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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The German registratur Miller, Thea 1997

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THE GERMAN REGISTRATUR  by  THEA MILLER B.A. ( H o n o u r s ) , T h e University of Calgary, 1973  A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARCHIVAL STUDIES  in T H E FACULTY OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES SCHOOL OF LIBRARY, ARCHIVAL A N D INFORMATION STUDIES  W e a c c e p t this thesis a s c o n f o r m i n g . t o t h e required s t a n d a r d  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  O c t o b e r 1997  © T h e a Miller 1997  In  presenting  degree freely  this  thesis  in partial  fulfilment  at the University  of British  Columbia,  available for reference  copying  of this  department publication  or  thesis  for scholarly  by his or  of this  and study.  thesis  of the requirements I agree  I further  purposes  gain  that  t h e Library shall permission  may be granted  her representatives.  for financial  agree  that  It  is  for an advanced  shall not be allowed  for extensive  by the head  understood  make it  that without  of my  copying  or  my written  permission.  Department  of  ^ c - U o o l ok~~ l^Dor&ry . A I T C 4 T A V A I a^u±> ^Yy^crrvv^Ad.ovx. Qx^*ic?>  The University of British Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  45  OctdAaix'  Columbia  AjpJ-  II  ABSTRACT  R e g i s t r a t u r is "the r e g u l a t e d p r o c e s s i n g of b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s in t h e f o r m of t h e d o c u m e n t s g e n e r a t e d by t h e s e matters". It is f u n d a m e n t a l f o r r e c o r d k e e p i n g a n d a r c h i v e s in G e r m a n y , b u t little u n d e r s t o o d o u t s i d e of t h e G e r m a n - s p e a k i n g w o r l d . T h i s lack of u n d e r s t a n d i n g c r e a t e s a barrier to t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of c o m m o n a p p r o a c h e s a n d international s t a n d a r d s , a n e c e s s a r y step t o w a r d s solving t h e p r o b l e m s w h i c h lie a h e a d f o r r e c o r d k e e p i n g a n d a r c h i v e s globally.  T h i s t h e s i s e x a m i n e s a n d e x p l a i n s t h e c o n c e p t of Registratur f r o m a series of p e r s p e c t i v e s s e t w i t h i n their g e n e r a l historical f r a m e w o r k : t h e m e d i e v a l G e r m a n r e c o r d k e e p i n g ; t h e P r u s s i a n state a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of t h e early 19th century; t h e c h a n g e s to r e c o r d k e e p i n g u n d e r t h e i n f l u e n c e of t h e Buroreform  a n d of later e v e n t s in p o s t - S e c o n d  W o r l d W a r G e r m a n y . T h e s t u d y of Registratur in P r u s s i a in t h e 19th c e n t u r y s h o w s t h a t this c o n c e p t w a s b a s e d o n t h e f o l l o w i n g e l e m e n t s : (1) file m a k i n g by b u s i n e s s matter, (2) registration, a n d (3) regulation of t h e b u s i n e s s p r o c e s s e s . A l t h o u g h t h e s e t h r e e e l e m e n t s w e r e only c o m b i n e d a n d b r o u g h t to perfection in t h e classical P r u s s i a n Registratur, early f o r m s of t h e m c a n b e s t u d i e d in t h e practices of m e d i e v a l r e c o r d k e e p i n g . Despite c o n s i d e r a b l e c h a n g e s b r o u g h t o n by t e c h n o l o g i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t a n d by t h e shifting role of g o v e r n m e n t , t h e f u n d a m e n t a l e l e m e n t s of t h e classical P r u s s i a n R e g i s t r a t u r h a v e r e m a i n e d intact in t h e m o d e r n G e r m a n Registratur, a l t h o u g h t h e P r u s s i a n m o d e l itself h a s d i s a p p e a r e d . T h e p e r s i s t e n c e of t h e s e e l e m e n t s is especially r e m a r k a b l e in light of t h e d r a m a t i c d e t e r i o r a t i o n of East G e r m a n r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices i m m e d i a t e l y f o l l o w i n g t h e w a r , a n d in v i e w of t h e p r e s s u r e s e x p e r i e n c e d by t h e a d o p t i o n of electronic d a t a  Ill  p r o c e s s i n g t e c h n o l o g i e s in t h e public administration. G e r m a n archivists, h a v i n g left R e g i s t r a t u r to t h e e x c l u s i v e responsibility of t h e registrars in t h e 17th a n d 18th c e n t u r i e s , r e d i s c o v e r e d t h e i m p o r t a n c e of Registratur in t h e late 19th c e n t u r y as their m u c h - l o v e d l i b r a r y - b a s e d s y s t e m s of archival a r r a n g e m e n t g r a d u a l l y c o l l a p s e d . T h i s d e v e l o p m e n t is d i s c u s s e d in t h e final chapter, f o l l o w i n g t h e e v o l u t i o n of t h e c o n c e p t of R e g i s t r a t u r in its historical c o n t e x t . T o d a y t h e "Principle of Registratur", w h i c h d e r i v e s f r o m t h e c o n c e p t , is t h e s t a n d a r d g u i d i n g principle f o r a r r a n g e m e n t a n d d e s c r i p t i o n .  T h e m o d e r n c o n c e p t of Registratur is g o i n g to be of g r e a t i m p o r t a n c e f o r solving t h e p r o b l e m s currently f a c i n g North A m e r i c a n r e c o r d k e e p i n g a n d archival w o r k . T h i s thesis c o n c l u d e s that, a l t h o u g h t h e practice of Registratur h a s little c h a n c e of b e i n g formally a d o p t e d in N o r t h A m e r i c a , its c o n c e p t u a l f o u n d a t i o n s a n d s o m e of its p r o c e d u r a l c o m p o n e n t s are likely t o b e c o m e a n integral part of North A m e r i c a n a n d international recordkeeping systems.  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Abstract  ii  T a b l e of c o n t e n t s  iv  Acknowledgement  v  Introduction  1  C h a p t e r O n e : T h e Classical P r u s s i a n Registratur  7  1. 2. 3. 4.  T h e h a n d l i n g of a typical b u s i n e s s m a t t e r in a P r u s s i a n g o v e r n m e n t office T h e typical P r u s s i a n filing r o o m (Registratur) A typical regulation f o r t h e filing r o o m Summary  7 14 26 30  T w o : T h e M e d i e v a l A n t e c e d e n t s of t h e P r u s s i a n R e g i s t r a t u r T h e c o m p i l a t i o n of individual d o c u m e n t s Registration C h a n c e r y rules Summary  32 33 39 46 48  Chapter 1. 2. 3.  T h r e e : T r a n s i t i o n - t h e Buroreform T h e n a t u r e of t h e Buroreform T h e history of t h e Buroreform C h a n g e s b r o u g h t a b o u t by t h e Buroreform a. TheAktenplan b. T h e filing b i n d e r c. Interim d o c u m e n t s (Weglegesachen) d. T h e Sachbearbeiterablage or " d e c e n t r a l i z e d Registratur" 4. S u m m a r y  50 50 51 60 60 62 64 66 69  C h a p t e r Four: Registratur in M o d e r n G e r m a n y 1. Registratur in t h e G D R ( G e r m a n D e m o c r a t i c Republic) 2. Registratur in t h e h i g h e r offices of t h e F R G (Federal R e p u b l i c of G e r m a n y ) prior to reunification 3. Post-reunification G e r m a n y : Registratur a n d electronic d a t a p r o c e s s i n g 4. S u m m a r y  71 71  C h a p t e r Five: Registratur as a n A r c h i v a l C o n c e p t 1. D e f i n i n g archives 2. A r c h i v e s a n d t h e Registraturprinzip  92 92 97  Chapter 1. 2. 3. 4.  3. S u m m a r y  79 86 90  103  Conclusion  104  Bibliography  109  V  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  I w i s h t o t h a n k all of t h e m a n y p e o p l e w h o c o n t r i b u t e d t o bringing this thesis t o c o m p l e t i o n . I especially w i s h to t h a n k m y advisor, Prof. L u c i a n a Duranti, f o r h e r g e n e r o u s s u p p o r t a n d e n c o u r a g e m e n t . I a m grateful also f o r t h e help a n d e n c o u r a g e m e n t I h a v e r e c e i v e d f r o m Prof. Karl F r o s c h a u e r of S i m o n F r a s e r University, a n d f r o m Prof. Kari Z a e n k e r of t h e University of British C o l u m b i a . M y r e s e a r c h in G e r m a n y w a s greatly a s s i s t e d by t h e staff of t h e A r c h i v s c h u l e M a r b u r g ; in this r e g a r d I w o u l d like t o e x p r e s s m y s i n c e r e g r a t i t u d e particularly t o t h e Director of t h e A r c h i v s c h u l e , Dr. A n g e l i k a M e n n e Haritz, f o r h e r a d v i c e a n d f o r t h e material a s s i s t a n c e in a c c e s s i n g literature, a n d also t o Dr. R a i n e r Polley f o r help in locating s o u r c e material. Invaluable a s s i s t a n c e w a s also g i v e n to m e by Dr. S i e g f r i e d Buttner, Director of t h e B u n d e s a r c h i v in Berlin, by Dr. J u r g e n K l o o s t e r h u i s , Director of t h e G e h e i m e s S t a a t s a r c h i v P r e u S i s c h e r Kulturbesitz in Berlin, by H e i n z H o f f m a n n of t h e B u n d e s a r c h i v in K o b l e n z , a n d , in a later visit, by Dr. W o l f g a n g K n a c k s t e d t of t h e S t a a t s a r c h i v Munster, a n d by H e i n z H a i d e r of t h e Kreisarchiv S o e s t . F o r m a j o r help w i t h m y travel e x p e n s e s I thankfully a c k n o w l e d g e a s well t h e g e n e r o u s f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e of t h e G e o r g e S p r a g g e M e m o r i a l F u n d in s u p p o r t of r e s e a r c h in archival s t u d i e s . Finally, I w i s h t o e x p r e s s m y d e e p e s t g r a t i t u d e to Prof. Dr. B o t h o B r a c h m a n n a n d to Elisabeth B r a c h m a n n - T e u b n e r f o r their u n h e s i t a t i n g g e n e r o s i t y a n d e n c o u r a g e m e n t t h r o u g h o u t all of t h e s t a g e s of this w o r k .  