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Archives present themselves - The Institut für Stadtgeschichte Frankfurt am Main

By Archivportal-D

The "Memory of Frankfurt" - The Institute for Urban History Frankfurt am Main

The Institute for City History Frankfurt am Main, known until 1992 as the "City Archive", is one of the most important German municipal archives and looks back on a verifiable history of around 600 years. It collects, indexes and communicates written and image sources as well as AV media on Frankfurt's city history. Its holdings range from the 9th century to the present.

The Institute is dedicated to the task of preserving and making accessible the historical heritage of the city of Frankfurt am Main. It takes care of the files that arise in the municipal administration and also collects all documentation materials that are important for the history of the city, such as the estates and collections of associations or companies. Despite major losses during the Second World War, its holdings are still among the most important of the German municipal archives in terms of size and weight. In total, it preserves around 25 shelf kilometres of files, plus more than two million illustrations and photos, around 18,000 portraits, about 40,000 documents, more than 70,000 maps and plans, around 25,000 postcards and 400 bequests of important Frankfurt personalities, as well as 1.5 shelf kilometres of company files. One of the most valuable archival documents is the Frankfurt copy of the Golden Bull of 1366, which was declared a World Document Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2013.

The Institute sees itself as a centre for the teaching of history and the formation of historical identity. To this end, it regularly organizes exhibitions, lectures, readings or moderated contemporary witness discussions. In addition, the didactically sound presentation of the Carmelite Monastery, the only remaining monastery complex in Frankfurt with a medieval appearance, is one of the Institute's tasks. Around 100,000 visitors come to the events or use its holdings every year.

Institut für Stadtgeschichte Frankfurt am Main

Entrance of the Institute of Urban History Frankfurt am Main

The Institute of City History is located in the centre of the city and has a modern reading room, atmospheric event rooms, which can also be rented, and modern workplaces. Since 2006, the magazine in Borsigallee has offered optimal conditions for preserving the memory of the city of Frankfurt. It is also home to the restoration workshops, which ensure the professional preservation of the archive materials.

Since 1995, the Institute of Urban History has also been available on the Internet. The archive database can be accessed at to order archive materials to the reading room or to find out about the programme of events. Since 2014, the Institute has had a digital long-term archive and is increasingly taking on municipal written material in electronic form.


The Institute of Urban History in the archive portal D

In 2015, the Institute of Urban History discontinued the indexing data of four holdings in the DDB with almost 18,000 entries. The older series of the Magistratsaktei from the years 1868 to 1930 is to be mentioned as the central tradition. Furthermore, the files of the Welfare Office from the years 1841 to 1958 as well as the contracts of the Free City of Frankfurt - such as international treaties, domestic agreements and contracts with the German Customs Union - with a term from 1814 to 1866 can be found there. The holdings of the Constituent Assembly of the Paulskirche of the years 1848/1849, which include printed minutes and submissions by citizens, are also included in the archive portal. More data will follow soon.

Holdings of the Institute of Urban History in Archivportal-D



Institut für Stadtgeschichte
Münzgasse 9
D-60311 Frankfurt am Main

Tel.: 069-212-37 914 oder 069-212-38 425
Fax: 069-212-30 753

General requests: info.amt47 [at]


Institut für Stadtgeschichte in Frankfurt