In 1989 Frankfurt’s former City Archives were the first municipal archives in Germany to create their own Archive Education Unit. Prof. Wolfgang Klötzer, then director of the City Archives, and archive educationist Ingrid Röschlau commented as follows in their manifesto “From Secret Archives to Local History for All”: “City archives need to be visible in the public domain and must feature quite naturally among the cultural facilities offered by a city. [...] They must ensure an attractive presentation of their second special quality, i.e. functioning as a collection venue for original and authentic documents that bear witness to several centuries of local history and which enrich the cultural life of the city.”
The Institute for the History of Frankfurt meets this brief through intensive PR work, and also through archive education with core offerings aimed at teachers, students and other groups. Our educational facilities include, for instance, guided tours designed to reduce psychological barriers against using archives. Such a tour illustrates the work of archives and how it relates to the students’ lives. A starting point can be a school, some well-known celebrity or indeed a person’s housing estate or a club or society to which they belong.
We can offer a number of ready-made modules which comprise original sources, working copies, questions and assignments with relevance to topics that feature on German school curricula, e.g. the Paulskirche Assembly and World War II. Furthermore, the Institute provides supplementary materials on a range of topics that may be of interest. Teachers are welcome to view this material on a preliminary visit and to select whatever is helpful in defining suitable assignments for their students on specific topics. The main target group is students aged 14+. However, our archives are also visited by primary school classes aged 8+ in cases where teachers want to give some teaching on Frankfurt or where they want give their students an introduction to history as a school subject.
In addition, the Institute supports projects such as participation in history competitions, e.g. the German Federal President’s Award of the Körber Foundation.
The archives of our Institute are open for educational visits on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 09:00 to 12:30 hrs. If you wish to book a visit, we recommend that you do so at least two weeks in advance.
If you are a teacher, please feel free to join our email list for teachers, so that you can receive information on special events that may be of relevance to your work.