Although the oldest historical architectural materials in the Archives date from the late eighteenth century when the Akademie der Künste became established as an educational institution for architecture, the largest section of the collection is dedicated to the twentieth century. The Archives’ personal papers, estates and collections from architects, engineers, landscape architects, theoreticians and photographers document architectural projects not only in Berlin, but across Germany and internationally. The holdings also focus particularly on archives of architects who emigrated during the Nazi period. After the inclusion of important holdings from the GDR after the Wall came down in 1989, the Archives can also now document post-war developments in architecture in East Germany. Thanks to regular donations of personal papers and collections from leading contemporary architects, the Archives can also trace architectural history as it is created in innovative approaches today.
The publication Architecture in Archives provides a comprehensive overview of the archives of architects, engineers, landscape architects, architectural photographers and critics that have been preserved in the Architectural Archives of the Akademie der Künste.
At present, the Architectural Archives comprises 71 archives and 80 collections with around 350,000 plans and drawings, approx. 100,000 photos, a kilometre of written material and 450 models. The archival materials can be viewed in the Reading Room.