Swiss Federal Archives

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Swiss Federal Archives

The main building of the Swiss Federal Archives
The main building of the Swiss Federal Archives
Archive type State Archives
Coordinates 46 ° 56 '26 "  N , 7 ° 26' 47"  E Coordinates: 46 ° 56 '26 "  N , 7 ° 26' 47"  E ; CH1903:  600,591  /  one hundred ninety-eight thousand eight hundred and thirty
place Bern
Visitor address Archivstrasse 24, 3006 Bern
founding 1798
scope approx. 60 km of analog and 15 terabytes of digital documents
ISIL CH-000018-2
carrier Swiss Confederation
Organizational form authority

The Swiss Federal Archives (BAR) ( French Archives fédérales suisses (AFS) , Italian Archivio federale svizzero (AFS) , Rhaeto-Romanic Archiv federal svizzer (AFS) ) in Bern has the legal task of archiving documents of the Swiss Federal Assembly, the Federal Council , the Federal Administration and of Swiss representations abroad to secure, develop, mediate and evaluate. In accordance with the federal archiving law, it thus makes a contribution to legal security, continuous and rational administrative management and makes government action traceable. It is administratively attached to the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) . Philippe Künzler has been the director of the Federal Archives since 2018.

History and holdings

The oldest holdings in the archive go back to the Central Archives of the Helvetic Republic , founded on December 18, 1798 , followed by the archives of the Mediation Period (1803 to 1813), the Diet Period (1814 to 1848) and the State Archives (since 1848). Various private archives of people of national importance are also stored in the Federal Archives. Most of these documents are freely accessible. For more recent documents, a protection period of 30 years applies in most cases. In order to gain access to documents that are still protected, a request for inspection can be submitted to the Federal Archives. The authority that created the documents is usually responsible for the approval.

The Federal Archives currently hold around 60,000 linear meters of analog and over 15 terabytes of digital documents. Due to the conversion of the federal administration to digital business administration (GEVER), almost only documents will be archived in digital form in the future. Analog holdings that are particularly in demand are partially digitized and made available online.

The archive is housed in an archive and library building built between 1896 and 1899 under Theodor Gohl at Archivstrasse 24 in Bern's Kirchenfeld district. Until 1931, the archive shared the premises with the Swiss National Library . Between 1980 and 1985, the building was completely renovated and an underground storage area was added, in which the vast majority of the inventory is now stored.

Head of the Federal Archives and the predecessor institutions

List of leaders
Term of office Surname
1799 Philipp Christoph Reibelt
1799 Josef Mariä Businger (1764–1836)
1799-1803 Marc Louis Vinet (1770-1828)
1803-1848 Karl Samuel Wild (1765–1848)
1849-1861 Johann Jakob Meyer (1798–1869)
1856-1867 Karl Joseph Krütli (1815–1867)
1868-1913 Jakob Kaiser (1833–1918)
1914-1932 Heinrich Türler (1861–1933)
1933-1954 Léon Kern (1897–1971)
1954-1973 Leonhard Haas (1908-2000)
1974-1990 Oscar Gauye (1928–1990)
1990-2004 Christoph Graf (* 1944)
2004-2017 Andreas Kellerhals (* 1954)
since 2018 Philippe Künzler


  • Martin Fröhlich: The Swiss Federal Archives in Bern. (Swiss Art Guide, Volume 665). Ed. Society for Swiss Art History GSK. Bern 1999, ISBN 3-85782-665-7 .

See also

Web links

Commons : Swiss Federal Archives  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Federal Act on Archiving of June 26, 1998 (Archiving Act, BGA)
  2. ^ Catherine Santschi: Federal Archives. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  3. Swiss Federal Archives SFA: Director of the Federal Archives resigns and becomes the Open Government Data Commissioner. Retrieved January 19, 2018 .
  4. ^ Federal Council appoints Philippe Künzler as the new director of the Federal Archives. Retrieved February 28, 2019 .