Our public archives also collect “unofficial” documents at varying levels of intensity. These collections feature, in particular, in our municipal archives where they form an important supplement to our other city heritage material. Such items are especially important in cases such as wartime destruction, where large volumes of material, extensive archival resources (e.g. the Frankfurt City Archives in World War II) or entire municipal archives have been lost. Modern historiography, too, is increasingly relying on material collected in our archives, so that our stocks are more than official files or bureaucratic perspectives, but items which form a basis for the formation of historical judgements.
For many decades now collections at the Institute for the History of Frankfurt have formed an important strand of the city’s heritage. The Collections Department has been substantially expanded and currently comprises the following domains (as of January 2016): Current Affairs (including a collection of newspaper cuttings), Personal Records, Topography & Maps, Estates, Photography, Audiovisual Media, Business Archives and Frankfurt Clubs and Societies. Our staff handle the indexing and use of the various domains, answer enquiries and actively acquire new items for our collections. A further area which is gaining in importance for our collections is digitisation.