1  INTRODUCTION  T h e f o l l o w i n g w o r k is t h e result of a l m o s t t w o y e a r s of investigating a n d c o m i n g to u n d e r s t a n d t h e c o n c e p t of Registratur  \ This c o n c e p t , f u n d a m e n t a l in t h e fields of  r e c o r d k e e p i n g a n d a r c h i v e s in G e r m a n y , h a s r e m a i n e d in t h e R o m a n i c a n d A n g l o - S a x o n a r e a s of t h e w o r l d at b e s t a m y s t e r y a n d at w o r s t a non-entity. T h e learning p r o c e s s h a s b e e n difficult, b e c a u s e , w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n of t w o or t h r e e m i n o r w o r k s , all of t h e relevant literature is in t h e G e r m a n l a n g u a g e , a n d m u c h of it is n o t e v e n available in N o r t h A m e r i c a n libraries. N o r is a s t u d y of t h e literature sufficient in itself f o r attaining a t h o r o u g h u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e c o n c e p t . W i t h o u t t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o e x p e r i e n c e h o w it is m a n i f e s t e d in t h e daily practice of G e r m a n r e c o r d k e e p e r s a n d archivists, a n y u n d e r s t a n d i n g w o u l d n e c e s s a r i l y r e m a i n speculative.  T h e s e difficulties h a v e n o t r e m a i n e d u n n o t i c e d by o t h e r s c h o l a r s ; s o m e a r e e v e n led to s p e a k of t w o different archival w o r l d s : L ' E u r o p e se c o u p e d e s lors e n d e u x z o n e s c o m p l e t e m e n t distinctes, q u a n t a u t y p e d ' a d m i n i s t r a t i o n et q u a n t a u s y s t e m e d e c o n s e r v a t i o n d e s a r c h i v e s . L ' E u r o p e centrale, orientale et s e p t e n t r i o n a l e a d o p t e e n t r e le X V I e et le XVIIIe siecle la  Registratur,  qui v a d o n n e r a s e s archives, j u s q u ' a n o s j o u r s , u n e structure q u e les  archivistes d e s a u t r e s p a y s p e u v e n t difficilement c o m p r e n d r e . L ' E u r o p e o c c i d e n t a l e et m e r i d i o n a l e , a u contraire, reste e n tres large partie fidele a u s y s t e m e m e d i e v a l f o n d e sur I'ordre c h r o n o l o g i q u e . L e s g r a n d e s series, c o n s t i t u t e s d ' a p r e s la n a t u r e d e s p i e c e s , leur objet o u leur b a s e g e o g r a p h i q u e , se divisent e l l e s - m e m e s e n s o u s series c h r o n o l o g i q u e s , les lettres r e c u e s et les lettres e x p e d i t e s e t a n t g e n e r a l e m e n t c o n s e r v e e s s e p a r e m e n t et p a r o r d r e d e d a t e s . Les a r c h i v e s d e s  1. I shall avoid italicizing this word again throughout the thesis, due to its numerous occurrences. The plural is Registraturen. The "g" is hard as in "get", and the accent falls on the last syllable (in the singular).  2  secretariats d'Etat f r a n c a i s (Affaires e t r a n g e r e s , M a r i n e , etc.), s o n t tres r e p r e s e n t a t i v e d e ce s y s t e m e d ' a r c h i v a g e , d e m e m e q u e les a r c h i v e s v a t i c a n e s . L o r s q u e d e s d o s s i e r s s o n t etablis, o n n e concoit p a s d e lien s y s t e m a t i q u e e n t r e e u x : il n'y a p a s d e p l a n d e c l a s s e m e n t preetabli.  C e t t e c o u p u r e archivistique d e I'Europe s'est p o u r s u i v i e j u s q u ' a n o s j o u r s , r e n d a n t p r e s q u e i m p o s s i b l e a u x archivistes d e I'une et I'autre partie d e I'Europe d e c o m p r e n d r e v r a i m e n t leurs p r o b l e m e s r e s p e c t i f s .  2  H o w e v e r , a l t h o u g h t h e s e r i o u s difficulties i n v o l v e d in u n d e r s t a n d i n g R e g i s t r a t u r h a v e b e e n r e c o g n i z e d a n d b r o u g h t t o t h e attention of W e s t e r n archivists, to d a t e n o a t t e m p t h a s b e e n m a d e t o p r o d u c e a t h o r o u g h s t u d y of t h e c o n c e p t either in English or in a R o m a n c e l a n g u a g e . S i n c e t h e intellectual capabilities of n o n - G e r m a n archivists c a n n o t be called into q u e s t i o n , it r e m a i n s to a s s u m e t h a t a chief h i n d r a n c e to s u c h a s t u d y h e r e t o f o r e h a s b e e n a lack of interest, reinforced by differing cultural a t t i t u d e s .  3  2. "Europe then [i.e. from the 16th century] divided itself into two completely distinct zones in relation both to the type of administration and to the system of preservation of archives. Between the 16th and 17th centuries central, eastern and northern Europe adopted the Registratur, which was to structure the archives in a way difficult for the archivists of other countries to understand, even up to the present. Western and southern Europe, on the contrary, remained for the most part loyal to the medieval system based on chronological order. The multitude of file series, which were made up according to the nature of the individual documents, their subject or their geographical origin, were in turn divided into chronological sub-series; letters received and letters transmitted were generally kept separately according to date. The archives of the French state ministries (Foreign Affairs, Navy etc.) are typical of this archival method - the same is true of the Vatican Archives. Once the files are established, no thought is given to the relationship between them: there is no pre-established method of classification. This archival division of Europe has persisted to the present, rendering it practically impossible for archivists in the one or the other part of Europe to really understand each other's problems". Bautier, La phase cruciale de I'histoire des archives, p.146. All translations in this thesis are by the author. See also Duchein: Le respect des fonds en archivistique. p.89, and The History of European Archives, p.18; Papritz (the former director of the Archivschule Marburg) also refers to this situation in: Grundfraqen der Archivwissenschaft. p.161. 3. That the archival and recordkeeping practices themselves are to blame for this situation, in so far as they determine the environment in which the consciousness of the archivist/recordkeeper is shaped, would be a curious argument in light of the fact that in the Middle Ages, renowned for supposed lack of intellectual curiosity, chancery officials were eagerly learning and borrowing from their colleagues all over Europe.  3  T h i s a s s u m p t i o n is s t r e n g t h e n e d , in m y view, by t h e f a c t that n o m a j o r s t u d y of t h e c o n c e p t of R e g i s t r a t u r h a s b e e n u n d e r t a k e n e v e n in G e r m a n y . It m a y i n d e e d b e p o i n t e d 4  o u t t h a t h e r e t h e p r o b l e m is rather o n e of t o o m u c h familiarity r a t h e r t h a n of t o o little; n e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e s u b j e c t h a s b e e n d e a l t w i t h in sufficient b r e a d t h t h a t a n y G e r m a n archivist w i t h a b a s i c k n o w l e d g e of t h e history of Registratur will k n o w t h a t t h e s a m e w o r d h a s b e e n u s e d t o d e n o t e variously a filing office, a s y s t e m of o r d e r a n d a r r a n g e m e n t , a n d t h e p r o c e s s of a r r a n g i n g , d e s c r i b i n g , a n d providing f o r t h e care a n d p r e s e r v a t i o n of inactive d o c u m e n t s . W h e n it is f u r t h e r t a k e n into a c c o u n t t h a t t h e t e r m "Registratur" s e r v e s as t h e G e r m a n e q u i v a l e n t of "respect d e s f o n d s " , it is truly r e m a r k a b l e that t h e m u l t i t u d e of m e a n i n g s h a s so f a r b e e n r e g a r d e d as little m o r e t h a n a n historical curiosity. T h u s Papritz, in his m o n u m e n t a l w o r k Archivwissenschaft,  identifies f o u r different  m e a n i n g s of Registratur, only t o dismiss t h e o n e s w h i c h a p p e a r irrelevant to his d i s c u s s i o n , w h i l e M e i s n e r lists as m a n y as eight alternative m e a n i n g s . 5  6  In r e c e n t y e a r s , h o w e v e r , t h e r e h a v e b e e n increasing signs t h a t this n o n c h a l a n c e or i n d i f f e r e n c e is g r a d u a l l y w a n i n g . D u e partly t o t h e difficulties w h i c h e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g a m o u n t s of g o v e r n m e n t r e c o r d s are creating f o r a p p r a i s a l a n d s t o r a g e , a n d partly t o t h e p r e s s u r e s e x e r t e d o n a l r e a d y t e n u o u s r e c o r d k e e p i n g strategies by t h e a d o p t i o n of t e c h n o l o g i e s related to electronic d a t a p r o c e s s i n g ( E D P ) , a b r o a d re-thinking p r o c e s s  4. This claim may seem surprising in light of the copious literature directly and indirectly concerning Registratur in its numerous forms - see the bibliography. However, almost all of these studies examine Registratur as a phenomenon - not as a concept. The few conceptual studies which I am aware of look at Registratur in light of its significance for archives. The most detailed study is one presented by Papritz as part of his major work on archival science, and while this is indeed thorough and invaluable for an understanding of Registratur, it is, in my opinion, deeply flawed by the insistence on approaching a subject from a strictly logical standpoint. 