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Private archives

The private archives include archive materials of non-state origin. These documents come from private record-keepers, such as members of the public, families, associations, political parties and businesses.

Private archives

Main Division D primarily holds archival materials of non-state origin, including personal bequests, family archives and club, association and company archives. The individual sections include certain other categories of archival materials (e.g. the bequests section contains some lifetime bequests and the associations, companies and parties section also holds archives from foundations and associations). Please consult the additional information in the online inventory.

  • Main Division D in the archival tectonics in the online inventory

Accepting private donations of records

The State Archive may accept and preserve documents of non-state origin that are worth archiving provided the documents are of significance to the history of the Canton of Bern. If the State Archive receives an enquiry about this, in a first step it establishes whether the documents offered are potentially of interest. If this is the case, the documents are inspected and assessed with regard to their archival value. If it is decided to accept the documents, they must be put roughly into order and recorded in an inventory.

If the documents are of lasting value, the conditions for acceptance are regulated in an agreement. The State Archive only accepts documents of non-state origin that are of archival value as a gift (no deposits, i.e. long-term loans, no purchases of archival materials) and makes them available to the public. This means that all rights to the archival materials are assigned to the State Archive. The rules on inspecting archival materials are set out in the cantonal legislation. 

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