State archive of North Rhine-Westphalia

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State archive of North Rhine-Westphalia

Coat of arms of North Rhine-Westfalia.svg
State level State of North Rhine-Westphalia
position State Archives
Supervisory authority Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
founding 1832
Headquarters Duisburg
Authority management Frank M. Bischoff
Servants 192
Web presence State archive NRW

The State Archive of North Rhine-Westphalia (LAV NRW) was created on January 1, 2004 by decree of November 14, 2003 and was initially divided into seven departments, in which the former state archives were incorporated as whole departments or parts of departments. In 2008 the North Rhine-Westphalia State Archive was restructured. Wilfried Reininghaus was President of the State Archives from its foundation until April 2013 , and Frank M. Bischoff has held this office since September 2013 .

Structure and locations

State archive North Rhine-Westphalia, headquarters and department Rhineland in Duisburg
Landesarchiv NRW, Westphalia department in Münster
Landesarchiv NRW, East Westphalia-Lippe department in Detmold

The North Rhine-Westphalia state archive is divided into the following departments:

  • Central services (location Duisburg): performs tasks in the areas of personnel, budget, organization and information technology.
  • Principles department (Duisburg location): he is responsible for concept and strategy development, public relations and preservation (including protection and security filming).
  • Rhineland department (Duisburg location): it consists of the former main state archive in Düsseldorf and the former Rhineland civil status archive in Brühl.
  • Westphalia department (Münster location): it consists of the former Münster State Archives.
  • Department Ostwestfalen-Lippe (Detmold location): it consists of the former state and civil status archive Detmold.

The North Rhine-Westphalia state archive is thus divided into four different locations (as of May 2014).

The Rhineland Department of the State Archives, formerly located in Düsseldorf and Brühl, moved to a new building in Duisburg's inner harbor in 2014 . For this purpose, according to the planning of the architects Ortner & Ortner Baukunst, a historical storage building of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Speditions-Gesellschaft was converted from 2010 to 2013, an archive tower was built and an undulating office wing was added. The reopening at the new location took place on May 9, 2014.

According to press reports, the actual construction costs for the new building of the Rhineland department in Duisburg are at 195 million euros compared to the calculated costs of 30 million euros, 550% higher than estimated. In several press reports, allegations of corruption were raised here. A parliamentary investigation committee was set up in North Rhine-Westphalia to clarify the situation. In addition to the state archive, it investigates the expansion of the Cologne-Kalk police headquarters , the construction project for the Cologne University of Applied Sciences and Kellenberg Castle . Since the construction and property company of North Rhine-Westphalia (BLB) played a role in this, the term BLB affair was also used in the media .


The employees of the North Rhine-Westphalia State Archives

  • advise state authorities, courts and institutions in North Rhine-Westphalia on managing and securing their documents.
  • decide which of the large number of documents that are generated there will be permanently preserved as archival material and transfer these documents to the archive.
  • collect documents from non-governmental bodies, e.g. B. by parties, associations and private individuals to supplement the state tradition.
  • open up the transferred documents in order to create convenient and meaningful access to the archive material.
  • restore damaged archive material and treat it conservatively.
  • store the archived material in magazines under suitable climatic conditions so that it can survive the next centuries undamaged.
  • provide the archival material for use and advise on research.
  • make the holdings stored in the archive accessible to a broad public with publications, archive tours and exhibitions.


The tradition of the North Rhine-Westphalia State Archives goes back in individual pieces to the 7th century and extends into the present day. The range of documents is correspondingly large: In addition to documents, files, official books and cards, the magazines are increasingly being filled with photos, films, audio documents and electronic data carriers. In total, the holdings of the State Archives currently cover around 160 kilometers of shelves (100 kilometers of which are at the new location of the State Archives in Duisburg).


In principle, everyone can use the archives of the North Rhine-Westphalia State Archives in accordance with the regulations of the North Rhine-Westphalian Archives Act. However, there are legally regulated blocking periods, in particular to protect the rights of individuals. Most of these deadlines can be shortened on request for scientific purposes.

Users can research the holdings overviews, the catalogs of the service libraries and increasingly also the finding aids on the Internet on the website of the State Archives or in the “Archive in NRW” Internet portal. The archives and holdings of the service library can be viewed in the reading rooms of the individual locations. Microforms and digital copies are available for many documents , which enable careful use. The website of the State Archive of North Rhine-Westphalia provides detailed information on usage.

Web links

Commons : Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Landtag NRW: Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry I (PUA I) of the 15th electoral term., accessed on December 12, 2015 .