5. Papritz, Archivwissenschaft, vol.2, p.458. 6. Meisner, Urkunden- und Aktenlehre derNeuzeit, p.180. The neglect of such a key archival term by this remarkable pioneer of German archival terminology is difficult to understand.  4  a p p e a r s t o b e o c c u r r i n g , l e a d i n g b o t h t o t h e introduction of n e w i d e a s a n d t o t h e ree x a m i n a t i o n of old c o n c e p t s . 7  F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e w o r l d is shrinking a n d t h e intellectual villages are slowly b e i n g a b s o r b e d into o n e g l o b a l c o m m u n i t y - a p r o c e s s driven n o t by p o s t colonial imperialism b u t by s h a r i n g , t r a d i n g a n d c o m p r o m i s i n g . T h r o u g h s u c h a b a s i c t a s k as t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of international s t a n d a r d s f o r i n f o r m a t i o n e x c h a n g e , e v e n r e c o r d k e e p e r s a n d archivists are b e i n g c o m p e l l e d to e x a m i n e a n d e v a l u a t e f o r e i g n c o n c e p t s a n d practices, a n d to consider abandoning s o m e long-held and deeply cherished ideas.  W i t h i n s u c h a climate of c h a n g e a n d transition - not only in archival t h i n k i n g b u t also in archival practice - a f r e s h look at Registratur is called for, a n e x a m i n a t i o n n o t simply of t h e practice of Registratur, t h e archival significance of Registratur, or t h e historical p h e n o m e n o n of Registratur, b u t of t h e very concept  of Registratur. For within this c o n c e p t  lie i d e a s of s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r t h e f u t u r e w o r k of archivists.  T h e thesis b e g i n s w i t h a p r e s e n t a t i o n a n d s t u d y of w h a t m o s t c o n s i d e r to be t h e e p i t o m e of Registratur: t h e classical P r u s s i a n filing s y s t e m as it w a s m a i n t a i n e d in t h e u p p e r state offices in B r a n d e n b u r g - P r u s s i a , particularly in t h e 18th a n d 19th c e n t u r i e s . T h e  7. Much of this process is occurring under the banner of "post custodialism": see for example the work of American archivists Bearman, Ham, and Hedstrom; of Australian archivists McKemmish, O'Shea and Upward; of the German archivist Menne-Haritz; of the Canadian archivist Cook, and of the Dutch PIVOT Project.  5  e x a m i n a t i o n of this f o r m of Registratur will reveal t h r e e k e y e l e m e n t s w h i c h in t u r n will a p p e a r as motifs f o r t h e rest of t h e w o r k , n a m e l y : t h e action file, t h e register, a n d t h e b u s i n e s s rules.  T h e f o l l o w i n g t h r e e c h a p t e r s e x a m i n e a s p e c t s of t h e historical d e v e l o p m e n t of R e g i s t r a t u r as a practical institution within g o v e r n m e n t a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . C h a p t e r T w o will be c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e m e d i e v a l roots of t h e P r u s s i a n Registratur, e x a m i n i n g in detail t h e f o u n d a t i o n s of t h e t h r e e k e y e l e m e n t s identified in C h a p t e r O n e : m e t h o d s of bringing t o g e t h e r individual d o c u m e n t s , m e t h o d s of o b t a i n i n g a n o v e r v i e w of t h e b o d y of d o c u m e n t s , a n d m e t h o d s of regulating t h e g e n e s i s of t h e d o c u m e n t s . C h a p t e r T h r e e p r e s e n t s t h e Buroreform  of t h e 1 9 0 0 ' s to 1940's, a m o v e m e n t f o r a d m i n i s t r a t i v e c h a n g e  w h i c h did a w a y w i t h t h e classical P r u s s i a n Registratur, a l t h o u g h n o t w i t h Registratur per  se. C h a p t e r F o u r d i s c u s s e s m o d e r n G e r m a n Registratur in t h e p o s t - w a r e r a , s t u d y i n g s e p a r a t e l y t h e d e v e l o p m e n t s in b o t h East a n d W e s t G e r m a n y a n d t h e n in postreunification G e r m a n y . H e r e t h e e m p h a s i s is o n s h o w i n g h o w t h e e s s e n t i a l s of R e g i s t r a t u r h a v e s u r v i v e d in a period of e n o r m o u s c h a n g e a n d s t r e s s f o r traditional r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices.  T h e fifth a n d final c h a p t e r a p p r o a c h e s Registratur f r o m t h e archival p e r s p e c t i v e . F i r s t , it d i s c u s s e s t h e interplay b e t w e e n t h e i d e a of Registratur a n d traditional attitudes t o w a r d s a r c h i v e s in d e f i n i n g t h e c o n c e p t of m o d e r n a r c h i v e s as it e m e r g e d d u r i n g t h e t h r e e c e n t u r i e s p r e c e d i n g 1 8 0 0 , particularly in light of ius archivi  (the right to h o l d archives).  T h e n , it p r e s e n t s a n a c c o u n t of t h e d e v e l o p m e n t s l e a d i n g up to t h e f o r m u l a t i o n , in t h e 19th century, of t h e Principle of Registratur, a m o r e rigorous v e r s i o n of t h e Principle of  P r o v e n a n c e t h a n its F r e n c h c o u n t e r p a r t respect  des fonds, a n d still t h e g u i d i n g principle  f o r a r r a n g e m e n t a n d d e s c r i p t i o n in m o d e r n G e r m a n a r c h i v e s .  T h e five c h a p t e r s are i n t e n d e d t o s e r v e t o g e t h e r as a set of " w i n d o w s " t h r o u g h w h i c h insights into t h e essential n a t u r e of Registratur c a n b e a c h i e v e d a n d a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g facilitated. T h e c o n c l u s i o n d r a w s t h e insights t o g e t h e r a n d c h a r t s o u t t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e w h i c h a b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e c o n c e p t of Registratur m a y h a v e f o r t h e w o r k that lies a h e a d f o r r e c o r d k e e p e r s a n d archivists.  7  CHAPTER ONE: The Classical Prussian Registratur  For a first look at Registratur, a brief g l i m p s e into t h e w o r k i n g s of a typical P r u s s i a n g o v e r n m e n t office in t h e early 19th c e n t u r y is w a r r a n t e d . T h a t t h e c h o i c e s h o u l d fall o n P r u s s i a c a n b e justified n o t only o n t h e basis of t h e historian's j u d g e m e n t : w e r e o n e to travel b a c k in t i m e a n d inquire a s to t h e b e s t place to learn a b o u t Registratur, o n e w o u l d n o d o u b t b e p o i n t e d in t h e direction of t h e closest of a multitude of P r u s s i a n official g o v e r n m e n t b u r e a u x . For P r u s s i a w a s , after t h e fall of N a p o l e o n , n o t only t h e s e c o n d largest G e r m a n territorial s t a t e , b u t also o n e of t h e t w o l e a d i n g G e r m a n n a t i o n s , a n 1  e m e r g i n g g r e a t p o w e r a n d w i t h o u t d o u b t t h e s t r o n g e s t e c o n o m i c a n d military f o r c e in central E u r o p e . M u c h credit f o r this status w a s d u e t o t h e efficiency of t h e P r u s s i a n state a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , w i t h o u t e q u a l in t h e rest of E u r o p e .  1. The handling of a typical business matter in a Prussian g o v e r n m e n t office U p t o 1 9 1 8 P r u s s i a w a s a m o n a r c h y , a n d t h e King traditionally e x e r c i s e d his p o w e r 2  t h r o u g h t h e Privy C o u n c i l (Geheimes  Rat). Unlike t h e m o d e r n cabinet, w h e r e ministers  a r e a s s i g n e d t o p r e - d e f i n e d portfolios constituting individual b u s i n e s s a r e a s (Interior, Exterior, D e f e n c e , F i n a n c e , H e a l t h , T r a n s p o r t a t i o n etc.), t h e Privy C o u n c i l w a s m a d e u p  1. 2.  Austria-Hungary was the largest, although German only in the sense of being ruled by a German dynasty (the Hapsburgs). From the Middle Ages to the beginning of the 18th century the territory was identified as the Duchy of Brandenburg (the Duke of Brandenburg, holding the status of Electoral Prince or Kurfiirst, also possessed the Duchy of Prussia as a vassal of the King of Poland). When Frederick I assumed the royal crown through the possession of Prussia in 1701, his title became King in Prussia, and the territory henceforth identified as Prussia or Preu&en (although properly its centre remained the Duchy of Brandenburg with Berlin as its capital). In 1772 Frederick the Great assumed the title King of Prussia. Following the "March Revolution" in 1848, a constitution was introduced in 1849. Bismarck put an unofficial end to the monarchy by having the King crowned as Emperor (Kaiser) of the new German Empire (Deutsches Reich) in 1871 - the Prussian crown technically became vacant. With the abdication of William II in 1918, Prussia officially acquired a republican constitution.  