I’m a little astounded to learn that the Historische Archiv der Stadt Koeln (Municipal Archives of the City of Cologne) simply collapsed yesterday, perhaps due to subway construction in the area.  From the photographs, it looks like the front of quarter caved in (it is a square with a courtyard in the middle).  To the right of the courtyard is where the reading room is.  The collapsed part held, on the ground floor, the entryway, reception area and lockers–not necessarily a lot of people.  But I don’t know where the files are physically.

The archive was unique–very different from other municipal archives I’ve visited.  In my work I found records concerning Germany’s early nationalist movement (particularly the correspondence of the Reichenspergers), documents on the Catholic Democratic movement, and of course, the mayoralty of Adenauer.  From what I can tell, the losses  may not be extensive: copies of documents were held in another location in the Black Forest.  However, it seems that Heinrich Boell’s papers were just purchased.

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