener & Co., Neustadt an der Aisch 1997.


For the Württembergische Landeskirche:
Herr Dr. Hermann Ehmer
tel.: +49 711/2149-258

2. Catholic Church Archives in Baden-Württemberg

The archives of the Catholic Church are responsible for the accession, description and preservation of current records and documents from religious institutions of their parishes, deaneries ect. This responsibility is also extended over records of religious institutions, such as dioceses, monasteries which belonged to the former Old Reich and do not exist any longer. In these archives the work of the Catholic Church is documented and its tradition guaranteed. Here it is also possible to use the records and documents of the history of the church, the Land, the villages. They also describe the social, cultural, and religious environment and inform about various fields of historical research, such as genealogy etc.


The Catholic Church runs its archival affairs in its own right. Legal basis for the archives is the "Anordnung über die Sicherung und Nutzung der Archive der Katholischen Kirche" The same law was passed in 1988 for the archbishopric Freiburg and in 1989 for the bishopric Rottenburg-Stuttgart. There are special access regulations for the single archives in the bishoprics, deaneries and parishes.The users can ask for details of these regulations in the relevant archives of the bishoprics.

I. Archives of the Bishoprics (Bistumsarchive)

The Bistums- oder Diözesanarchive (archives of the bishoprics) hold the records of the agencies of the bishopric as well as current records of former bishoprics which do not exist any longer (e.g. Konstanz). In addition records of the former State authorities of the church of the 19th and early 20th centuries are held. As central archives the archives of the bishoprics also hold several record groups of Dekanate (deaneries), Kamerariate (Authorities of Finance), parishes and other church institutions as well as collections and wills of persons who played an active role in the life of the church. The archivists of the dioceses supervise all the other archives of their geographical jurisdiction. They are the first to be contacted in all question concerning the archives.

Archives of the Archbishopric Freiburg
(Erzbischöfliches Archiv Freiburg)

The geographical jurisdiction of the bishopric comprises mostly the territories of the former Grand Dutchy of Baden and the Dutchy of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Hohenzollern-Hechingen.

Archives of the Bishopric Rottenburg-Stuttgart
(Diözesanarchiv Rottenburg)

The geographical jurisdiction of the bishopric Rottenburg-Stuttgart comprises the territory of the former kingdom, which later became the Land Württemberg.

II. Archives of medium level of church administration (deaneries and parishes, Dekanate, Pfarreien)

According to church regulations the single parishes and deaneries have their own registries and archives. As some of these institutions date back to the Middle Ages their records have a long tradition. Many record groups of the parishes and deaneries are held in the relevant bishopric archives. The user will get information about the approximately 2300 parish and deanery archives in the Land Baden-Württemberg from the relevant bishopric archives.

III. Archives of Monasteries and Congregations

Some of the monasteries and congregations in the dioceses Freiburg and Rottenburg-Stuttgart have their own archives. The single institutions will inform you about their record groups and access regulations.

IV. Archives of nation wide Church Societies and Associations

The effectiveness of the work of the church is significantly influenced by societies, associations and other institutions. Some of them have their own archives. One of the most important is the archive of the Caritasverband e.V. in Freiburg.


  • Führer durch die Bistumsarchive der katholischen Kirche in Deutschland, hg. von der Bundeskonferenz der kirchlichen Archive in Deutschland, 2. überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage, Siegburg 1991.
  • Päpstliche Kommission für die Kulturgüter der Kirche: Die pastorale Funktion der kirchlichen Archive. Schreiben vom 3. Februar 1997 (= Arbeitshilfen 142), hg. vom Sekretariat der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Bonn 1998.
  • Schätze als Alltag. Dokumente aus kirchlichen Archiven und Bibliotheken, hg. von Jochen Bepler u.a., Regensburg 2001.


Information about the archives of the Catholic Church will be given by: Bistumsarchive oder die Bundeskonferenz der Kirchlichen Archive in Deutschland
c/o Diözesanarchiv Rottenburg
Postfach 9
D-72101 Rottenburg