We are the DDB: Das Archiv der deutschen Frauenbewegung

The Archiv der deutschen Frauenbewegung (AddF) is a documentation centre and research institute, and was opened in Kassel on 8 March 1984. It has assembled an extensive and now unique collection on the history of women's movements and the everyday life of women in Germany in the 19th and 20th century. In addition to preservation, it carries out its own research projects and, as an independent cultural institution, brings the significance of the history of women's emancipation to the public's attention with readings, lectures, exhibitions and city tours.

 Blick in eine Akte Copyright: AddF/Sonja Rode
Heraus mit dem Frauenwahlrecht (Out with the women´s right to vote) (08.03.1914), AddF – Archiv der deutschen Frauenbewegung (Rights reserved - Free access)

The main focus of the collection is the activities of the organised women's movements, taking into account all trends, both the proletarian and the broad field of the bourgeois women's movement from the confessional associations to the radical wing. In addition, documents are collected that provide information about women's lives and everyday life. The holdings are continuously supplemented by active collection activities.

Außenansicht des Archivs der deutschen Frauenbewegung in Kassel ODER NUR Archiv der deutschen Frauenbewegung in Kassel, Copyright: AddF/Sonja Rode
External view of the Archive der deutschen Frauenbewegung in Kassel, Copyright: AddF/Sonja Rode

The archive – about 800 shelf meters (as of 2022) – consists of estates of women – such as Louise Otto-Peters (1819-1895), co-founder of the organised bourgeois women's movement or physician, journalist and politician Gabriele Strecker (1904-1983) – and files of women's organisations – such as the Deutscher Evangelischer Frauenbund (German Evangelical Women's Federation) (from 1899) or the Deutscher Staatsbürgerinnenverband (German Citizens' Association) (from 1835). In addition, extensive archival collections on persons, corporations and topics as well as an image archive were built up. The special library contains contemporary publications as well as current research literature and an extensive collection of journals. The holdings can be researched online. In particular, the META catalogue  of the umbrella association generally offers also access to the digitised collections.

Lesesaal des Archivs der deutschen Frauenbewegung in Kassel, Copyright: AddF/Sonja Rode
Reading room of the Archiv der deutschen Frauenbewegung in Kassel, Copyright: AddF/Sonja Rode

In 2011, the archive holdings were included in the "Verzeichnis national wertvoller Archive" ("Directory of Nationally Valuable Archives") of Kulturgutschutz Deutschland (Cultural Heritage Protection). Since 2021, the AddF has been awarded the title "Ort der Demokratiegeschichte" ("Place of Democracy History") because it recalls, preserves and researches the important role of women and women's organisations in the development and expansion of democracy in Germany. This is exemplified by the estate of politician Elisabeth Selbert (1896-1986) from Kassel, as one of the "Mütter des Grundgesetzes" ("Mothers of the Constitution").

Click here for the holdings of the Archiv der deutschen Frauenbewegung in the portal



AddF - Archiv der deutschen Frauenbewegung
Forschungsinstitut und Dokumentationszentrum
Gottschalkstraße 57 / D – 34127 Kassel

Phone: 0049-(0)561-9893670