German Historical Institute Paris

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German Historical Institute Paris
founding November 21, 1958
place Paris
country France
director Thomas Maissen
Employee 40
German Historical Institute Paris, Hôtel Duret-de-Chevry
Commemorative plaque for the opening of today's headquarters in 1994, which the former Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker attended

The German Historical Institute Paris (DHIP) or Institut historique allemand (IHA) is an internationally oriented historical research institute. It is one of the ten humanities institutes abroad that have belonged to the direct federal Max Weber Foundation - German Humanities Institutes Abroad (MWS), based in Bonn, since 2002 . The MWS is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The central tasks of the DHIP are: research, mediation and qualification. The historical themes range from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. In addition to France and Germany as well as Franco-German relations, Western Europe, Africa and the digital humanities are the main areas of research. The DHIP researchers have been working in the rooms of the Hôtel Duret-de-Chevry, a Hôtel particulier in the central Marais district , since 1994 .


The idea of ​​founding a DHI in Paris was “an old favorite idea” of Medievalist and later MGH President Paul Fridolin Kehr at the beginning of the 19th century , but its realization did not get beyond the initial stage in 1902/03. A new attempt was made in 1941 by Theodor Mayer from the circle of German Medieval Studies , who ultimately wanted to establish a “general German claim to leadership” in Europe historically through his work in Paris. Competence disputes delayed the project, which finally fell apart as the war continued.

The aim of the “German Historical Research Center in Paris” (DHFS) (“Center allemand de recherche historique”), which was inaugurated on November 21, 1958, was no longer dominance, but rather exchange and mediation between German and French historians. It was financed from funds from the federal budget; The sponsor was the “Scientific Commission for Research into the History of Franco-German Relations” based in Mainz. Its managing director, the medievalist Eugen Ewig , is considered the institute's founding father. The scientific intentions of the foundation were connected with the process of Franco-German understanding after the Second World War . After many years of negotiations, one year after the signing of the Élysée Treaty, DHFS was permanently institutionalized. On July 1, 1964, it was transformed as the "German Historical Institute Paris" into a dependent federal agency in the portfolio of the Federal Minister for Scientific Research. The Bonn mediaevalist Alois Wachtel was appointed the first director in 1966 .

He was followed by the Mannheim medievalist Karl Ferdinand Werner , who had a decisive influence on the institute from 1968 to 1989 as director and through his research into early medieval history. He started the magazine Francia and events such as the "jeudi" series, which is still going on today, and initiated the move from rue du Havre to a building in rue Maspéro, the current headquarters of the German representation at the OECD . The constant increase in staff and library holdings soon made another move necessary. Shortly before Werner's successor, Horst Möller , who later took over the management of the Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ) in Munich, the Federal Republic of Germany acquired the Hôtel Duret-de-Chevry, which was built around 1620 on behalf of the high royal official Charles Duret-de- Chevry near the Place des Vosges built the Hôtel particulier . Under the new director Werner Paravicini , who mainly devoted his research to late medieval Burgundy, the official opening of the new institute headquarters took place on May 19, 1994 in the presence of Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker .

In 2002, the DHIP was transferred to the public Max Weber Foundation , which now unites ten partner institutes worldwide under its roof. Under the direction of Gudrun Gersmann , the digital humanities came to the fore from 2007 with extensive (retro) digitization projects and open access initiatives such as . The DHIP has been headed by the Swiss historian Thomas Maissen since 2013 , under whom the geographic focus of the institute has expanded. In 2015, a research project on Sub-Saharan Africa on the topic of "Identity, Identification and Bureaucratisation in Sub-Saharan Africa" was launched in cooperation with the University of Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) in Dakar in Senegal and the Center de recherches sur les politiques sociales (CREPOS). 21st century) "was founded. With the establishment of a transnational research group on the topic of "The bureaucratisation of African societies", a second phase of cooperation with CREPOS and UCAD began in January 2017 (duration 2017–2021). From the end of 2018 the transnational research group will be part of the new "Maria Sybilla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa" ​​(MIASA Africa) with its headquarters in Accra, which is supported by a number of partners, including the DHIP, and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funded. MIASA will deal with democratic governance, conflict management and sustainability transformation.


tasks and goals

The central tasks of the DHIP are: research, mediation and qualification.

To research

The DHIP conducts its own research, mostly in cooperation with French partners, and supports international researchers who work on Western European history and conduct research in France or Germany. The material from the archives and libraries located in Paris and France is of particular importance.

The historical research topics range from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. Initially, medieval research projects and studies on the early modern period dominated . For a long time, the recording of documents from the Merovingian Empire was important . In addition, research on recent and recent history has increased since the 1970s . The DHIP is opening up new research areas in its Digital Humanities department and in the international research group founded in Dakar (Senegal) in 2015, which works in collaboration with the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar on the "bureaucratization of African societies".

Important sources were developed in basic research projects and made available in databases.

Guest researchers are regularly active at the DHIP in order to pursue their own projects and at the same time to enrich the work at the DHIP. Such research stays are among other things part of the cooperation between the DHIP and the LabEx Écrire une histoire nouvelle de l'Europe.


The DHIP publishes its research results in various formats: online, in journals and in book form. It maintains a multilingual specialist scientific library with a focus on German history. In order to promote the cooperation of historians from Germany, France and other countries, the DHIP regularly organizes international conferences , workshops, seminars and lectures, e.g. B. as part of the lecture series "Les Jeudis de l'Institut historique allemand". In addition, it participates as a partner - in France as well as in Germany - in Franco-German and international historians' conferences on research areas of the DHIP.

To qualify

The DHIP promotes young scientists in a Franco-German context with a wide range of offers. Summer universities, specialist and language courses, including a master class in digital humanities, as well as excursions allow students to open up new research horizons and to exchange ideas with students and lecturers from other countries. A wide range of scholarships and fellowships enables research stays of different lengths in Paris, which are specifically geared to the needs of master's and doctoral students, postdocs and lecturers.

Organization and research projects

Around 40 employees work at the DHIP in research and research services (library, editorial offices, event management, press and public relations, general administration). A scientific advisory board made up of nine German and French university professors from all eras supports and advises the DHIP in its work. The current chairman of the advisory board is the Aachen mediaevalist Harald Müller .

The research projects are assigned to five departments: Middle Ages, Early Modern Times, Modern and Recent History, Digital Humanities and Africa.

Library of the DHIP


The DHIP library is accessible free of charge to all academic researchers after a reading card has been issued. In the reading room there are 46 reading places and four catalog terminals with internet access. The institute library is managed as a reference library; Therefore, books cannot be borrowed from the library's holdings. The library is connected to the German interlibrary loan . It currently comprises a total of around 120,000 media units with around 350 current journals, which are indexed using a library catalog. In addition to the extensive holdings on German and French history, the library has special holdings on relations between the two countries as well as numerous works on Western European history as well as on German national history. An important focus of the magazine stock is German regional magazines. The two library blogs Franco-Fil and Germano-Fil on information resources in France and Germany, as well as regular seminars on information literacy, offer researchers valuable support for their research.


The DHIP publishes the research results of the house as well as outstanding qualification theses. The consistent open access strategy enables all publications to be accessed online.

Francia , which has been published since 1973, is the only German historical specialist magazine devoted to the history of Western Europe. The articles appear in German, French or English. Their subject and temporal spectrum ranges from the archeology of the 4th century to the Franco-German relations of the recent past. The review section of Francia has been published online as Francia-Recensio in four editions a year since 2008 .

The monographs in the book series Beihefte der Francia (BdF) , founded in 1975, appear in French, English or German according to the habits of the magazine. This also applies to the DHIP's oldest book series, the Paris Historical Studies (PHS) , which has been published since 1962 .

The series Studies and Documents on Gallia Pontificia contains treatises and source editions from the field of research on the documents and letters of the Popes in France.

The eleven-volume series Franco-German History , begun in 2005, appears in German and French and from 800 to the present.

As the project sponsor of, the DHIP operates methodical blogs that span multiple epochs as well as thematic science blogs. The results of completed basic research projects of the DHIP as well as recordings of many lectures given at the DHIP are available on the website of the institute, the latter as podcasts. Retro-digitized, former series such as the Discussions can also be accessed online. The DHIP is also a partner of the Franco-German journal for the humanities and social sciences Trivium , which makes basic French and German essays accessible in translation.


