Written petition

The petition is addressed to and submitted to the archive possessing the relevant material. It is often advisable to contact said archive in advance to ensure that the petition contains all the relevant information. This simplifies the processing of the petition.

The petition must:

  • indicate as accurately as possible which records you wish to see
  • if applying on the grounds of a party’s right to inspect, the petitioner’s connection to the relevant case must be explained
  • researchers must indicate their profession or provide other documentation of their research expertise
  • students must attach a confirmation letter from their academic advisor

In the context of a party’s right to inspect, the petition may be decided by the archive possessing the material.


In cases of access for research purposes, the case must always be brought before the Director General of the National Archives for a decision. If the case concerns data located in a regional state archive, the Regional Director submits his or her recommendation to the Director General.

As a general rule, access to a certain set of confidential data is granted for a limited period, e.g. for three years. It is then assumed that the relevant project will be completed within the given time frame. If the task takes longer, a petition for renewal must be submitted.

Assurance of confidentiality

Any person granted access to confidential information is required to sign a special statement. This document states that the undersigned is aware of being bound by an assurance of confidentiality in connection with being granted access to confidential data.


Denied petitions may always be appealed to the superior authority. Decisions made by the Director General are appealed to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.