The Deutsches Technikmuseum’s Historical Archive boasts over 7.5 kilometers of shelf space, making it one of the largest specialized archives at any museum in the German-speaking world. The Archive collects and preserves valuable archival sources of great historical significance, such as official documents, institutional records, letter collections, and account books relating to the history of technology, business, and society. In addition, there is a photo archive containing more than a million photographs and negatives. The collection was formed in 1984, its core composed of the archives of the Fördererein (Museum Friends’ Association) and earlier museums of technology in Berlin. Of special note are the collections of the Verkehrs- und Baumuseum (Transport and Civil Engineering Museum), formerly located in the old Hamburger Bahnhof train station, and the Institut und Museum für Meereskunde (Institute and Museum of Oceanography). Since then it has become home to over 125 archives from companies and organizations from industry, commerce, and trade, as well as more than 400 collections of papers and materials from important figures in the natural sciences and engineering, technology, and transportation.
Among the company archives preserved in our collection – including historic names like A. Borsig GmbH, Meierei C. Bolle, L. Schwartzkopff, RAW Warschauer Straße, Teltowkanal AG, and Zündapp GmbH – the AEG-Telefunken archive enjoys pride of place. Occupying about 1.2 kilometers of shelf space, some of it devoted to photographs and movies, it documents the eventful history of one of Germany’s biggest electrical engineering companies. In addition, the Historical Archive has many important collections of personal papers and materials, such as those belonging to radio and television pioneer Gerhard Goebel, locomotive designer Adolf Giesl-Gieslingen, and the unparalleled collections of aviation historians Peter M. Grosz, Arthur Schreiber, and Willy Stiasny.
These holdings are complemented by extensive special collections of travel brochures, passenger tickets, postcards, and other ephemera. Of particular importance is the collection of blueprints and maps, containing 5,000 technical drawings from the realm of mechanical and civil engineering as well as 30,000 maps and nautical charts.