8  of m e n s e l e c t e d f o r their political, intellectual a n d o t h e r r e l e v a n t abilities, w h o t h e n w e r e g i v e n a variety of t a s k s t o carry o u t . T h e s e t a s k s w e r e t h e n s u b - d i v i d e d a m o n g t h e 3  officials a s s i g n e d to t h e a r e a s d e f i n e d in t h e C o u n c i l . A s t h e t a s k s g r e w in size a n d complexity, the work w a s again divided a m o n g subordinates further d o w n the b u r e a u c r a t i c ladder. O v e r t i m e this led to a hierarchical n e t w o r k of offices or b u r e a u x  (Amter),  e a c h v e s t e d w i t h d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g authority w h i c h ultimately d e r i v e d f r o m t h e  King . 4  A n o f f i c e w a s h e a d e d by a director or p r e s i d e n t w h o , if t h e office h a d m a n y t a s k s t o 5  a c c o m p l i s h , w o u l d divide t h e s e a m o n g s e v e r a l d e p a r t m e n t s . T h e d e p a r t m e n t h e a d s in t u r n w o u l d e n g a g e e x p e r t s in t h e v a r i o u s a r e a s u n d e r their jurisdiction w h o w e r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r carrying o u t t h e actual duties a n d t a s k s , u s i n g t h e staff a n d r e s o u r c e s of t h e d e p a r t m e n t a n d b e i n g a c c o u n t a b l e directly to t h e d e p a r t m e n t h e a d . B e c a u s e of their position s u c h e x p e r t s w e r e ( a n d still are) variously k n o w n as Dezementen d e c e r n e r e = "decide") or Referenten  (from t h e Latin referre  (from t h e Latin  = "report"). In s m a l l e r offices  w i t h a l e s s e r n u m b e r of t a s k s t h e director or p r e s i d e n t w o u l d carry o u t his responsibilities directly t h r o u g h t h e  3.  4.  5.  Dezementen.  The first Privy Council was established by Joachim Frederick in 1604. For the manner in which the various tasks were divided among the Councillors, see his instructions Einsetzung des Geheimen Rats ("Installation of the Privy Council") of 13 December 1604, reprinted in Altman, AusgewShlte Urkunden, pp.55-59. This pragmatic approaching to division of functions (as opposed to a method based on rationalistic or logical principles) meant that the typical Prussian state office was much smaller - and hence, more effective - than its counterpart in other major nations - England and the United States, for example. For a comparison between the German (Prussian) and the American systems in the early 20th century, see Brecht and Glaser, The Art and Technique of Administration in German Ministries, pp.6-12. The following description of a typical Prussian office is very general: the basic structure allowed for many variations which cannot be recounted here.  9  A p a r t f r o m t h e s e e x e c u t i v e officials, t h e office c o n s i s t e d of g r o u p s of clerical e m p l o y e e s w h o s e responsibilities lay in h a n d l i n g t h e v a r i o u s r e c o r d k e e p i n g t a s k s . T h u s , t h e r e w o u l d b e a secretariat (Expedition),  w h e r e secretaries w e r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r p r o d u c i n g draft  d o c u m e n t s f r o m t h e n o t e s or s k e t c h e s d e l i v e r e d to t h e m by t h e Dezementen. r o o m (Schreibstube),  In t h e c o p y  copyists h a d t h e t a s k of writing o u t t h e fair c o p y of d o c u m e n t s to be  s e n t out. In t h e mail r o o m , clerks w e r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r sorting i n c o m i n g mail a n d directing it t o t h e p r o p e r e x e c u t i v e official; t h e y w e r e also r e s p o n s i b l e f o r e n s u r i n g t h a t o u t g o i n g d o c u m e n t s w e r e properly d i s p a t c h e d . A c c o u n t a n t s t o o k c a r e of t h e office's financial r e c o r d s , a n d in t h e filing r o o m (Registratur)  t h e registrar or registrars t o o k c a r e of t h e  d o c u m e n t s n o l o n g e r in circulation a n d a s s i s t e d t h e e x e c u t i v e s in locating files.  A b u s i n e s s m a t t e r w o u l d normally h a v e o n e of t h e f o l l o w i n g t h r e e origins: a n external p e r s o n (natural o r juridical) r e q u e s t e d that t h e office t a k e s o m e a c t i o n ; t h e h e a d of t h e office o r of a d e p a r t m e n t o r d e r e d s o m e action t o b e t a k e n ; o r a s u p e r i o r office (for e x a m p l e t h e K i n g himself) o r d e r e d s o m e action t o be t a k e n . All of t h e s e situations w e r e m a n i f e s t e d in a n originating d o c u m e n t : in t h e first c a s e usually a letter, in t h e s e c o n d c a s e a m e m o , a n d in t h e third c a s e a directive. In t h e first a n d third c a s e s , t h e originating d o c u m e n t first arrived in t h e mail r o o m , w h e r e it w a s d i r e c t e d to t h e h e a d (of t h e office or r e l e v a n t d e p a r t m e n t ) via t h e filing r o o m (Registratur). t h e particulars of t h e m a t t e r in t h e j o u r n a l (Journal  In t h e filing r o o m t h e registrar n o t e d or Tagebuch)  - including the date  r e c e i v e d , t h e a u t h o r of t h e originating d o c u m e n t , a n d t h e n a t u r e of t h e m a t t e r it a b u s i n e s s n u m b e r (Geschaftszeichen),  (Aktendeckel)  a n d p r o v i d e d it w i t h a s t u r d y file c o v e r  b e a r i n g t h e title of t h e matter.  assigned  T h e h e a d e x a m i n e d t h e d o c u m e n t briefly, d e t e r m i n e d w h i c h Dezernent  should handle the  matter, a n d j o t t e d d o w n a f e w r e m a r k s o n t h e d o c u m e n t as t o h o w it s h o u l d b e h a n d l e d . T h e originating d o c u m e n t w a s t h e n r e t u r n e d in its c o v e r t o t h e filing r o o m , w h e r e t h e registrar n o t e d in t h e j o u r n a l that t h e m a t t e r h a d b e e n b e f o r e t h e h e a d a n d w a s n o w g o i n g to Dezernent  N., t o w h o m t h e d o c u m e n t w a s t h e n p r o m p t l y d i r e c t e d .  If t h e m a t t e r o r i g i n a t e d w i t h t h e h e a d , t h e m e m o w a s likewise s e n t first to t h e filing r o o m ; t h e registrar m a d e a n e w entry in t h e j o u r n a l f o r it as w i t h i n c o m i n g d o c u m e n t s , a s s i g n e d it a n u m b e r , g a v e it a titled file cover, a n d s e n t it off to t h e d e s i g n a t e d  T h e Dezernent  Dezernent.  h a d t h e responsibility of s e e i n g that t h e a p p r o p r i a t e a c t i o n w a s carried  out. T h i s m i g h t b e a c c o m p l i s h e d by simply s k e t c h i n g o u t w h a t t h e reply t o t h e d o c u m e n t p r e s e n t e d t o h i m s h o u l d be (the Angabe).  H o w e v e r , o f t e n h e n e e d e d t o c o n s u l t t h e files,  o r p e r h a p s d i s c u s s t h e m a t t e r w i t h c o l l e a g u e s in o t h e r a r e a s of t h e office, o r e v e n w i t h s u p e r i o r or inferior offices; s u c h c o n s u l t a t i o n w o u l d give rise to s u p p o r t i n g d o c u m e n t s in t h e f o r m of c o p i e s , n o t e s , or m e m o s . W h e n this c o n s u l t a t i o n a n d d e l i b e r a t i o n p r o c e s s w a s f i n i s h e d , t h e s k e t c h of t h e reply (which w o u l d b e written directly o n t h e originating d o c u m e n t or, if s p a c e w a s n o t available, o n a s e p a r a t e s h e e t of p a p e r ) , a l o n g w i t h a n y s u p p o r t i n g d o c u m e n t s , w o u l d t h e n b e s e n t in t h e file c o v e r to t h e a p p r o p r i a t e secretary, a g a i n v i a t h e filing r o o m , w h e r e t h e r e l e v a n t j o u r n a l entries w e r e a d d e d .  T h e s e c r e t a r y w a s in c h a r g e of creating t h e draft reply (Konzepf),  which involved the  c o r r e c t a p p l i c a t i o n of t h e f o r m a l criteria as well as a n a c c u r a t e p r e s e n t a t i o n of t h e c o n t e n t . A t t a c h m e n t s also h a d t o b e p r e p a r e d if t h e s e w e r e to b e i n c l u d e d in t h e  11  r e s p o n s e . T h e draft, t h e a t t a c h m e n t s (if a n y ) , t h e originating d o c u m e n t a n d t h e s u p p o r t i n g d o c u m e n t s (if a n y ) w e r e t h e n all s e n t b a c k t o t h e Dezernent  {Revision),  for approval  a g a i n by w a y of t h e filing r o o m in o r d e r that t h e registrar c o u l d plot in t h e  j o u r n a l t h e w h e r e a b o u t s of t h e d o c u m e n t s .  W h e n t h e reply w a s f o r m u l a t e d t o t h e Dezernent's  s a t i s f a c t i o n , h e i n d i c a t e d his a p p r o v a l  by s i g n i n g t h e draft, a n d t h e n s e n t it t o t h e filing r o o m a l o n g w i t h all t h e a c c o m p a n y i n g d o c u m e n t s (originating d o c u m e n t , s u p p o r t i n g d o c u m e n t s etc.). H e r e t h e registrar n o t e d in t h e j o u r n a l t h e f a c t t h a t t h e draft h a d b e e n s i g n e d , a n d p a s s e d t h e file c o v e r c o n t a i n i n g all t h e d o c u m e n t s o n t o t h e copyist.  