Access Regulations

The Academy Archives holdings are open to the public free of charge, in particular for scholarly, private or press research. The materials in the Archives and the library holdings are made available in the Reading Rooms at the locations where they are held. You will need to make a prior appointment to use the Reading Room. When you arrive at the Academy Archives, you first need to register in the visitors’ book at reception. You also need to complete and submit a reader application form, preferably in advance. Your signature confirms that you give your informed and active consent to comply with the Access Regulations of the Academy Archives and, as such, is legally binding.
It is not permitted to bring jackets, coats, bags (including laptop bags and handbags), briefcases, backpacks, suitcases, umbrellas, etc. into the Reading Rooms. These must be stored in one of the lockers provided.
Mobile phones are not allowed either in the Audio Rooms or Reading Rooms; photography and filming in these rooms is forbidden.
Food and drink are not allowed in the Reading Rooms or Audio Rooms. There is a seating area provided outside where readers may eat and drink.
No archival materials may be taken out of the Reading Rooms. The staff are entitled to examine the working papers and materials that readers wish to take into the Reading Rooms.
The building is monitored with a CCTV surveillance system.
Readers contravening these Access Regulations can be banned from the Academy Archives for a limited period or permanently.

  1. All those visiting any of the Reading Rooms for the first time must complete a reader registration form and show a government-issued photo ID or passport. Readers have to enter their names in the visitors’ book at reception each time they visit the Archives.

  2. To view archival materials, written details on the item(s) and purpose of use have to be included on the reader registration form. If the items are then required for a new or altered topic, a new request has to be submitted.

  3. All reader registrations expire at the end of the current calendar year and have to be renewed.
    1. The permission granted by the Academy Archives to allow access to archival materials may be revoked or refused in part or in full, or only granted under specific conditions, where this is required by:
      - copyright, personal and data privacy laws
      - inventory and contract files, the condition of the materials
      - the need to process the materials (primarily applies to unprocessed holdings)
      - or where the purpose of the research can be achieved by access to publications, reproductions or microfilm already available. In general, where copies of archival material already exist, readers will be provided with access to these copies. In certain cases, access to materials in the Archives may also be restricted if, for example, a contract has already been concluded for the publication of the materials or they are needed for the Academy Archives’ own scholarly, press or exhibition projects.

    2. The Academy Historical Archives operates a closure period of thirty years for its case files. With the Akademie der Künste’s permission, this closure period may be shorter.

    3. To view the archival materials, readers must complete the order slip provided. An order slip must be completed for each individual archival item requested. Archival materials may be requested on working days at 10am and 1pm. Some of our holdings are kept in external storage and items from these storage facilities are only collected two days a week (Mondays and Wednesdays). Please note that in such cases there may be a delay in providing the material requested.

    4. To ensure full monitoring of the completeness of the materials when they are returned, only a limited number of archival materials will be released at any given time. When readers are provided with the materials, they are responsible for ensuring the items are all complete and undamaged. The documents are to be treated with due care and kept in their numbered sequence in the files. Archival documents are irreplaceable and must be treated with respect. Do not place writing materials or other objects on them, lean on them or use them as a desk pad for writing on. Readers are responsible for all items issued to them and for any damage caused while the items are in their care. Such damage expressly includes defacing the materials, for example, by markings or underlinings. Readers are asked to ensure that there are no signs of damage to the materials on receipt, and inform staff immediately of any damage noted.

    5. The last requests to view materials already ordered are accepted half an hour before the Reading Rooms close. Materials have to be returned at the latest by 15 minutes before the Reading Rooms close.

    6. Readers are entitled to make extracts and notes from the archival materials with the exception of those materials subject to restrictions for contractual reasons or for the reasons listed under 1.

    7. When using the materials, readers must follow instructions given by Reading Room staff and the supervising Archivist on how to treat the materials.

    8. You are not permitted to use your own devices to make reproductions of the materials (scanners, cameras, desktop copiers, recording devices, etc.)

    9. The materials ordered will be available for up to two weeks


    10. Reproductions

      10.1 Reproductions from archive materials always require special permission.

      10.2 Only in exceptional cases will authorization be given for the reproduction of individual items. Reproductions are normally restricted to 20 copies per User/theme.The costs are set according to the fee regulations of the Archive of the Akademie.

      10.3. Copies are uniquely for personal use and for the declared purpose. It is not permitted to make any kind of copies from provided reproductions or to pass them on to third parties.

      10.4. Reasons stated under 1. may lead to the refusal of reproduction permission. Furthermore, no copies will be made from copies of archive materials found in the archive but originating from archives and institutions other than the Akademie der Künste.

    11. Publications

      11.1. When using archive materials, the User is committed to respect copyright, publishers, and personality rights. The Akademie der Künste will not be responsible for any infringement of these rights by the User. For the reproduction of unpublished materials, authorization in writing must be obtained from the archive, the copyright, and personality rights holders.

      11.2. In publications, the source of the archive materials must be quoted as follows: Akademie der Künste (AdK for short), Berlin, Heinrich-Mann-Archiv, no. 420
      Akademie der Künste (AdK for short), Berlin, Kunstsammlung, inventory number. Heartfield 421

      11.3. Audio-visual materials from the archive are only on hire for publishing. Conditions of loan and use conform to the General Terms of Contract of the Archive of the Akademie der Künste.

      11.4. The Archive of the Akademie der Künste requests one specimen copy of any publication exploiting materials related to a consultation of the Archive. This also applies to exam-, diploma-, and master papers, PhDs, catalogues, and audio-visual productions.

    12. Loan for Exhibition Purposes

      There is no legitimate claim to the loan of archive or collection materials for the purpose of exhibition. A loan is dependent on the condition of the material, must be effectively protected from loss, damage, and unauthorized use, and be adequately insured. Applications to borrow materials must be submitted to the Management of the Akademie der Künste at least six months prior to the desired date. Details are regulated in the Loan Contract.

The Akademie der Künste Library (Academy Library) is a library for academic purposes and scholarly research.
Only those readers registered as resident in Berlin may borrow items for use outside the library. With some restrictions, the library is part of the national and international interlibrary loan system.

The holdings of the reference library and Reading Rooms, the special collections and journals can only be accessed in the Reading Rooms. This applies equally to those books whose condition restricts their use solely to the Reading Rooms, as well as to rare and irreplaceable books requiring special care (e.g. art prints, manuscripts, etc) and the holdings from bequest collections.

Most of our books are presently kept in external storage facilities only accessible three days a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays). As a result, the retrieval times may well involve a delay in providing the materials requested.
The loan period is four weeks, and your loans can be renewed a maximum of two times provided they are not reserved by another reader. The Visitor Services and library are entitled to request the return of books taken out on loan. Fines are charged on overdue items at the rate of €0.50 for the first week per item, and €1.00 per item for every further week. The materials borrowed may not be passed on to third parties. In the case of lost or damaged items, the borrower is responsible for paying the full value of the replacement.

Download the Access Regulations here

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