Part of the Niedersächsisches Landesarchiv, the Central State Archive in Hannover contains both official and private archival materials.
Lat: 52.3697°N Long: 9.73039°E
Am Archiv 1 30169 Hannover Germany
Schedule & hours
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8 AM-4 PM, Tuesday & Thursday 8 AM - 6:30 PM
Archival materials are retrieved at 9, 10:30, 12:30 and 2:30 (the 2:30 order time except Fridays and before holidays)
German, but some of the staff speaks English.
Though the street address is Am Archiv 1, the entrance for researchers is on the Lavesallee side, through the heavy green doors (which push in, though to Americans it looks like a pull-door). The receptionist, who signs in researchers and issues keys for the lockers/wardrobe, is to the left. The lockers are to the right, before the entrance to the reading room. The archivist on call sits in a room to the right as you walk into the reading room, and the desk for ordering, receiving, and returning materials is in the far back left. Each seat has its own electrical outlets and lamp.
Directions to the archive
From the main train station, take the U-Bahn lines 3, 7, or 9 in the direction of Wettbergen/Empelde to the stop Waterlooplatz (just a few minutes). The station is across the street from the archive.
See here for a map from the archive.
As a state archive, the Hauptstaatsarchiv Hannover is open to all, though registration is required. You can register the day of your visit by filling out a form from the receptionist and discussing your application with the archivist on duty, though contacting the archive in advance will speed the ordering of your materials.
Permitted and prohibited items
- Permitted: Laptop computers, pens, pencils, paper, notebooks.
- Prohibited: Cameras, phones.
Document ordering and delivery
In the reading room, documents are ordered on slips available on the desks and submitted in at the desk for ordering and retrieving materials. You can order three items per slip, and have up to 15 total documents out at any one time. Items are placed with the researcher's name visible on the slips on shelves by the desk. There are also separate shelves for returning finished documents and for reserving materials with which you plan to continue. Items are retrieved at 4 intervals throughout the day (see above for times.)
Some items are currently stored offsite in Pattensen, and the call numbers are a little unpredictable. It seems even the offsite materials can still be retrieved in a few hours.
Photocopying, photography, microfilming
Taking photographs is not allowed, but photocopying and digital reproduction is offered. There are no page limits per item. The order form is available from the archivist, and there are strips on each reading table that allow you to mark the pages in each file which you want copied. Mark the strip with a V (vor-) for the front side of a page, an R (rück-) for the back side of a page, or arrows to indicate a series of pages to be copied. Return the file to the archivist. Costs are quite varied depending on the kind of document and the form of reproduction. A detailed list of options (in German) is available as a PDF on the Niedersächsisches Landesarchiv website.
The archive staff with whom I've interacted (in particular, Frau Hoffmann) are exceptionally helpful and friendly.
The lockers are varied in size and do not require a deposit. There are coat hangers in the entryway.
I don't believe there is any food available in the building. A couple of blocks away on Calenberger Str. you can find a vegan Asian place with a €5.50 lunch menu, a more expensive Italian restaurant, and a couple of convenience stores.
Internet and Computers
There is no internet access, unfortunately. International visitors, note that the electronic outlets at each seat may not necessarily fit certain plug adapters. I found a suitable surge protector under at least one table, however. There are at least two computers available with access to the online catalog.