As a rule, analogue documents from the Federal Archives can only be consulted in the reading rooms. However, digital reproductions of most dossiers can be obtained for a fee. Digital documents are normally supplied online. They may also be loaned out to external exhibitions on request.
Please note the following information about ordering documents from the Federal Archives:
Once you have registered you can use all the functions of our online services as well as additional local offerings when you visit the Federal Archives in person. Administrative bodies wishing to borrow their own documents should take note of the relevant terms and regulations (german).
There are three ways to order documents from the Federal Archives:
- Ordering direct via Swiss Archives, if you have been able to identify the dossier you are looking for there. Swiss Archives always displays a confirmation when an order has been successful.
For legal reasons, some parts of the archive database are not displayed online. However, if you know the exact dossier reference code (e.g. E2001#1982/58#408*) you can order direct in the shopping cart using the “Reference code” field, even if the dossiers you require are not listed at Swiss Archives.
- Searching and ordering in the local database in the Federal Archives reading rooms. This is the only place where you have access to the metadata of all described dossiers.
- Using the order form, if the dossier you are looking for has not yet been described and so cannot be searched for in the local database either.
Consulting analogue archive records in the reading rooms
If you pre-order analogue documents, your dossiers will be supplied ready for you on your requested date in the reading rooms; please note the opening hours.
- As a rule, twelve containers will be supplied per person and day.
- Orders received by 3 p.m. will normally be delivered within an hour.
- Delivery times for orders placed between 12 midday and 1 p.m. may be longer.
- Orders received after 3 p.m. or outside general opening hours are normally delivered within one hour of the time when the reading room next opens.
Digital reproductions or obtaining digital archive records
If you select the “Reproduction (digital)” option under “Delivery”, the Federal Archives will make the documents available to you digitally via a federal administration FTP web server. You can download the data onto your computer or onto a PC in our reading rooms. If the dossier is already available in digital form, your order will normally be processed in the same time needed for analogue archive records. If the dossier is only available in analogue form – e.g. on paper – the Federal Archives will produce a digital reproduction, which you will receive within 14 days.
A fee is normally charged for digital reproductions. For more information see the digital reproductions page. Where the documents are already in digital form, consulting the data via the FTP server or (where large data volumes are involved) in the reading rooms is free of charge.
In what form will I receive digital archive records?
- Standardised digital archive records (Dissemination Information Package, DIP)
The best way to consult a DIP is using our Package Handler tool, which displays the content, context and metadata of the dossiers. You can obtain Package Handler free of charge from our website.
- Non-standardised digital archive records
The files can be consulted using conventional software.
It is not normally possible to supply entire databases. In this case, we will therefore contact you to tell you how the data can be provided.
Last modification 23.11.2015