As regulated in § 8 of the Berlin Archives Act (Archivgesetzes des Landes Berlin), archival materials may be subject to general or particular terms of protection, and usage may be limited as a result. If you wish to view such archival materials, please submit an application for a reduction of the term of protection and send us the fully completed application.
Application for use of archival materials protected by a fixed term [PDF format]
Different terms of protection may apply to archival materials.
The general term of protection applies regardless of the content of the archival materials. It amounts to 10 years after the intake of files according to § 8 Abs. 2 ArchGB. For archival materials with content dealing in essence with a natural person (materials dealing with personal data [personenbezogenes Archivgut]), a term of 10 years after the death or 100 years after the birth of the person in question applies according to § 8 Abs. 3 ArchGB. If the date of birth is not known to the archive, the term of protection ends 70 years after the genesis of the records. Terms of protection do not apply to use by the people in question or their relatives.
For records that are subject to particular confidentiality requirements (for example, VS classified, credit confidentiality, professional confidentiality, patient confidentiality, client confidentiality, etc.), the term of protection is 30 years after their genesis according to § 8 Abs. 2 ArchGB.
Under certain circumstances, terms of protection of all three types can be reduced. A reduction of the term of protection constitutes a formal procedure in the sense of the Administrative Procedures Act (Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetzes), requiring written form.
Please send the fully completed application for reduction of the term of protection to the Landesarchiv Berlin. You will receive a written decision after processing. In general, this decision will lay out restrictions ensuring that the protection-worthy interests of the person in question will not be compromised by the reduction. This decision is valid for the duration of your undertaking.