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The Stasi Records Archive

The archives are responsible for safekeeping, utilization and accessibility of all records of the Ministry of State Security. In addition to written documents, the archives also contain a large amount of stored audio-visual material.

In addition to written documents, the archive also contains a large amount of stored audio-visual material such as photos, slides, film and sound recordings. The documents consist of existing files that the State Security Service had archived earlier as well as material that the MfS was using in its service units just prior to the Peaceful Revolution in 1989/90.

111

kilometres of documents are in the Stasi Records Archives. A total of almost 50 kilometres of material is held in the Berlin archive of BStU’s central office.

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Inventory Information

The inventory overview provides an initial overview of the content, scope and usability of the records of the Ministry of State Security (MfS) held in the BStU headquarters. It is of a provisional nature since file indexing is not yet complete. The MfS holdings are essentially divided into partial holdings of the various service units and the archival holdings.

The records were and continue to be indexed under unusual conditions. The archival material is in constant use during the phase of indexing. Only a very small amount of the records are disposed of. An archival evaluation of the records has yet to be conducted.

Read more about our Inventory Informaton.

Visit the Archive: "Access to secrecy"

Come and visit our brand new exhibition "Access to secrecy." Experience an oversized „walk-in file“ and have a look at an original index card paternoster. The exhibitions opens daily in Berlin-Lichtenberg. You can also see the exhibition with a guided tour.

Access to secrecy. exhibition and archive tour (60 minutes)

How did information storage work for the Stasi? What meaning do Stasi records have for examining and coming to terms with the East German dictatorship? How are the records kept today, and how are they accessible? The tour includes a visit to the archive with original Stasi-records.

For more information please read "Access to Secrecy"

A recreated pile of files is in the centre of one of the exhibition rooms. In the background you see a woman with a child who use the touchscreen.