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Regulations for the Use of the Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office

Section 1 Right of use

Records kept in the Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office (Section 10 of the Foreign Service Act of 30 August 1990, Federal Law Gazette I pp. 1842-1848) are freely accessible for use upon application in accordance with the provisions of the Act on the Protection and Use of Archive Material of the Federation (Federal Archives Act) of 6 January 1988, Federal Law Gazette I pp. 62-64, and with the present Regulations.

Section 2 Type of use

  1. Originals or copies of records may be presented for use, reproductions of records may be provided, or information on content given. The type of use shall be decided by the Federal Foreign Office.
  2. The original copies of international treaties, agreements and arrangements may not be used.
  3. Records which are required for official purposes or whose state of arrangement or repair precludes their presentation may be excluded from use temporarily.
  4. The Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office may be used for reference only; records may not be borrowed.

Section 3 Conditions for use

  1. Applications for use of the Political Archive must be made in writing to the Federal Foreign Office stating the exact subject, purpose, date and probable duration of the intended research. If requested to do so by the Federal Foreign Office, applicants shall be obliged to identify themselves and to show why they need to use the records, in particular by furnishing certificates. Applicants preparing dissertations are requested to submit confirmation from their academic supervisor. Foreign applicants should enclose a letter of introduction from their home country's diplomatic mission in the Federal Republic of Germany.
  2. A special application must be made if the applicant is to be accompanied by assistants. Such assistants shall be named in the application; paragraph 4 shall apply.
  3. The Federal Foreign Office shall decide on applications. Permission to use the Political Archive may be granted subject to conditions. Records may not be used until such written permission has been received.
  4. If required to do so by the Federal Foreign Office, applicants shall provide a written undertaking

    1. to observe the provisions of the Federal Archives Act and of the present Regulations, as well as the supplementary rules provided for under Section 7 of the present Regulations, and

    2. to observe privacy rights and copyrights, as well as interests of third parties warranting protection, when using information obtained from records, and, in the event of infringement of such rights, to absolve the Federal Foreign Office from all liability.
  5. The use of unofficial documents (e.g. estates, reports of events and experiences, documents from private sources, pictures) shall be subject to restrictions if and in so far as such have been agreed with the previous owner.
  6. If information gleaned from the records is used for subjects or purposes other than those stated in the original application, a new application must be made.

Section 4 Due care and attention

Users are obliged to leave the records in the reference rooms, to keep them in their proper order, and not to damage, alter or endanger them.

Section 5 Disqualification

If a user grossly infringes the provisions of the Federal Archives Act or of the present Regulations or the supplementary rules provided for in Section 7 of the present Regulations, he will be disqualified from using the Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office.

Section 6 Reproduction and publication of records

  1. Copies of records kept in the Political Archive are intended for the exclusive use of the person requesting them. They may not be passed on to third persons.
  2. Any verbatim publication of whole documents shall require the approval of the Federal Foreign Office.
  3. In the case of academic and journalistic use, a copy of each printed or otherwise reproduced publication for which material from the Political Archive has been used shall be transmitted to the Federal Foreign Office unsolicited and free of charge.

Section 7 Supplementary rules

The Federal Foreign Office shall be entitled to issue supplementary rules for implementing the present Regulations.

Section 8 Entry into force

These Regulations for the Use of the Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office shall enter into force on 1 January 1991.

Bonn, 5 December 1990

State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office
(sgd) Dr Sudhoff


Last updated 15.12.2009

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