T h e c o p y i s t h a d t h e t a s k of p r o d u c i n g t h e fair c o p y f r o m t h e draft. W h e n this w a s d o n e , h e p l a c e d it in t h e file c o v e r a l o n g w i t h all o t h e r r e l e v a n t d o c u m e n t s a n d r e t u r n e d it to t h e registrar, w h o n o t e d t h a t t h e c o p y i s t h a d d o n e his w o r k . T h e file c o v e r w i t h t h e fair c o p y ( a n d of c o u r s e a n y o t h e r d o c u m e n t s ) w a s t h e n s e n t to w h o m e v e r h a d t h e s i g n i n g authority f o r t h e office (usually t h e h e a d , i.e. t h e President, Director, o r D e p a r t m e n t Chief) f o r t h e official s i g n a t u r e  {Zeichnung).  O n c e this h a d b e e n a c c o m p l i s h e d , t h e file c o v e r w i t h its c o n t e n t s w a s s e n t b a c k t o t h e registrar, w h o n o t e d t h e f a c t of t h e s i g n a t u r e in t h e j o u r n a l , r e m o v e d t h e fair c o p y a n d s e n t it to t h e mail clerk f o r d i s p a t c h . T h e registrar also t o o k o u t a n y d o c u m e n t s w h i c h h a d originally b e e n r e m o v e d f r o m o t h e r files f o r i n f o r m a t i o n p u r p o s e s a n d r e t u r n e d t h e m t o their p r o p e r p l a c e s . T h e r e m a i n i n g d o c u m e n t s - t h a t is, t h e originating d o c u m e n t w i t h t h e v a r i o u s n o t e s by t h e h e a d a n d t h e Dezernent,  c o p i e s of d o c u m e n t s f r o m o t h e r files,  12  m e m o s or n o t e s f r o m o t h e r officials, a n d of c o u r s e t h e draft of t h e reply w i t h t h e signature of t h e Dezernent  - w e r e retained in the original file cover. T h i s a g g r e g a t e w a s n e x t  e n t e r e d into t h e file register (Aktenverzeichnis)  (Aktenzeichen),  a n d g i v e n a final file n u m b e r  b a s e d o n t h e filing plan (Registraturplan).  T h e individual d o c u m e n t s  t h e m s e l v e s w e r e p l a c e d in p r o p e r order, e a c h n u m b e r e d c o n s e c u t i v e l y , a n d t h e n stitched into a file cover. T h e n e w file w a s p r o v i d e d w i t h a p a s t e b o a r d t a g (Aktenschwanz)  on  w h i c h w a s w r i t t e n in very clear letters the file c o d e a n d t h e file title (or indication of t h e c o n t e n t s ) ; it w a s t h e n p l a c e d horizontally (i.e. flat) o n t h e s t o r a g e shelf a l o n g w i t h the o t h e r files, w i t h t h e t a g sticking o u t . 6  T h e entire p r o c e s s of h a n d l i n g a b u s i n e s s m a t t e r c a n s c h e m a t i z e d as follows:  Head  Dezernent Secretary Copyist Registrar Mail clerk 1  2  3  1.  Delivery (Eingang):  2.  D e l i v e r y registered (Eingang  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  m a t t e r received in t h e f o r m of a d o c u m e n t .  assigned a business number  6.  4  eingetragen):  d o c u m e n t e n t e r e d in the j o u r n a l ,  (Geschaftszeichen).  Sources for this account of the typical business matter in a Prussian office include: Brecht and Glaser, op.cit.; Enders, Archiwerwaltungslehre, pp.27-31 Beck and Henning, Die archivalischen Quellen, pp.67-78, Meisner, Urkunden- und Aktenlehre derNeuzeit, pp.52-69, and Schatz, Behbrdenschriftgut, p. 134.  13  3.  D e c i s i o n (Conclusum):  t h e h e a d d e c i d e s if t h e d o c u m e n t s h o u l d b e replied to, a n d if  so, by w h o m . T h e m a t t e r m i g h t also b e g i n here. 4.  J o u r n a l entry (Joumaleintrag):  t h e registrar m a k e s a notice in t h e j o u r n a l t h a t t h e  m a t t e r is t o b e h a n d l e d by Dezernent 5.  R e p l y (Angabe):  6.  J o u r n a l e n t r y (Joumaleintrag): the  7.  t h e Dezernent  N.  indicates w h a t t h e r e s p o n s e is to b e . t h e registrar n o t e s t h a t t h e d o c u m e n t h a s b e e n w i t h  Dezernent.  Draft (Konzept):  t h e s e c r e t a r y drafts t h e reply f o l l o w i n g t h e instructions f r o m t h e  Dezernent. 8.  J o u r n a l entry (Joumaleintrag):  t h e registrar n o t e s that t h e m a t t e r h a s b e e n w i t h t h e  secretary. 9.  Fair c o p y (Reinschrift):  t h e c o p y i s t m a k e s t h e fair c o p y of t h e reply.  10. J o u r n a l entry (Joumaleintrag):  t h e registrar n o t e s t h a t t h e m a t t e r h a s b e e n w i t h t h e  copyist. 1 1 . S i g n a t u r e (Zeichnung):  t h e fair c o p y is s i g n e d by t h e office's s i g n i n g authority.  12. J o u r n a l entry (Joumaleintrag):  t h e registrar n o t e s that t h e fair c o p y h a s b e e n s i g n e d .  13. D i s p a t c h / filing (Ausgang/Ablage):  t h e fair c o p y is d i s p a t c h e d by t h e clerk; t h e file  is p r o c e s s e d by t h e registrar.  T h e b u s i n e s s p r o c e s s , w h e n r e p r e s e n t e d in this m a n n e r , allows f o r c o m m e n t a r y f r o m s e v e r a l p e r s p e c t i v e s . For t h e p r e s e n t p u r p o s e s attention will b e f o c u s e d o n t h e o b v i o u s l y central role of t h e registrar a n d t h e filing r o o m .  14  2. The typical Prussian filing r o o m  (Registratur)  W h i l e t h e responsibilities of t h e registrar h a v e t h u s b e e n d e l i n e a t e d , it is n e c e s s a r y t o point o u t t h a t t h e w o r k of t h e filing r o o m c o n s i s t e d of a g r e a t d e a l m o r e t h a n s i m p l y jotting d o w n j o u r n a l entries a n d filing d o c u m e n t s a w a y . In t h e period u n d e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n (early 19th c e n t u r y ) , t h e position of registrar w a s highly r e s p e c t e d , a n d d e m a n d e d p r o f e s s i o n a l 7  training - o f t e n registrars h a d d e g r e e s in j u r i s p r u d e n c e . T h e r a n g e of skills r e q u i r e d c a n b e b e t t e r a p p r e c i a t e d by e x a m i n i n g t h r e e i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t s of t h e registrar's w o r k : t h e registration of b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s , t h e filing of d o c u m e n t s , a n d d o c u m e n t s t o r a g e . S u c h a s t u d y will also reveal m u c h of t h e n a t u r e of Registratur, w h i c h , after all, w a s t h e n a m e g i v e n t o t h e filing r o o m .  a.  registration  T h e c h i e f tool f o r t h e registration of b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s w a s t h e j o u r n a l , k n o w n in G e r m a n v a r i o u s l y a s t h e Journal,  Tagebuch,  o r Geschaftstagebuch . 6  T h i s w a s a b o u n d b o o k , in  a p p e a r a n c e m u c h like a n a c c o u n t i n g ledger, w i t h b l a n k p a g e s d i v i d e d into s e v e r a l c o l u m n s , e a c h f o r t h e a p p r o p r i a t e entry. T h e n u m b e r of c o l u m n s a n d their h e a d i n g s c o u l d v a r y , b u t in all c a s e s t h e y w o u l d h a v e to e n a b l e t h e f o l l o w i n g k i n d s of i n f o r m a t i o n 9  7. 8.  9.  See Hoffmann, BehOrdliche Schriftgutverwaltung, p.25. Papritz characterized the journal as one of the core elements of the Registratur (Archivwissenschaft, vol.2, p.300: "Die 'Aufschreibung', so wurden die verschiedenen mit der Fuhrung des GeschSftstagebuches verbundenen Eintragungen und Notizen in den Beriiner Ministerial-Registraturen bezeichnet, nahm dadurch eine ziemlichen Umfang an und konnte recht kompliziert werden. Das Geschaftstagebuch wurde dadurch neben dem Aktenplan zum Kemstuck und Symbol der Sachakten-Registratur.". That the registration was of matters and not of documents per se is overlooked by some authors (including Papritz), although the distinction is important, particularly in comparing the practice with the English registry and its derivatives, which are registers of documents. For examples see Brecht and Glaser, op.cit, p.37; Enders, op.cit, fold-out diagram between pages 56 and 57; and Holtzinger, Katechismus der Registratur- und Archivkunde, pp.277-278  15  to be entered: •  t h e n u m b e r of t h e b u s i n e s s m a t t e r ( a s s i g n e d by t h e registrar),  •  t h e d a t e t h e originating d o c u m e n t e n t e r e d t h e b u r e a u ,  •  t h e d a t e of t h e originating d o c u m e n t ,  •  t h e n a m e of t h e a u t h o r of t h e originating d o c u m e n t ,  •  t h e s u b j e c t of t h e originating d o c u m e n t (what it c o n c e r n e d ) ,  •  t h e n a m e s , titles a n d d a t e s of all t h e officials w h o h a n d l e d t h e d o c u m e n t ( s ) in t h e c o u r s e of c o m p l e t i n g t h e m a t t e r (so-called "Stellen"  •  o r "locating")  t h e d a t e t h e fair c o p y w a s s e n t o u t a n d t h e o t h e r d o c u m e n t s pertaining t o t h e m a t t e r w e r e r e c e i v e d by t h e filing r o o m , a n d  •  s p a c e f o r m a k i n g o b s e r v a t i o n s a n d f o r noting t h e filing c o d e of t h e matter.  T h e j o u r n a l entries w e r e m a d e in c h r o n o l o g i c a l o r d e r a c c o r d i n g t o t h e d a t e w h e n t h e originating d o c u m e n t s w e r e r e c e i v e d in t h e o f f i c e  10  ; e a c h entry r e c e i v e d a s e q u e n t i a l  n u m b e r . A j o u r n a l w a s normally k e p t f o r o n e c a l e n d a r y e a r only.  