Manuscripts and Archives

Online Resources | Printed Guides

Online Resources

The OASIS database allows users to search a small percentage of the finding aids for archival and manuscript materials found at Harvard University. Finding aids in the database are, additionally, linked to the summary description of the collection found in HOLLIS. There are over forty archival and manuscript repositories at Harvard/Radcliffe, all specializing in differing, though sometimes overlapping, subject areas. No one source details the holdings of all; for detailed information consult individual repositories.

Includes references to about 500,000 archival collections and contains a growing number of searchable finding aids providing detailed inventories of the collections.

A directory of nearly 150,000 collections of primary source material housed across the United States.

Archives Portal Europe
The Archives Portal Europe provides access to information on archival material from different European countries as well as information on archival institutions throughout the continent.  The site provides a single interface searching across archival collections of national and regional archives throughout Europe. The directory permits to verify contact details and services offered by institutions in preparation for an on-site visit. is a portal to all local archives in the Netherlands. The site permits to search all listed archives by keyword, as well as to browse through the collections in alphabetical order. A directory of archives, with address and contact information completes the site.

Arkivalier online
Access civil records online at the Danish State Archives.

BAM: Portal zu Bibliotheken, Archiven und Museen
The Bam-Portal complements the Kalliope Portal (see below) by providing a unified search interface to the collections of institutions not included (or only partially included) in Kalliope: The Bundesarchiv, Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, Stiftung Landesmuseum für Technik und Arbeit, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (including the Geheimes Staatsarchiv, the Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, the Institut für Museumsforschung, and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin).

The site of the German National Archives permits to search its vast holdings and access digital content online. The Bundesarchiv has placed a large number of finding aids online and provides searchable catalogs for select collections, such as the Zentrale Datenbank Nachlässe (see below), as well as the Kabinettsprotokolle Online.  In addition, the Bundesarchiv is working on digitizing its vast holdings of archival images and making these accessible through the Digital Picture Archives of the Federal Archives.

Dansk Demografisk Database
Permits to search Censuses, Emigration Archives (1868-1908), and the Probate Index for demographic information at the Danish National Archives.

Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach (DLA)
The holdings of the DLA are among the most important in literature and of the history of ideas worldwide. The collections document German language literature and culture from 1750 to the present. The DLA's core holdings consist of the archives and papers of literary figures, scholars, and publishing houses, which is supplemented by Germany's largest research collection in literature.

Digital Scriptorium (DS)
The Digital Scriptorium (DS) is an image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts that unites scattered resources from North American institutions. DS provides access to many manuscripts of German(ic) origin and allows scholars to verify cataloguing information about places and dates of origin, scripts, artists, and quality. Special emphasis is placed on the touchstone materials: manuscripts signed and dated by their scribes. DS may be searched or browsed by Location, Shelfmark, Author, Title, Scribe, Artist, and Languages.

The Finnish National Archives: Digital Archives
Provides access to a growing number of digitized collections.

Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland, Österreich und Europa. Hrsg. von Bernhard Fabian. Digitalisiert von Günter Kükenshöner. Hildesheim: Olms Neue Medien 2003.
The title is offered in full text by the German central research portal for the subjects of library, book and information sciences, The "Fabian Handbuch" lists notable collections of books, magazines, newspapers, music, prints, maps, and ephemeral literature held in German and Austrian libraries and archives (the site exludes manuscripts). European libraries are described insofar as they contain materials that stem from German-speaking countries (regardless of language) or hold German literature which originated outside the German-language area.

The Handschriftencensus provides an inventory of German medieval manuscripts. It contains information concerning more than 20,000 manuscripts preserved in more than 1,200 libraries and archives across the world.

HelveticArchives – the archive database of the Swiss National Library
Index of manuscript collections held in libraries and archives in Switzerland.

Historical Research in Europe: A Guide to Archives and Libraries
Prepared by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries, the guide unites web-based and printed resources which provide information about European libraries and archives in a single interactive database. The focus is on materials found in western European repositories.

Innsbrucker Zeitungsarchiv zur Deutsch- und Fremdsprachigen Literatur (IZA)
The IZA is the largest archive of newspaper clippings of literary journalism and criticism in the German speaking world. The database indexes about 1 million articles in the fields of literature, language, theatre, recorded, and filmed literature (title list).

Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis / Institute of Netherlands History (INGH)
The Institute of Netherlands History (INGH) has digitized the Rijks Geschiedkundige Publicatiën (RGP), a "series of source editions, the first volume of which was published in 1905. Today, the series comprises 450 volumes that contain documents about the history of the Netherlands." The RGP series is only one of the many historical documents and reference works digitized and made available by the INGH.

The International Institute of Social History (IISH)
The International Institute of Social History (IISH) was founded in 1935. It is one of the world's largest documentary and research institutions in the field of social history in general and the history of the labour movement in particular. The IISH holds over 2,700 archival collections, some 1 million printed volumes and about as many audio-visual items. The available collections are accessible through the online catalogue and an online index of archives and inventories. The IISH is also home to a number of other documentary institutions, most notably the Netherlands Economic History Archive (NEHA) and the Press Museum.

