Bavarian Main State Archive
The Bavarian Main State Archive was formed in 1921 by merging three key archives which had been founded in Munich in 1799 - namely the General Imperial Archive (Allgemeines Reichsarchiv), the Secret State Archive (Geheimes Staatsarchiv), and the Secret Family Archive (Geheimes Hausarchiv) - and the former District Archive of Munich (today’s Munich State Archive). After the end of World War II the records of the War Archive maintaining the heritage of the Bavarian army were affiliated to the Bavarian Main State Archive.
The administrative decree on the structure of State Archives in Bavaria issued on May 28, 1990 (GVBl, p. 175) states that the Bavarian Main State Archive is responsible for "maintaining the records of state authorities concerned with state wide affairs." The Bavarian Main State Archive being the centralized archive for the Duchy, Electorate, Kingdom, and Free State of Bavaria, it is specifically responsible for maintaining:
- Records of the former central archives and state authorities of the Electorate of Bavaria and the Duchy of Palatinate-Neuburg; the heritage of the Electoral Palatinate and the Palatinate-Zweibrücken, as far as it remained in Bavarian possession; the archives of clerical and secular institutions of the Bavarian Circle (excluding the Upper Palatinate) the Bavarian state took over in the course of secularization and mediatization in the early 19th century. (Department I, Older Records)
- Records of Bavarian state ministries and other authorities responsible for the complete state territory after 1800. (Department II, More Recent Records)
- Mixed records segmented in thematic subdivisions and mainly inherited from central authorities of the Electorate and Kingdom of Bavaria on the history of the Wittelsbach dynasty and records donated by members of the Wittelsbach family themselves. (Department III, Secret Family Archive)
- Records of the former Bavarian army from the 17th century up to 1919. (Department IV, War Archive)
- Records of statutory corporations, institutions and foundations without an own repository and complementary non-state records for public records, such as political bequests, association records and collections of posters, pamphlets, prints and the like (Department V, Bequests and Collections).
According to the 1990 structure decree, the Bavarian Main State Archive is furthermore responsible for important technical issues. At present these comprise the practical execution of a comprehensive repography including the creation of backup copies on microfilm for record protection and preservation as well as record conservation and restoration.