  • Karl Ferdinand Werner : German Historical Institute 1958–1983. Institut Historique Allemand 1958–1983 , Paris 1983.
  • Gerd Krumeich : The German Historical Institute in Paris (DHIP) . In: Geschichte und Gesellschaft 13 (1987), pp. 267-271.
  • Werner Paravicini (Ed.): The German Historical Institute Paris. Ceremony for the opening of his new building, the Hôtel Duret-de-Chevry , Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1994.
    • ders .: You franco-allemand à l'histoire européenne. L'Institut historique allemand de Paris depuis 1964 . In Allemagne d'aujourd'hui 162 (2002), pp. 150-156.
    • ders .: L'Institut historique allemand. Un lieu de recherche européenne à Paris . In: Précis analytique des travaux de l'Académie des sciences, belles-lettres et arts de Rouen , year 2003 (published December 2006), pp. 225–234.
    • ders .: How was it actually? The German Historical Institute Paris . In: Revue des Deux Mondes , Paris 2005, pp. 223–227. - L'Institut historique allemand de Paris: ce qui s'est réellement passé . In: Revue des Deux Mondes , Paris 2005, pp. 206–210.
  • Ulrich Pfeil : The German Historical Institute Paris. A new foundation "sur base universitaire" . In ders. (Ed.): German-French cultural and scientific relations in the 20th century. An institutional history approach , Oldenbourg, Munich 2007, pp. 281–308. Online at
    • ders .: Prehistory and foundation of the "German Historical Institute" Paris. Presentation and documentation . Series: Instrumenta Vol. 17, Thorbecke, Ostfildern 2007. Online at
    • ders. (Ed.): The "German Historical Institute" Paris and its founding fathers. A personal history approach. , Paris Historical Studies 86, Oldenbourg, Munich 2007.
    • ders .: The establishment of the German Historical Institute in Paris in 1958, in: Axel C. Hüntelmann, Michael C. Schneider (eds.), Jenseits von Humboldt. Science in the State 1850–1990 , Frankfurt / M. 2010, pp. 49-60.
  • Rainer Babel , Rolf Große (Eds.): The German Historical Institute Paris / Institut historique allemand 1958–2008 , Thorbecke, Ostfildern, 2008. Online at
  • Rolf Große : France research at the German Historical Institute Paris, in: Yearbook of historical research in the Federal Republic of Germany, reporting year 2012, Munich 2013, pp. 21-27. Online at
  • Matthias Werner : The beginnings of the German Historical Institute in Paris and the return of German historical studies to the “ecumenism of historians” , in: Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter , 79, 2015, pp. 212–245.
  • Rolf Große : The history of the origins of the DHI Paris, in: Jürgen Elvert (ed.): History beyond the university. Networks and Organizations of the Early Federal Republic. Stuttgart 2016 (Historical Communications, Supplement 94), pp. 141-153.

Web links

Commons : German Historical Institute  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Rolf Große, The history of the origins of the DHI Paris, in: Jürgen Elvert (ed.), History beyond the university. Networks and Organizations of the Early Federal Republic, Stuttgart 2016 (Historische Mitteilungen, Beiheft, 94), pp. 141-153.
  2. ^ Conrad Grau , Planning for a German Historical Institute in Paris during the Second World War, in: Francia. Research on Western European History 20/3 (1992), pp. 109-128.
  3. ^ Ulrich Pfeil: Prehistory and founding of the "German Historical Institute" Paris. Presentation and documentation. Thorbecke, Ostfildern 2007 (Instrumenta, 17). Online at .
  4. Werner Paravicini (Ed.): The German Historical Institute Paris. Celebration on the occasion of the opening of his new building, the Hôtel Duret de Chevry, Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1994.
  5. Werner Paravicini (Ed.): The German Historical Institute Paris. Celebration on the occasion of the opening of his new building, the Hôtel Duret de Chevry, Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1994.
  6. ^ DHIP. Retrieved July 25, 2018 .
  7. ^ DHIP. Retrieved July 25, 2018 .
  8. ^ DHIP. Retrieved July 25, 2018 .
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Coordinates: 48 ° 51 '30.6 "  N , 2 ° 21' 47.9"  E