T h e j o u r n a l , w h e n properly m a i n t a i n e d , a c c o m p l i s h e d a n u m b e r of t a s k s s i m u l t a n e o u s l y , of w h i c h s o m e m a y b e c o n s i d e r e d primary, a n d o t h e r s s e c o n d a r y . T h e primary t a s k s i n c l u d e d t h e identification of e a c h b u s i n e s s m a t t e r by its o w n u n i q u e n u m b e r : w h e n t h e n u m b e r a s s i g n e d t o t h e m a t t e r within t h e y e a r w a s c o m b i n e d w i t h t h e y e a r of t h e j o u r n a l , t h e result w a s a u n i q u e identification f o r t h a t m a t t e r within the entire  carried  body of actions  ever  out by that office. T h e j o u r n a l also e n a b l e d all d o c u m e n t s b e l o n g i n g t o a particular  10. Some filing rooms kept their journal entries divided by groups of matters - see Holtzinger, Katechismus der Registratur- und Archivkunde, p.70, who however does not approve of the practice.  16  m a t t e r t o b e t r a c e d while t h e it w a s in p r o g r e s s , f o r e v e r y t i m e a n official w a s f i n i s h e d w i t h his part of t h e p r o c e s s , t h e file c o v e r w i t h t h e d o c u m e n t s h a d to b e r e t u r n e d t o t h e registrar (this t i m e - c o n s u m i n g p r o c e d u r e , k n o w n a s "Stellen",  w a s o n e of t h e first victims  of t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e r e f o r m s later in t h e c e n t u r y ) . S u p e r v i s i o n of t h e p r o g r e s s of t h e m a t t e r w a s also a s s u r e d t h r o u g h t h e j o u r n a l , s i n c e it w a s clear not only w h i c h m a t t e r s h a d b e e n c o m p l e t e d a n d w h i c h not, but also at w h a t s t a g e e a c h u n c o m p l e t e d m a t t e r w a s . T h e d a t e s n o t e d in this r e g a r d f u r t h e r a l l o w e d d e l a y s to b e quickly identified, so that m e a s u r e s c o u l d b e t a k e n t o a v o i d s u c h d e l a y s in t h e future. Finally, t h e c h r o n o l o g i c a l a r r a n g e m e n t of t h e entries filled t h e p u r p o s e of a f i n d i n g aid, e n a b l i n g a n y file to b e quickly f o u n d a s l o n g as its e x a c t o r e v e n a p p r o x i m a t e d a t e w a s k n o w n .  T h e j o u r n a l also s e r v e d p u r p o s e s w h i c h , w h i l e s e c o n d a r y , c o u l d n e v e r t h e l e s s b e of g r e a t i m p o r t a n c e . T h e s e i n c l u d e d t h e ability to provide a n o v e r v i e w of t h e entire b u s i n e s s of t h e office in c o n s i d e r a b l e detail. S u c h a n o v e r v i e w w a s of i n e s t i m a b l e v a l u e in a c c o m p l i s h i n g b a s i c t a s k s as, f o r e x a m p l e , g e n e r a l p l a n n i n g , hiring a n d distribution of p e r s o n n e l , office o r g a n i z a t i o n a n d re-structuring, a n d in i n c r e a s i n g efficiency (it is ironic t h a t i n f o r m a t i o n p r o v i d e d by t h e j o u r n a l s s e r v e d - if e v e n only in a small part - to aid t h e r e f o r m s w h i c h a i m e d t o a b o l i s h it). A n o t h e r s e c o n d a r y - b u t n e v e r t h e l e s s i m p o r t a n t f u n c t i o n w a s t o provide legal e v i d e n c e f o r a c t i o n s u n d e r t a k e n by t h e office. For t h e j o u r n a l w a s itself, of c o u r s e , a d o c u m e n t . Its creation w a s d e t e r m i n e d by t h e b u s i n e s s rules, w h i c h laid d o w n t h a t e a c h a n d e v e r y m a t t e r h a d to b e r e c o r d e d in it; this m e a n t that it c o u l d s e r v e in court as e v i d e n c e in c a s e s w h e r e t h e e x i s t e n c e of t h e m a t t e r w a s q u e s t i o n e d or w h e r e d o c u m e n t s w i t h false b u s i n e s s n u m b e r s w e r e held t o b e f o r g e r i e s . 11  11. Papritz mentions the Schafer-Garret case involving forgery of directives purportedly from the (Prussian) government of Kassel: the court could determine the instance of forgery because  17  O f t e n t h e f u n c t i o n of t h e j o u r n a l w a s d i v i d e d b e t w e e n a j o u r n a l f o r i n c o m i n g d o c u m e n t s  (Eingangsjournal)  a n d o n e f o r o u t g o i n g d o c u m e n t s (Abgangsjoumaf)?  2  T h e journal for  i n c o m i n g d o c u m e n t s still c o n t a i n e d m o s t of t h e entries, i n c l u d i n g t h e n u m b e r of t h e b u s i n e s s matter, i n f o r m a t i o n pertaining to t h e originating d o c u m e n t , a n d i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t t h e h a n d l i n g of t h e m a t t e r u p to t h e point w h e r e t h e fair c o p y w a s r e a d y to b e s e n t off. T h i s w a s r e c o r d e d in t h e j o u r n a l f o r o u t g o i n g d o c u m e n t s , i n c l u d i n g t h e n a m e of t h e a d d r e s s e e , t h e s u b j e c t of t h e matter, t h e d a t e t h e fair c o p y w a s s e n t out, a n d t h e filing c o d e f o r t h e d o c u m e n t s pertaining to t h e matter.  In large offices w i t h h u n d r e d s or e v e n t h o u s a n d s of b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s p e r year, finding a single file w h e n t h e d a t e w a s n o t k n o w n w o u l d h a v e r e q u i r e d s u c h effort t h a t it b e c a m e c u s t o m a r y t o c r e a t e indices f o r t h e j o u r n a l . T h e m o s t c o m m o n w a s t h e s u b j e c t index  (Sachindex,  Sachweiser  o r Sachregister).  Usually it c o n s i s t e d s i m p l y of t w o c o l u m n s ,  s h o w i n g t h e b u s i n e s s n u m b e r o n t h e left a n d t h e subject o n t h e right; t h e subjects w e r e a r r a n g e d in a l p h a b e t i c a l order. In t h e s a m e m a n n e r , n a m e indices (Personenindex  Personenregister)  or  w e r e m a d e t o provide a c c e s s t o d o c u m e n t s by n a m e s , particularly in  t h e c a s e s w h e r e a n a m e did n o t a p p e a r either as t h e a u t h o r of a n originating d o c u m e n t o r w i t h i n t h e n o t e r e g a r d i n g t h e n a t u r e of t h e m a t t e r . Finally, a third kind of i n d e x b a s e d 13  o n p l a c e (Ortsindex  or Ortsregister)  w a s also in u s e by s o m e offices: it w a s f a s h i o n e d in  precisely t h e s a m e w a y a s t h e n a m e a n d subject indices. All of t h e s e indices, b e s i d e s  the business numbers on the documents did not match the entries in the journal. See Archivwissenschaft, vol.2, p.300. 12. Holtzinger recommends this division and describes both types; see Katechismus pp.69-72 and 73-74 respectively. According to Schatz, Beh&rdenschriftgut p.133, Holtzinger's recommendation must be viewed as anachronistic, since the practice was largely discontinued by the end of the 19th century. 13. See examples in Holtzinger, op.cit., pp.66-69.  18  e n a b l i n g files t o b e l o c a t e d o n a basis o t h e r t h a n by d a t e , h a d t h e additional f u n c t i o n of e x t e n d i n g t h e i n f o r m a t i o n a l c o n t e n t of t h e j o u r n a l by p r o v i d i n g a c c e s s t h r o u g h t e r m s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y p r e s e n t in t h e j o u r n a l . T h i s kind of d e e p structuring also m e a n t t h a t b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s c o u l d b e c o n n e c t e d w i t h e a c h o t h e r in w a y s w h i c h w o u l d h a v e b e e n a l m o s t i m p o s s i b l e t o s e c u r e f r o m t h e p a g e s of t h e j o u r n a l itself.  A n o t h e r g r o u p of registration i n s t r u m e n t s w e r e u s e d primarily f o r a d m i n i s t r a t i v e p u r p o s e s . T h u s , t h e l o a n b o o k (Aktenausgabebuch  o r Aktennotationsbuch)  w a s u s e d f o r files or  d o c u m e n t s t h a t h a d b e e n r e m o v e d f r o m t h e filing r o o m in o r d e r to c o m p l e t e m a t t e r s or f o r c o n s u l t a t i o n . It w a s d i v i d e d into s e v e r a l c o l u m n s w h e r e i n f o r m a t i o n c o u l d b e e n t e r e d c o n c e r n i n g t h e d a t e t h e material left t h e filing r o o m , t h e file c o d e {Aktenzeichen),  and the  j o u r n a l n u m b e r (in c a s e it w a s f o r h a n d l i n g a b u s i n e s s matter) or t h e n a m e of t h e official b o r r o w i n g it (in c a s e it w a s j u s t b e i n g u s e d f o r c o n s u l t a t i o n ) . For m a t t e r s w h i c h i n v o l v e d l e n g t h y d e l a y s (as in c o u r t c a s e s , w h e r e a d e c i s i o n m i g h t t a k e m o n t h s , o r in o t h e r c a s e s h e l d u p by d r a w n - o u t d e c i s i o n p r o c e s s e s or o t h e r difficulties) s p e c i a l "term b o x e s " w e r e s e t u p w h e r e t h e relevant d o c u m e n t s c o u l d b e s t o r e d until n e e d e d . T h e d o c u m e n t s in t e r m s t o r a g e w e r e n o t e d in a special register - t h e Terminkalender  - which provided the  details of t h e m a t t e r c o n c e r n e d a n d h o w long t h e file w a s to r e m a i n in t e r m s t o r a g e .  A final register p r o d u c t s e r v e d only t h e n e e d s of t h e registrar a n d , m u c h later, of t h e archivist — this w a s t h e file inventory (Aktenverzeichnis  or Repertorium).  laid o u t in a c c o r d a n c e w i t h t h e filing r o o m plan (Registraturplan,  It w a s a l w a y s  to b e d i s c u s s e d shortly).  