Kalliope Portal
The Verbundinformationssystem Kalliope serves as a union catalog for archival resources, providing access to the holdings of a large number of museums, archives, and libraries. With over 1.2 million entries and over 500 institutional members, including some of the largest German regional and university libraries, Kalliope is the primary resource for German archival materials.

Klassik Stiftung Weimar
The Stiftung Klassik Stiftung Weimar is one of the largest and most significant cultural institutions in Germany. The foundation oversees 25 museums, exhibitions, palaces and historical houses, including the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek, with holdings of about one million volumes; the Goethe and Schiller Archive, the oldest literature archive in Germany; and the parks in and around Weimar. The Foundation’s building ensembles is recognized as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. The Foundation and Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek provide access to several full text online databases and online catalogs.

LeMO Archiv : Lebendiges virtuelles Museum Online
Produced by the German Historical Museum in Berlin, the LeMo Archiv provides free access to a large number of online primary resources, both textual and audio-visual. These include the audio of historic speeches, digitized posters, letters, flyers, and maps, as well as videos, and statistical information, among other.

Manuscript and Rare Books Department of the Danish Royal Library
Provides access to Medieval illuminated manuscripts and works by Hans Christian Andersen.

Manuscripta Mediaevalia
The Manuscripta Mediaevalia catalog describes manuscripts held in the German-speaking areas of Europe and manuscripts of German origin held in select libraries in mostly Europe and North America. The site further provides access to an increasing number of digitized manuscripts.

Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts: National Library of the Netherlands
A database containing information about the illuminated medieval manuscripts of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum. View superb examples from the collection in the "Highlights" section.

Medieval Manuscripts in Dutch Collections (MMDC)
This database contains descriptions of all medieval western manuscripts written in Latin script and produced up to c. 1550 now preserved in public and semi-public collections in the Netherlands. These include the collections of libraries, museums and archives, as well as the collections of monastic orders and some other private institutions that are open to researchers.

Monasterium.Net provides free access to a large number of political, economic, and cultural documents from the Middle Ages, held in Central European archives.

Nationaal Archief
The "Nationaal Archief" is the largest public archive in the Netherlands. The collections of the National Archives span 93 kilometers of documents, maps, drawings and photographs. The collection is made up of archives supplied by: * the central government * the Province of Zuid-Holland and the former County of Holland. * private institutions and individuals.

National Archives and the regional state archives of Sweden
The Swedish National Archives provides access to a number of digitized collections and resources, including the Military Archives from the 16th century and onwards; biographical information, family chronicles, and census information, as well as the Rosenberg Geographic dictionary of Sweden within the Svensk Arkivinformation (SVAR); the Oxenstierna Project, which includes the Works and Correspondence of Axel Oxenstierna, Chancellor of Sweden 1612–1654; and local and heraldic registers. Asummay of digitzed materials is available through the Digitala arkiv.

Österreichisches Staatsarchiv
The National Archives of Austria are the repository for the public records of the modern state of Austria and of the Habsburg monarchy (1526-1918). Its vast collections date back to the year 816 and include a library of 800.000 volumes. The Staatsarchiv also links to the Archivregister, which lists to regional, local, university, and special archives in Austria.

Parker Library on the Web
Developed by the Corpus Christi College (Cambridge), the Stanford University Libraries, Harrassowitz , Parker on the Web, provides an interactive, web-based workspace designed to support use and study of the manuscripts in the historic Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

Swiss Literary Archives
The Swiss Literary Archives are part of the Swiss National Library and collect the papers of famous Swiss authors, as well as publishing houses, etc.

Zeitgeschichtliches Archiv
The Zeitgeschichtliches Archiv (Contemporary History Archive), consists of the newspaper-clippings archive of the publisher of the official newspaper of the GDR, "Neues Deutschland." Covering the years 1946-1992, it developed to be a kind of press archive of the GDR, dealing with virtually all subjects from both eastern and western newspapers.

Zentrale Datenbank Nachlässe
The German federal archives' central database to personal papers and archival materials. Based upon an updated and revised version of Wolfgang Mommsen’s Die Nachlässe in den deutschen Archiven, the ZDN provides short descriptions of holdings with location, in addition to short biographies of depositaries. The database currently holds about 25,000 entries.

Printed Guides

Archives and Libraries in a New Germany / Erwin K. Welsch and Jurgen Danyel, with Thomas Kilton. New York: Council for European Studies, 1994.
Location: Widener RR 627.437
Location: Center for European Studies Z675.R45 W45 1994x

Archives in Germany : An Introductory Guide to Institutions and Sources / edited by Frank Schumacher with the assistance of Annette M. Marciel. Washington, D.C.: German Historical Institute, c2001.
Location: Widener Library WID-LC CD1220.A73 2001
Location: Center for European Studies CD1220.A83 2001x

Guide to German Historical Sources in North American Libraries and Archives / Anne Hope, Jörg Nagler. Washington, D.C.: German Historical Institute, 1991.
Location: Widener Library Loker Reading Room 3624.24.10

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Digital Picture Archives of the Federal Archives