Amendment to Bundesarchivgesetz (Law of the German Federal Archives) entered into force

On 16 March 2017 the „Law on the Use and Preservation of Federal Archival Documents“ (BArchG) from 10 March 2017 (BGBl. I S. 410) entered into force.

This amendment restructured and updated the law from 1988 to adapt to the needs of the information society and to be more user-friendly. This means the research in Federal Archival Documents becomes a little easier for genealogists.

Significant innovations are:

  • For person-related documents that are older than 30 years the period of protection is reduced to ten years after the death of the person. If the year of death can’t be identified or only under disproportionate efforts, the period of protection ends 100 years after the birth of a person. If even the date of birth can’t be identified, the protection ends 60 years after the documents were created.
  • The person-related period of protection doesn’t apply for officials in the exercise of their duties and persons of contemporary society, as long as their private life isn’t affected.
  • Public institutions of the federal state that have to offer their records to the Federal Archives can agree to resign their participation in the procedure of reduction of the period of protection.
  • The right to obtain information about federal archives material on oneself upon request, is entitled to relatives after the death of the concerned person, if they have a legitimate interest and the concerned person hasn’t left other instructions behind.
04/07/2017 created by Andrea Bentschneider

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