The Bielefeld University Archive is a public archive that is open to everyone. Access and use is based on the Archive Law of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the regulations for use of the University Archive. Visitors can consult the Archive on site or by request (by mail, email or telephone).
During your first visit to the Bielefeld University Archives, you will be asked to fill out a user application form. We would appreciate it if you could notify us in advance of your visit. However, you can also visit us without prior notice between our opening hours which are Monday to Friday between 9am and 12pm.
You are allowed to work with your laptop in the user room. Copies of archival documents may be made only with prior consultation with Archive staff, and in some cases only to a limited extent. In principle, you are allowed to take photographs of the archival documents.
Requests should be sent to the postal or email address shown on the right-hand panel. We use the finding aids and catalogues available to look for documents relating to your inquiry. As a rule, we do not research the archival material itself. You will need to visit the archives in person to view the material in more depth. Because of our daily duties, it may sometimes take us longer to respond to your request. We ask for your understanding.
In general, access to archival material is restricted for thirty years after its creation. In some cases, this period of restriction may be even longer. For example, archival records that are bound by special secrecy regulations may not be made available until sixty years after they were created. Personal archive records may not be disclosed until at least ten years after the death or one hundred years after the birth of the person involved.
Under certain circumstances, the University Archives may allow exceptions to these regulations (special permits) if the use is for specified research purposes or for the exercise of legal interests and if it is ensured that the legitimate privacy rights of the individuals involved are protected. (Information sheet (.pdf) on the use of restricted archive records and on reducing the period of restriction). The application for permission to consult restricted archive records (.pdf) is made via a form.