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Universitätsbibliothek Mainz

Competence Center for University History

More than 1.2 kilometers of documents, about 12,000 photos, over 1,000 posters, plans, and objects relating to the history of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) are waiting for you …

What Do the University Archives Actually Do?

Logo Universitätsarchiv
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As the Competence Center for University History, the University Archives document the history of JGU since it was founded in 1946. We preserve and make available the archival documents, digital and analog, of all JGU institutions and facilities. This includes, for example, student records, appointment procedures, Senate minutes, but also documents of the General Student Committee (Allgemeiner Studierendenausschuss, AStA).

In addition, we collect documents that are important for Mainz University’s history, such as posters and leaflets or estates of Mainz professors. By doing so, we purposefully create a tradition that depicts academic life at JGU in its entirety.

In order to secure the collection’s growth for the future, we advise JGU institutions in advance on records management and on the introduction of specialist digital applications.

Our archival material is generally available to anyone interested. The collections were actively used as part of the volume on the 75-year history of Mainz University, among other things.

Founding Phase 1946—1973

After examining the university records available in 1950, done by historian Professor Theodor Schieffer, establishing a university archive was initially postponed because there were not enough documents of sufficient archival value.

In 1954, an archives commission was established, which included not only the Rector and two professors with an archival background, but also Georg Wilhelm Sante, head of the Wiesbaden State Archives. On 15 May 1956, the archives commission passed a ruling to establish the University Archives and put Sante in charge of the project. However, it was only gradually possible to acquire the first records and to find a suitable space to house the archive. The first continuous study of Mainz university history was carried out in the 1960s by Helmut Mathy (1934—2008).


Interim Archives Management 1973—1981

In 1973, in cooperation with the State Archives Administration (Landesarchivverwaltung) in Koblenz, binding guidelines for working in the archives were established for the first time. In organizational terms, the archives became part of the university’s central administration.

Dr. Krüger from the State Central Archives took over management of the archive and worked in the University Archives for one to two days a week. Under Dr. Krüger, stocks grew significantly. He was the first to structure the archives’ collection and he created the first inventories.


First Full-time Chief Archivist 1981—2012

In 1981 Dr. Jürgen Siggemann took up his duties at the University Archives as the first full-time chief archivist. In the same year, the archives, along with the office and stacks, moved to Duesbergweg in the western part of the campus. Under the presidency of future archives advisory board member Professor Harder, the archives were placed directly under the President’s authority.

The year 1984 brought the archives the opportunity to host the spring meeting of Specialist Group 8 of the Association of German Archivists, which gathers together colleagues from universities and scientific institutions.

In 1985, an archives advisory board was established to provide scientific advice and organizational support to archives management.

A turning point took place when the archives moved again, this time to the main building at Forum 2. The archives management had turned to the university management for help because the single office was too cramped, especially as it also served as a reading room for archive users.

In 1994, the archive once again hosted a meeting for Specialist Group 8, this time on a larger scale, including East German colleagues. In 2012, Dr. Siggemann retired for reasons of age.


The Archive as a Department of the University Library since 2012

With Dr. Christian George accepting the role of chief archivist, the archives were integrated into the University Library as a department in 2012.

The chief archivist’s office moved to the Central Library. The storerooms were moved to the House of Law and Economics II and SB II in the summer of 2013. The holdings have now grown to 1,200 meters of documents and a large part of the indexing information is available for online research in Archivportal D. Various digitization projects have also been implemented.

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Take a look behind the scenes of our archives and find out what to expect as part of an internship with us.

What Can You Find in the University Archives?

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Documents on almost all questions relating to the history of JGU since 1946 can be found in the University Archives.

An overview of the archives’ holdings can be found in our inventory overview or by carrying out a search in Archivportal D. Since not all collections are available online yet, we would be happy to advise you personally on other available archival documents. Please get in touch.

Which digital documents can you find in the archives?

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With the support of the Digitization and Photo Documentation Service Center, the University Archives are continuously digitizing their holdings. We are happy to provide digital copies of our photos, audio documents, posters, or selected university magazines upon request.

We have made all JGU course catalogs from 1946 onwards available for you at Gutenberg Open. Further digital collections regarding the history of Mainz University can be found on the Gutenberg Capture platform.

Gutenberg Biographics offers a first introduction to researching people.

How can I use the University Archives?

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The University Archives are open to all JGU students and employees, as well as to anyone else interested. In general, all documents that are older than 30 years can be used without restrictions. Special rules apply to personal documents.

We have compiled further information on using the University Archives for you.

Everything you always wanted to know about the history of Mainz University …

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Together with the University History Research Network, the University Archives, as the University History Competence Center, is the first point of contact for all questions about the history of JGU. From digitized sources and the university’s timeline to information on important figures, literature references and blog posts, we have put together a variety of information to help you with research or simply to browse.

From File Submission to Retention Periods

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The University Archives are a service provider for all university institutions. We are happy to advise you on any questions you may have regarding document management and the handling of analog and digital documents that are no longer required.

Basement Full? We Can Help! This is how your data gets into the archives.

How to Find Us

University Archives
Central Library, Ground Floor, Room 00-233
Jakob-Welder-Weg 6
55128 Mainz




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