German Archives Portal soon with thematic access to the Weimar Republic

An article by Nils Meyer (Archivportal-D)

Over the next one-and-a-half years, the Archivportal-D will be expanded with a new thematic approach. So far, users can either explore individual archives and their holdings on or perform a full-text search via the search slot. In the future, users shall also have the opportunity to research sources on selected topics and to filter them according to content criteria.

In the current pilot project, a first access to the topic “Weimarer Republik” ("Weimar Republic") is being developed. By using a topic breakdown and catchword vocabulary, in this access users can search for archived material on various subject areas. With a geographical selection, the search can also be limited to individual regions of the Weimar Republic. Requirements and concepts of history and digital humanities shall be included in the creation of the new thematic search options.

New digital tools are being developed to map the sources to the topic breakdown, including an algorithm that analyzes the archival data of the single archive records, compares them to external data sources, such as Wikidata and Wikipedia, and automatically makes proposals for thematic mapping. These tools are designed to help the specialized personnel in the archives to make more archive records available for the new thematic approach. Users shall also be able to access these tools in the future and thus contribute to the improvement of the offer.

The digitization projects “Weimar – die erste deutsche Demokratie” ("Weimar – the first German democracy") of the Bundesarchiv (Federal Archives) and “Von der Monarchie zur Republik” ("From the Monarchy to the Republic") of the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg (Regional Archive of Baden-Wuerttemberg) serve as the basis for the pilot project "Weimar Republic". Further holdings on the subject of the "Weimar Republic" are to be added after the end of the project. – Other archive facilities are welcome to participate with their holdings!

"Der 6. Juni bestimmt unser nächstes Schicksal!" Allgemeiner Aufruf zur Teilnahme an der Reichstagswahl, Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg (CC BY 3.0 Deutschland)


Later, further thematic approaches to various other topics will arise - both in the Archivportal-D and in the DDB (German Digital Library). As part of the current project, the technical basis for this will be created.

The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – DFG) and still runs until 31. May 2020. Project partners are the Bundesarchiv, the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (German National Library) (for the project coordination of the DDB) and the FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur (FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure).

Current note: On 19.03.2019, a public workshop on the thematic system "Weimar Republic" will take place in the Bundesarchiv Koblenz (Federal Archives Koblenz). Take the opportunity to play an active part! Bring in your knowledge, wishes and ideas for the new access to topics. Register now by 8th March 2019 by mail to nils.meyer [at]

Information about the workshop on:

Further information about the project at the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg: