The Federal Archives make digitised documents available on the website Amtsdruckschriften, in particular official publications and texts on historical topics. The most frequently used source materials from the Federal Archives include Federal Council minutes and the Federal Gazette.
All the documents at Amtsdruckschriften can be read directly as text on the website. Scans of the original documents are also available in PDF format. Full text searches are possible in both. The text view on the website has been generated automatically and may in exceptional cases contain errors. It is therefore always advisable to cite the scans of the originals.
The following document types can be found at Amtsdruckschriften:
- Federal Gazette: The Confederation publishes materials such as Federal Council reports, constitutional or legislative changes and dispatches on popular votes in chronological order in the Federal Gazette. It appears weekly and is available online for the period 1849–2008. More recent issues can be found on the official Bundesblatt website.
- Official Compilation and Revised Compilation: Together with the Revised Compilation, the Official Compilation (AS) offers an overview of the published enactments of the Confederation that entered into force between 1948 and 1998. They include the Federal Constitution, federal acts, federal decrees, ordinances, international treaties and agreements between the Confederation and the cantons The Official Compilation has been online on the Federal Chancellery website since 1998.
The Revised Compilation brings together the federal legislation in force on 1 January 1948. Comprising 15 volumes, it was the first to categorise the current enactments of the Confederation systematically by topic.
- Administrative Case Law of the Federal Authorities: Administrative Case Law of the Federal Authorities (ACLFA) published texts on constitutional and administrative law: decisions of appeals and arbitration commissions, legal opinions, leading decisions of the Federal Council (FC) and the Federal Administration, as well as FC reports that were not published in the Federal Gazette. ACLFA ceased publication on 1 January 2018. Today, guidelines and other aids to the interpretation of federal law are normally published on the websites of the departments and offices.
- Official Bulletin, minutes, directory and summary of the proceedings of the Federal Assembly: The Official Bulletin publishes the debates of the National Council and Council of States since 1891. Until 1970, it was limited to publishing council proceedings on decrees that may be subject to a referendum. It only records the actual minutes from 1971 onwards. However, the Federal Archives hold the minutes of Parliament since 1921, which were not originally intended for publication. These can also be consulted at Amtsdruckschriften.
The directory and summary of the proceedings of the Federal Assemblies are also useful for research in many cases. The most recent issues of the Official Bulletin (from 2000 onwards) are available on the website of the Official Bulletin.
- Annual report of the Federal Council: The Federal Council has published an annual report every year since 1848. It has changed markedly over time. Initially, it contained a simple description of the federal government’s activities; now it is a control tool for the Federal Council’s objectives. The Federal Chancellery website contains the issues from 1996 onwards as well as the current issue.
- Minutes of the Federal Council: The minutes of the Federal Council (1848–1963) document its decisions. The “Minutes of the Federal Council (1848–1963)” page allows full-text searches of the handwritten minutes from 1848 to 1903 and the typewritten minutes up to 1963. In total, the “Minutes of the Federal Council (1848–1963)” page provides access to over 14,500 sets of minutes. The minutes, along with a thematic register for each year in PDF format, are available on the Amtsdruckschriften (official publications) website. There is a separate register on the construction of the Gotthard Railway (1873–1882).
- Accounts and federal budget: The government accounts and federal budget for 1849–2006 offer an extensive and copiously annotated overview of the federal government’s finances. The most recent issues are available on the Federal Department of Finance website.
- Federal Directory: The issues of the Federal Directory provide an overview of the organisation of the Confederation between 1849 and 2000. They also include the courts, the Swiss National Bank, the public sector insurer SUVA, the Swiss Post Office and Swiss Federal Railways. The current version of the Federal Diretory can be found on the Federal Chancellery website.
- Actensammlung der Helvetischen Republik (ASHR): The ASHR is an edition of files from the Central Archive of the Helvetic Republic (1798–1803). The 16 volumes were published between 1886 and 1966 and are divided into a political series (vols. 1 to 10) and a cultural history series (vols. 11 to 16). The first ten volumes cover the legislation of the Helvetic Republic in chronological order, while the second series focuses on social, societal, economic and religious topics.
Today, the digitised ASHR allows researchers to conduct precise searches in the Central Archive of the Helvetic Republic (fonds B0). Contextual information and commentaries were published in German. The individual sources are in their original language.
- Other: The “Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland (Dodis)” file publication for the years 1848–1946 (vols. 1–15) can be accessed on the Amtsdruckschriften website. The most recent volumes and an extensive database on Switzerland’s foreign relations can be found on the Dodis portal.
Published by the National Archives between 1975 and 2005, “Studies and Sources” examines issues of Swiss history and provides information on the fonds of the Federal Archives.
Last modification 23.01.2023