A g a i n in b o o k f o r m , at least o n e p a g e w a s d e v o t e d t o e a c h s e c t i o n of t h e filing r o o m p l a n , r e g a r d l e s s of t h e n u m b e r of files in t h e s e c t i o n ; b l a n k p a g e s w o u l d b e left if  19  a d d i t i o n s w e r e a n t i c i p a t e d . T h e p a g e w a s h e a d e d by t h e title of t h e s e c t i o n (derived f r o m t h e filing r o o m plan), a n d t h e n t h e files w e r e listed f r o m t o p t o b o t t o m , e a c h entry b e i n g n u m b e r e d a n d s h o w i n g t h e actual file title, t h e d a t e s of its c o m p o s i t i o n , a n d t h e file c o d e . It h a d t w o m a j o r f u n c t i o n s : it s e r v e d a s a f i n d i n g aid ( h e n c e t h e n a m e " r e p e r t o r i u m " f r o m t h e Latin reperire  = "to find") f o r t h e registrar, w h o c o u l d u s e it t o quickly locate files  a c c o r d i n g t o t h e t y p e of matter. In a d d i t i o n , it w a s useful in identifying n e e d e d i m p r o v e m e n t s t o t h e filing r o o m plan (which at that t i m e w a s m u c h m o r e flexible t h a n m o d e r n filing p l a n s ) . 14  b. filing  documents  T h e registrar w a s r e s p o n s i b l e n o t only f o r t h e m a i n t e n a n c e of t h e files, b u t also f o r their a r r a n g e m e n t a n d , i n d e e d , f o r their very c r e a t i o n . A s it h a s b e e n s h o w n , t h e registrar 15  assigned the business number. This simple task involved determining whether the matter at h a n d w a s in f a c t a n e w b u s i n e s s matter, or part of a n earlier m a t t e r (in w h i c h c a s e it w o u l d be t r e a t e d as a c o n t i n u a n c e of t h a t matter). H e did this by e x a m i n i n g t h e n a t u r e of t h e matter, a n d , if identified as a s o m e t h i n g n e w , by a s s i g n i n g a title t o it w h i c h succinctly d e s c r i b e d w h a t t h e m a t t e r w a s . The assignment  a title for it marked  of a business  number  and the writing  of  the birth of a file. All t h e o t h e r officials n e e d e d t o d o in h a n d l i n g t h e  m a t t e r w a s to r e m o v e t h e c o n t e n t s of t h e file c o v e r t h e y r e c e i v e d f r o m t h e m e s s e n g e r ,  14. In her unpublished dissertation, Christine Stade shows clearly the value of such file inventories for modern archives. She also presents numerous copies of pages from file inventories - see Stade, Beispiele far den Einsatz Merer Registraturiindhilfsmittel, esp. Attachments 1 2 , 1 3 , 1 6 , 20 and 25. 15. This was very briefly, yet very finely, observed by Enders (op.cit., p.35). The recognition of the intrinsic connection between Registratur and file creation (and not simply file or records management) is missing from most modern German authors, who tend instead to dwell on the subtleties of file formation as part of Aktenkunde (file theory), leaving the registrar to keep things in good order.  20  fulfil their part of t h e b u s i n e s s p r o c e s s , replace t h e p a p e r s a n d return t h e file c o v e r t o t h e registrar. Later, w h e n t h e m a t t e r w a s c o m p l e t e , t h e file w a s a s s i g n e d a final n u m b e r (the file c o d e ) a c c o r d i n g t o t h e filing r o o m p l a n ; this marked  records  of that  its entrance  into the body of  office.  T h r o u g h o u t all of this activity, t h e key a s s u m p t i o n - a n d i n d e e d , prerequisite - w a s t h a t t h e r e w a s only o n e t y p e of file m a k i n g m e t h o d w h i c h c a m e into c o n s i d e r a t i o n : this w a s t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n of all d o c u m e n t s into files a c c o r d i n g to t h e b u s i n e s s m a t t e r f r o m w h i c h t h e y o r i g i n a t e d . M o r e t h a n a n y o t h e r e l e m e n t of Registratur, this kind of file m a k i n g w a s p e c u l i a r to P r u s s i a n r e c o r d k e e p i n g , a n d t h e resulting action file {Sachakte)  16  lies at t h e  h e a r t of m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g s a n d lack of u n d e r s t a n d i n g of Registratur in n o n - R e g i s t r a t u r c o u n t r i e s . Its c l o s e r e x a m i n a t i o n is t h e r e f o r e in order.  T h e r e are t w o e s s e n t i a l principles at w o r k in t h e m e t h o d of o r g a n i z i n g individual d o c u m e n t s into a c t i o n files. T h e first principle h a s a l r e a d y b e e n i n t r o d u c e d : it is t h e principle of t h e p r i m a c y of t h e b u s i n e s s matter, e x p r e s s e d so clearly by t h e activity of k e e p i n g a j o u r n a l . T h e s e c o n d principle is that e a c h d o c u m e n t c o n t a i n s only o n e s u b j e c t o r a p p l i e s t o only o n e matter.  T h e principle of t h e p r i m a c y of t h e b u s i n e s s m a t t e r w a s a s l o w d e v e l o p m e n t f r o m t h e c o n c e p t of t h e s u b j e c t file, w h i c h still plays a m a j o r role in n o n - R e g i s t r a t u r filing s y s t e m s .  16. A Sachakte is, literally translated, a subject file. The German Sachakte is however a particular kind of subject file, namely one that is based on the business matters as just described. Since "matter file" is clearly awkward, I have chosen "action file" instead, to convey the idea that the file pertains to the action of handling a business matter. Buttner has referred to the Sachakte in English as a transaction file (see Buttner, Creation. Maintenance and Use, p.5). While this is technically correct, it depends on a broad agreement as to what, precisely, a transaction is.  21  S u b j e c t files c a n be b a s e d o n a n y n u m b e r of principles: o n identification of objects, t h e m e s , relationships, o r also activities, f o r e x a m p l e b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s . In c o n t r a s t to t h e p a s s i v e n a t u r e of n o n - R e g i s t r a t u r s y s t e m s , w h e r e r e c o r d k e e p i n g o c c u r s a s t h e d o c u m e n t s a r e p r o d u c e d , t h e B r a n d e n b u r g - P r u s s i a n a d m i n i s t r a t i o n f r o m t h e 16th c e n t u r y o n w a r d s t o o k a n active a p p r o a c h t o w a r d s its responsibilities, a i m i n g to anticipate p r o b l e m a r e a s a n d s e e k i n g t o establish relationships a m o n g t h e v a r i o u s activities t h e officials w e r e carrying out. It w a s s o o n d i s c o v e r e d t h a t t h e s u b j e c t file, u s i n g t h e a c t i o n s of t h e office as its basis, p r o v i d e d t h e kind of control required f o r a d y n a m i c , f a r - s i g h t e d r e c o r d k e e p i n g strategy. For, unlike t h e series f a v o u r e d in n o n - R e g i s t r a t u r s y s t e m s , w h i c h c a n n e v e r c o m p l e t e l y a c c o u n t f o r all t h e d o c u m e n t s p r o d u c e d , t h e s u b j e c t file s y s t e m b a s e d o n t h e b u s i n e s s a c t i o n s c o m p r e h e n d s all t h e m a t t e r s a n d h e n c e also all t h e files. F u r t h e r m o r e , this s y s t e m c a n a c c o m m o d a t e w i t h o u t p r o b l e m t h e series-building w h i c h is s o m e t i m e s u n a v o i d a b l e (as in t h e c a s e of reports a n d m i n u t e s ) , so that, by t h e e n d of t h e 18th c e n t u r y , w h e n t h e Registratur r e a c h e d its full d e v e l o p m e n t , r e c o r d k e e p i n g officials w e r e c o n v i n c e d that t h e y h a d f o u n d t h e p h i l o s o p h e r ' s s t o n e , s o to s p e a k .  1 7  File f o r m a t i o n o n t h e principle of t h e p r i m a c y of t h e b u s i n e s s m a t t e r entails h o w e v e r t h a t t h e m a t t e r is easily identifiable a n d t h a t e a c h d o c u m e n t c a n b e a s s i g n e d to o n e u n i q u e matter. A letter w h i c h d e a l s w i t h s e v e r a l different m a t t e r s at o n c e c a n n o t be c u t u p a n d d i v i d e d a m o n g t h e a p p r o p r i a t e files, a n d t h e c o p y i n g p r o c e s s r e q u i r e d to distribute a c o p y a m o n g all t h e files b e c o m e s a n i m p o s s i b l e t a s k w h e n f a c e d w i t h t h o u s a n d s of i n c o m i n g d o c u m e n t s w i t h n o clear single subject. In B r a n d e n b u r g - P r u s s i a , it w a s clear by t h e m i d d l e of t h e 16th c e n t u r y t h a t firm m e a s u r e s h a d t o b e t a k e n t o e n s u r e that, w h e n  17. For an analysis of the development of the action file see especially Papritz, Organisationsformen der Schriftgutbewahrung in der Offentlichen Verwaltung,  col.279-283  22  c o m p o s i n g d o c u m e n t s , officials w e r e c a r e f u l to c o n f i n e t h e m s e l v e s to p r e s e n t i n g only o n e m a t t e r p e r d o c u m e n t . T h e Registrar/Archivist S c h o n b e c k  1 8  accordingly urged  Frederick W i l l i a m I (the " G r e a t Elector") to h a v e t h e practice e n f o r c e d . 