Guide to the Research Collections

- Public Documents

Public Documents

The strong collection of German public documents includes reprinted archives, diplomatic series, treatises, and similar materials. The file of the Weissbuch is complete, and other series, particularly those of reprinted documents, relating to World War I, are extensive.

Series national in scope are numerous and generally complete. The official gazette, Deutscher Reichs-und preussischer Staats-Anzeiger, begins in 1875 and continues to the outbreak of World War II, as does the Stenographische Berichte of the Reichstag (available on film from 1867-1937/38). The Verhandlungen des Bundesrats is essentially complete for the same period, as are publications of the various ministries of finance, posts and telegraphs, and the like, and the published reports of statistical bodies. Though some files of government publications are present for the years of World War II, coverage is uneven. There is a good representation of publications of the Control Council for all zones of Germany during the postwar period, including statutes and gazettes. The library currently receives publications of both the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). A larger proportion of materials comes from West Germany, with a strong representation of statistical publications. The official gazettes for both East and West Germany are complete.

Session laws, the Reichsgesetzblatt, are complete from 1871 to 1943. These are continued by the publications of the Control Council for the various zones of postwar Germany, and by the East German Gesetzblatt (1951-) and the West German Bundesgesetzblatt (1949-). Although the library has the standard works on the Nuremberg Trials, more extensive holdings of documents, records, and exhibits are to be found in the Columbia University International Law Library and the New York State Library at Albany.

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Of earlier materials, the collection contains such sets as the Stenographischer Bericht über die Verhandlungen der deutschen constitutirenden, Nationalversammlung zu Frankfurt am Main (1848-49).

For the North German Confederation, the library has a complete file of the session laws, the Bundesgesetzblatt, but its set of the Verhandlungen des Reichstages des Norddeutschen Bundes is incomplete. There are other important series.

Although holdings of the administrative documents, laws, and related materials of the German states are uneven, the collection as a whole is good. Some series are long, such as the Gazette of Hesse, or the Gesetz-Sammlung für die Königlichen Preussischen Staaten, which, commencing in 1810, continued until 1944. The collection is strongest for Baden, Prussia, Saxony, and Würtemberg.

The important collection of municipal documents includes some volumes of municipal statutes from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Municipal reports are numerous, series for the more important German cities being substantially complete with exceptions for the World War II and immediate postwar periods. In 1930 the library received as a gift a nearly complete set of publications for Bruchsal, Baden.