Deutsches Museum - Archiv
The "Deutsches Museum" (German Museum) is Germany's largest and oldest museum of science and technology. It also includes a research institution, a library and an archive.
Only this top-level page is in English, all links are to pages in German.
International: +49-89-2179 220
National: 089-2179 220
International: +49-89-2179 465 National: 089-2179 465
Schedule & hours
Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00h
Closed on public holidays.
Make sure to check a German calendar when planning your trip. The state of Bavaria (of which Munich is the capital) is pre-dominantly catholic, so apart from the usual holidays like Christmas and Easter, there are also a number of other public holidays in this state, which are not present in other areas of Germany.
German, most staff speaks English.
The reading room is comparably small and also hosts the desks of some of the staff. At the one end there are shelves with most of the archive's photo holdings, which can be picked from the shelf directly. All other materials are brought to your desk by the archivist.
Munich is the capital of Bavaria, in the very south of Germany. It is rather close to the Austrian border and on the fringes of the Alps.
The Deutsches Museum is well-known in Munich, so just anybody local can tell you how to get there. The Museum building is located on an island in the Isar river and can be reached by bus, tram or suburban train (see below). The entrance to the library building is opposite to the museum's entrance. When entering the building, you'll face the reception. Just tell the porter you want to go the archive, and he'll let you through. The archive is located on third floor and may be a bit difficult to find. There are signs, however, guiding you, and you may ask the porter for directions.
Accomodation is not hard to find, as Munich is a major city and a hotspot of tourism. Munich, however, is one of the more expensive places in Germany. There are a number of budget accomodations, though. Rooms may be hard to find during fairs and the famous Oktoberfest (end of September).
The Deutsches Museum also offers guest rooms for researchers. Inquiries can be made with Mrs. Andrea Walther: firstname.lastname@example.org
Description of holdings
From the archive's webpage: "The Deutsches Museum Archive is one of Europe’s most important archives specializing in the history of science and technology. Altogether it has some 4500 m of shelves holding source documents and other archive material on this subject. Particular points of emphasis are transport and aerospace, computing, and the history of physics and chemistry."
Especially the material on aerospace history is very rich, as the archive holds the documents from companies like Messerschmitt, Junkers, Heinkel, etc. These include correspondence, internal memos, technical drawings, etc. Furthermore, there are also collections from German aviation journalists in the archive.
The archive also has a large photograph, film and sound recording collection.
In the archive you'll find collection on persons from engineering, science, and inventors; a huge number of historical manuals, brochures, price lists etc. from companies; technical drawings; maps; portraits from and medals given to scientists and engineers; and much more.
Literature detailing the archive's holdings:
- Wilhelm Füßl / Eva A. Mayring: The Archives and Special Collections of the Deutsches Museum in Munich. In: Science & Technology Libraries 14, 1994, 7-16.
A visit to the museum's library might also be worthwile, as it holds a large number of historic technical and scientific journals (both German and foreign), including company circulars, and a number of historic books.
History of the archive
The archive has taken over several large collections from company archives from companies like Messerschmitt or Siemens. It has not given away any collections, to my knowledge. The archive started to collect material when the museum was founded in 1903.
Catalogues & finding aids
There are printed finding aids in the reading room. Some collections can be browsed online through above's web page. There is also a database,but this is for internal uses only. All inquiries have to be made to a member of staff, who can look up the search terms in the database for you. It is highly advisable to get in touch with the archivists ASAP to make out what material might be of interest to your research.
Languages of materials
Chiefly German, but the archive also holds material in other languages.
Restrictions & difficulties
There are no general restrictions on using material. Restrictions may apply for certain personal documents. Check with the archivists.
The archive does not hold any classified material, to my knowledge.
Some material might be inaccessible because of embargo periods. According to German law, documents are generally accessible 30 years after their creation date. Personal documents (non-official documents authored by individuals) are accessible 30 years after the person's death (110 years after the person's birth if the death date is unknown). This applies to a number of the collections in this archive.
