The archives of the German National Library of Economics contain the press records of the former Welt-Wirtschafts-Archiv (Archive of International Economics) Hamburg and of the former Economic Archives of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy from the early 20th century to 2005. These include press articles, business reports, commemorative publications and other material on individuals, products and product groups, companies and other entities, as well as on issues relating to the world economy in general.
The press archive is now part of the National Library of Economics and is one of Europe’s largest publicly accessible press archives on Economics and Social Policy.
The Welt-Wirtschafts-Archiv Hamburg was founded in 1908 as the central research facility of the Colonial Institute Hamburg. Initially, its mission was to provide industry, science, media, and public administrators with information on economic and social developments, particularly of countries overseas.
After the First World War, the archive became independent and started to expand its collection profile from its initial focus on the German colonies and other overseas countries to global economic, political and social issues.
The written holdings partly consist of paper records, but from the 1960s, they were largely secured on media such as microfiche or roll film (during which the originals were subject to retention and destruction review). Due to this media discontinuity, the volume of the collection can only be estimated. There are between 17 and 20 million items, whereby it is unclear whether ‘items’ refer to articles, documents or pages.
The “Pressemappe 20. Jahrhundert” (20th century press kit), which is available online, contains approximately 250,000 documents on individuals and companies.
All files that have been processed so far can be viewed on the portal “Pressemappe 20. Jahrhundert”, including the country and product archive.