Archival Research and Trips Abroad

Visiting Archives

You may find that at some point you need to make a trip to access archive resources abroad, particularly if your topic is not immediately contemporary or in an area in which your faculty or department specializes. This is the kind of extra expense for which you may well be able to get some supplementary funding. A few things to consider:

  • If you know you will have to use the archives at some point in your studies, it is a good idea to go early and get an overview of what’s there. It also makes a lot of sense to contact the archive before you go to check what material they have available, how easy it is to access, what documentation you need to bring. If they are expecting you, it also makes the whole thing easier (and less daunting) when you arrive.
  • If possible, ask someone who has been to the archive before to give you an idea of the procedures - some of the bureaucracy involved can be mind-boggling and advice on negotiating the system invaluable.
  • Photocopying in archives can cost a fortune. Having a laptop with you will help enormously!
  • Depending on the material you are looking at, there might be privacy and copyright issues you will need to deal with (notably if you are looking at private correspondence). These should be made clear to you before you get access to the material and might include needing to seek permission from letter-writers or their family and a ban on direct quotations. Be aware that submitting a thesis for examination counts as publication.

 

Archives in Germany/Austria/Switzerland

Here are some of the most popular archives:

 

Research and Study Abroad

It may be appropriate to spend some time studying abroad during your PhD. Funding is provided by the following organizations (amongst others):

  • The DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) offers a range of different scholarships for study in Germany:

http://www.daad.org.uk/en/12703/index.html
http://www.daad.de/deutschland/foerderung/stipendiendatenbank/00462.de.html

  • The BCCG (British Chamber of Commerce in Germany) Foundation offers financial support and partial scholarships to young British nationals for study or research in Germany, and to German citizens for awards for study or research in the UK: www.bccg.de