Access to Archive Records

Bestandessignatur Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv


The research project Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland (DDS) is an enterprise of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHAS). Accordingly, the members of the research group of the DDS are subjected to the same legal regulations as all researchers. Article 20 of the Federal Constitution of Switzerland guarantees academic freedom. As a researching enterprise, the current legal regulations allow the DDS to act completely independent in their choice of documents. The academic responsibility is carried by the director of the DDS. The research group of the DDS is committed to the code of ethics of the Swiss Society of History (SSH) and its principals of freedom of scientific and historical research.

Legal Basis

The access to the records in the Swiss Federal Archives is regulated in the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation by the Federal Act on Archiving (ArchA) of the 26th of June 1998. According to Article 9 (Principle of Freedom of Access and Period of Retention), the records are available to the public for free after a period of 30 years. Exceptions are recorded in Article 11 (Extended retention period for personal data) and Article 12 (Further restrictions on consultation). The records subjected to an extended retention period issued by the Federal Council in respect to Article 12 are published annually in Annex 3 (List of Archive Records with Extended Retention Periods) of the Ordinance to the Federal Act on Archiving (Archiving Ordinance). The research group of the DDS regularly submit requests for consultation according to Article 13 (Consultation during the retention period).

Conditions for Consultation

Consultation of records subjected to a retention period «may be made subject to conditions; in particular, it may be required that personal data be rendered anonymous», according to Article 13, paragraph 3 of the FAA. All documents from declassified records selected by the research group of the DDS could be published unedited and unrestricted in the volumes of the series 1945 and following as well as on

List of Classified Records

The following index contains the records that were not made accessible to the research group of the DDS by the responsible authority in the relevant department. The list is constantly updated

List of Classified Records.pdf

Updated: 1.12.2016

List of Records declassified at a later time

The research group of the DDS regularly resubmits requests for consultation for those records, they were not allowed to consult for legal reasons during their normal research process. The responsible authorities are thereby given the possibility to review the justifiability of the extended retention period. The index «List of Records in the Swiss Federal Archives declassified at a later time» contains the records that were declassified after the normal research process as well as the documents (Dodis-Nr.) subsequently published from these records. The list is constantly updated.

List of Records declassified at a later time.pdf

Updated: 1.6.2017