900 years of the town history of Zwickau in old parchments, documents in the archive, newspapers, on sketches and plans, posters, photographs and picture postcards.
The history of a town archive is always tightly connected to the origin and development of the town, of which it preserves historically significant documents.
The earliest documentary certificate of Zwickau is dated from 1118. In the deed issued by bishop Dietrich von Naumburg in the monastery Bosau on the 1st May about the inauguration of a Marien church donated by Countess Berta von Groitzsch in the district Zwickau, the name is mentioned as “territorio zcwickaw”. The town Zwickau formed from the second half of the 12th century. The council of Zwickau mentioned since the end of the 13th century, did acts on behalf of the town. As a result a written tradition in form of deeds, contracts, letters and other documents gradually evolved. The oldest certificate of the archive of Zwickau dates back to the year 1273. The archive itself has been known since 1487 and therefore it is one of the oldest town archives in Saxony. Its particular significance is a result of the complexity and completeness of its stocks as well as the extensive inventory of archive materials on the history of the Reformation.
It also stores among others the correspondence of the town to Martin Luther and other reformers such as Philipp Melanchthon. In addition, the town archive possesses the biggest part of the written literary heritage of the master singer Hans Sachs. The book of municipal law of Zwickau from 1348 and a copy of the “Sachsenspiegel” from 1472 are considered as especially precious archive documents. The archive stores the official books on the operation of the council from 1375 onwards, journals of delegates from 1830 to 1990, numerous archive materials on the history of trade and industry and so on. It is responsible for protection and evaluation of documents of all kinds of the urban administration of Zwickau and all subordinated establishments and institutions. The resulting archive documents are stored, made accessible as regards both contents and utilization.
Overall, the town archive of Zwickau possesses more than 2,500 running metres of archival documents and extensive archive collections, among others there are 30,000 photographs and 3,000 picture postcards displaying the history of the town, 1,600 sketches and schemes, 6,000 posters as well as the newspapers of Zwickau from 1822 up to the present. The assets of the archive are available to the user in the original or on screening.
In the archive it is possible to make enquiries on genealogy, on national and regional history as well as on the town history. Copies are made of documents and job references as well as personal medical documents of the archives of patient records of the polyclinics before 1990.
Advice is given on matters of inheritance, matters of pensions as well as on cases of assets. The usage is subject of the archive and fee regulation scheme of the town Zwickau.
Since 2003 a magazine of the institution series “Cygnea” has annually been published by the town archive. The archive participates at the national days of archives and presents itself at the annual the Historic Market in Zwickau in September. It also appears in public with exhibitions and presentations.
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