The Max Planck Society’s Archives predominantly take care of archival materials on contemporary history. These materials frequently include relatively “recent” documents. As a rule, the use of archival materials is subject to a retention period of 30 years following the origination of the documents. Moreover, further- reaching retention periods are prescribed in special cases. Individual personal archival materials may be viewed at the earliest 10 years after the death and/or 100 years after the birth of the person concerned.
The Archives may admit exceptions to these rules if a scientific purpose is specified or if legal interests are defended through the use of such materials and the interest worthy of protection of those concerned are adequately taken into account. Approval of a shortening of the retention period is given within the scope of the Application Form for Readers.
In the case of personal papers stored in the Archives as deposits, the Archives obtain the approval of the donator prior to using them. We require deeper knowledge of your research purpose to ensure uncomplicated processing.
You can find more detailed information under the Heading “Legal Foundations and Forms”.
fig.: Max Planck, probably during a lecture in Bonn 1947.