Future of the archive
The Deutsches Museum has a long tradition and is supported by the policial administration and industrialists in Germany. As it is very prestigous for those groups, the Museum (and with it its archive) is likely to remain where it is for quite some time ahead. The museum space is coming to its limits, and there have already museum branches been founded elsewhere in town to allow for more exhibitions. Refurbishment of the buildings are undergoing, and floodings from the river Isar were also an issue in the past. This has not affected the archive, yet.
The archive is open to the general public. You must mail (e-mail or postal) to the archive in advance to apply for access, detailing the research you intend to do. Once at the archive, you have to fill out a form to register as user. No reader's ticket will be issued, as the form is stored and needs to be renewed every year (i.e. if you visit the archive again the same year, you don't need to fill out another form. If you go there next year, you do). Usually, no form of identification needs to be produced, but that policy might change.
You fill out a form (see above) to register as user. Then, one of the archivists will interview you about your research, both to help you and to control the use of the documents.
Permitted and prohibited items
(if possible, account for laptop computers, cameras, scanners, phones, pens and pencils, loose papers, and so on)
- Permitted: Laptop computers, notepads, pens, pencils.
- Prohibited: Cameras, scanners, phones.
Documents are ordered on paper slips.
Ordering classified material
This requires a written application to the archive. Since you need to apply by mail to access the archive, anyway, this can be done in the same letter.
The storage room is adjacent to the reading room, delivery time is therefore usually short, depending on the workload of the archivist. Documents are delivered into the reading room to your workplace. You must sign that you've been given the documents on a list presented to you by the archivist. There is no specific limit on the number of documents that can be held at one time, but the archvist may ask for a sensible number of documents to be ordered. Once finished, you can leave the documents at your working place. The archivist will collect them. In case you order new documents, the archivist will pick up those documents when he or she delivers the new round.
Photocopying, photography, microfilming
No photographing is allowed in the reading room. There is a photocopier in the reading room where you can copy most documents yourself, unless the material is marked as sensitive. Photocopies are 10ct per A4 page, you pay the total of your copies when you leave the reading room.
For sensitive material or reproductions of photographs, the archive offers a reproduction service. This can usually be done within a couple of days, or send to your home address. Prices vary depending on the type of reproduction. Ask the archive for details.
The only form is the register form, which is not online.
The archive's head is Dr. Wilheml Füssl and his proxy is Dr. Eva Mayring. There are also a number of assistants around. All of the staff is friendly and helpful.
The researchers and curators of the Deutsches Museum are well familiar with the archive's holdings. See http://www.deutsches-museum.de/en/research/wissenschaftl-mitarbeiter/ for a list of staff members.
Too many to list here. The archive holdings are very broad and voluminous, and so are the publications resulting from research in it.
There are vending machines in the entrance hall of the building, and the museum has a restaurant which is adjacent to the library building. There are also a good number of restaurants and shops in the vicinity. There is no food allowed in the archive, but there are chairs and tables near the vending machines where food can be consumed.
Lockers can be found near the library's entrance, which is in the same building.
There are restrooms on the same floor as the reading room, down the aisle.
Munich has an international airport and a major railway station. Within the city an excellent public transport system is available. The Deutsches Museum is served by the suburban trains (German: S-Bahn), station: "Isartor". From there it is just a five minute walk. The museum is also served by tram line 17 (station again "Isartor") or line 18 (station: "Deutsches Museum"); by underground lines U1 and U2, (station: Fraunhofer Strasse); and by the bus line 131 (stop: "Boschbrücke").
The research institution of the Deutsches Museum offers a funding program called "Scholar in Residence", for either six or twelve month. See http://www.deutsches-museum.de/en/research/scholar-in-residence/ for details. You'll not only get a decent lump of money, you'll also get some privileges (like free photocopies in the archive or free entrance to the museum), as you are receiving member-of-staff status during the scholarship period.
The archive itself has no books for sale. However, attached to the museum is a museum shop which among other things sells publications of the Deutsches Museum.
(links to relevant websites and resources)