The archives

The archives of the French Church in Berlin

The archives of the French Church in Berlin

The archives of the French Church in Berlin are home to the memory of many former and still extant Reformed parishes. Since the mid-1990s, they have been developed as the central archives of the Reformed community of EKBO and are available for academic research.

The archives have always been located in close proximity to the administration of the French Church in Berlin. Until 1874, the principal administrative headquarters were at Niederlagstraße 1 – 2, with the French grammar school and theological seminary. In 1872, the site was surrendered to the crown prince, later Kaiser Frederick III (the 99-day Kaiser) for the construction of his palace. The archive location then moved several times before being placed in the refurbished premises in the French Cathedral (tower) in 1929.

On 24th June 1944, the French Cathedral was badly damaged by incendiary bombs. Part of the archives was destroyed, as no evacuation had taken place beforehand. However, important elements such as the minute books of the Church, Church registers and the files of most social institutions survived. This existing collection of old files corresponds to the files on Huguenot history in Brandenburg-Prussia (judicial matters, appointments of the clergy, physicians, cantors and teachers as well as all collections of files concerning Huguenot settlement), which were originally also located in the old consistorial building and have been stored in the secret state archives of Prussian cultural heritage since 1846.

Since the 1980s, collections of old files and Church registers of the French Reformed parishes of Battin, Bergholz, Gramzow, Potsdam and Strasburg (Uckermark) have been incorporated into the archives. In the 1990s, the archive collections received from the French Reformed parishes of Groß Ziethen, Schwedt and Angermünde as well as the collections of the Reformed parishes of Brandenburg, Berlin-Bethlehem, Berlin-Köpenick, Hohenbruch and Prenzlau were adopted into the archives. The Church registers of the parishes were filmed in 1994 and can be viewed in the state Church archive of EKBO. The originals are sealed.