1 9  T h i s is n o t to i g n o r e t h e f a c t that it is in t h e n a t u r e of s o m e b u s i n e s s d o c u m e n t s to h a n d l e s e v e r a l s u b j e c t s s i m u l t a n e o u s l y . S u b m i t t i n g a report, f o r e x a m p l e , or h o l d i n g a m e e t i n g a r e v e r y typical kinds of activities in w h i c h a n u m b e r of s u b j e c t s n e c e s s a r i l y a p p e a r in t h e s a m e d o c u m e n t . H o w e v e r , it is still possible t o bring s u c h d o c u m e n t s u n d e r g e n e r a l h e a d i n g s p e r t a i n i n g t o b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s (for e x a m p l e , reports of t h e A m b a s s a d o r in L o n d o n ) , a n d t h e n a r r a n g e t h e m in a c h r o n o l o g i c a l series.  T h e s a m e t e c h n i q u e illustrates t h e flexibility w h i c h t h e principle of t h e p r i m a c y of t h e b u s i n e s s m a t t e r o f f e r e d w h e n m a k i n g files, f o r t h e m a t t e r c o u l d b e c o n c e i v e d of in a rather g e n e r a l w a y , o r in a v e r y specific w a y , or s o m e w h e r e i n - b e t w e e n . T h u s , a very g e n e r a l a c t i o n file c o u l d h a v e t h e title "Mill matters", a n d c o n t a i n d o c u m e n t s f r o m all t h e  18. Christoph Sch6n(e)beck, 1601 - 1662, from 1639 Registrator in the Geheimes Archiv, from 1653 Archivar (the first official of the Privy Archives to receive this title) and Councillor. See Kohnke, Carl Wilhelm Cosmar, who presents both Cosmar's own record of the activity of this exceptional archivist as well as a brief biographical sketch on pp.68-69. 19. Papritz claims (Archivwissenschaft, vol.1, p.337) that the principle of "one document, one subject" goes back to a regulation (Verordnung) of SchOnbeck dated 13 February 1652. Apart from the fact that Schonbeck was in no legal position to issue any kind of regulation (and hence undoubtedly did not), an admittedly short examination of the records from this period conducted by the author in the Prussian Privy Archives in Berlin, in January 1997, failed to disclose any document which even remotely fit Papritz' account. According to Cosmar, Friedrich Wilhelm ordered a full report of the condition of the archives from SchOnbeck on 13 March 1658, to which the archivist replied with his report of 18 March, not only citing numerous problems, but also describing the work he had done and recommending improvements (see Kohnke, Carl Wilhelm Cosmar, pp.23-24). One would look for the principle "one document, one subject" in this report. In any case, its eariiest evidence in a regulation occurs in the Reglement far die Geheime Kanzlei ("Regulations for the Privy Chancery") of 2 December 1699, where, in paragraph 22, section 13, the Elector requires a description of the contents ("per generalia und so kurtz als immer mUglich" - "in general terms and as briefly as possible") to appear on the top of the draft - see reprint in Kohnke, ibid., p.112.  23  m a t t e r s t h a t h a d t o d o w i t h a n y mill at a n y t i m e within t h e jurisdiction of t h e office. S u c h files w e r e o b v i o u s l y n o t v e r y e a s y to u s e w h e n m a n y m a t t e r s w e r e i n v o l v e d , a n d t h e r e f o r e t h e practice g r a d u a l l y e v o l v e d - a n d w a s s t a n d a r d in t h e p e r i o d u n d e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n - of f o r m i n g files a c c o r d i n g to v e r y specific, individual m a t t e r s . S u c h a file w o u l d t h e n h a v e a title like " R e p a i r of t h e mill in Adorf". N e v e r t h e l e s s , w h e n c o n s i s t e n t o b s e r v a n c e of this m e t h o d w o u l d h a v e led to t h o u s a n d of file c o v e r s c o n t a i n i n g m e r e l y a c o u p l e of d o c u m e n t s , t h e registrar w a s f r e e to c o m p i l e files a c c o r d i n g t o b r o a d e r c o n c e p t s , t h u s not only e a s i n g his o w n w o r k load b u t also facilitating t h e w o r k of t h e  Dezementen.  20  It is clear t h a t a file f o r m e d o n t h e principle of t h e p r i m a c y of t h e b u s i n e s s m a t t e r g u a r a n t e e d a n u n a l t e r a b l e c o n t e x t f o r t h e d o c u m e n t s c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n it. J u s t as t h e m a t t e r c o n s i s t e d of linked c o m m u n i c a t i o n a n d r e s p o n s e , so t o o t h e d o c u m e n t s g e n e r a t e d f r o m t h e h a n d l i n g of t h e m a t t e r w e r e interlocked w i t h e a c h o t h e r - t o e a c h letter or m e m o t h e r e w o u l d b e a r e p l y . E v e n w i t h o u t t h e j o u r n a l , it w a s o b v i o u s t o t h e registrar or 21  Dezernent  w h e n a d o c u m e n t w a s missing f r o m a file.  B e c a u s e a c t i o n files w e r e f o r m e d a c c o r d i n g to t h e n a t u r e of t h e activities of t h e office, i.e.  organically,  a n d n o t a c c o r d i n g to t h e usual rationalistic/mechanistic m e t h o d s e m p l o y e d in  series s y s t e m s , a n additional d e v i c e w a s r e q u i r e d in o r d e r to e n a b l e files to be l o c a t e d ,  20. For a more detailed discussion of this flexibility see Papritz, Archivwissenschaft, vol.1, pp.326 ff. 2 1 . Papritz describes this interlocking of individual documents within a business matter in considerable detail, ibid., pp.329-331. Hoffmann, BehOrdliche Schriftgutverwaltung, also mentions this Verzahnung (interlocking) - see p.114.  24  o n c e c r e a t e d . T h e solution w a s to resort to a s y s t e m of f u n c t i o n a l classification: t h e 22  totality of b u s i n e s s a c t i o n s of t h e particular office w a s d i v i d e d into b r o a d c a t e g o r i e s , t h e s e c a t e g o r i e s w e r e t h e n s u b - d i v i d e d into s e c t i o n s , t h e s e c t i o n s w e r e s u b - d i v i d e d into g r o u p s a n d s o f o r t h , a c c o r d i n g t o n e e d . For e x a m p l e , a b r o a d c a t e g o r y m i g h t b e "Mill affairs", w h i c h w o u l d b e d i v i d e d into t h e sections: "Mill affairs in District A", "Mill affairs in District B", a n d "Mill affairs in District C". T h e s e c t i o n "Mill affairs in District A" c o u l d b e d i v i d e d into t h e g r o u p s : "Mill sales", "Mill repairs", a n d "Mill regulations". U n d e r e a c h of t h e s e h e a d i n g s t h o s e files w o u l d b e listed w h i c h c o r r e s p o n d e d t o t h e m a t t e r d e s c r i b e d . T h u s t h e file " R e p a i r of t h e mill in A d o r f w o u l d be listed u n d e r t h e g r o u p h e a d i n g "Mill repairs". T h e resulting filing r o o m plan (Registraturplari)  b e c a m e o n e of t h e chief  i n s t r u m e n t s of t h e registrar a n d o f t e n t h e m o s t material e v i d e n c e of his intelligence a n d ingenuity. B e c a u s e t h e plan w a s b a s e d o n t h e b u s i n e s s a c t i o n s of t h e particular office, e a c h p l a n w a s different - t h e r e c o u l d be n o s t a n d a r d p l a n . T h e registrar w o u l d h a v e to d e v i s e t h e p l a n in s u c h a w a y t h a t all files c o u l d be a r r a n g e d w i t h i n it f o r as f a r into t h e f u t u r e a s o n e c o u l d practically provide for. A t t h e s a m e t i m e , h e w o u l d h a v e to a v o i d c r e a t i n g e m p t y c a t e g o r i e s , or c a t e g o r i e s of w h i c h s o m e w o u l d e n d u p c o n t a i n i n g only v e r y f e w files, a n d o t h e r s c o n t a i n i n g v e r y m a n y files. T h e w o r k of classification also r e q u i r e d k e e n j u d g e m e n t , for, as t h e multitude of divisions a n d s u b - d i v i s i o n s g r e w , so did t h e p r o b l e m of d e c i d i n g into w h i c h c a t e g o r y t h e file at h a n d s h o u l d b e p l a c e d . E a c h division c r e a t e d h a d to b e p r o v i d e d w i t h a title w h i c h w a s brief, y e t aptly descriptive, setting t h a t division a p a r t f r o m o t h e r divisions a n d d e f i n i n g its c o n c e p t succinctly.  22. In series systems, the number of series tends to be rather restricted, enabling a fairly quick overview. Thus, there might be a series each for correspondence, accounts, meetings, projects etc.. Within each series the files are simply placed in the proper order according to the particular method used for that series, i.e. by date, by name, by place, by number, by subject etc. Thus, finding any single file only requires identifying the series and understanding the method of arrangement within the series.  W h e n t h e filing r o o m plan w a s s e t u p , t h e v a r i o u s c a t e g o r i e s or divisions h a d to b e f u r t h e r identified w i t h a u n i q u e set of letters, or n u m b e r s , or a c o m b i n a t i o n of b o t h . T h i s a l s o d e m a n d e d skill a n d e x p e r i e n c e , f o r s u c h a c o d e h a d o f t e n t o c o n s i s t of t w o or m o r e parts, w h i c h a g a i n h a d t o be able to b e c o m b i n e d in v a r i o u s m a n n e r s in o r d e r t o be a p p l i e d t o all t h e divisions. T h e c o d e also h a d t o b e d e s i g n e d in s u c h a w a y that n e w n u m b e r s c o u l d b e a s s i g n e d if a n d w h e n t h e plan w a s c h a n g e d . It w a s this n u m b e r - t h e file c o d e or Aktenzeichen  - w h i c h in t h e e n d a p p e a r e d o n t h e file itself a n d m a r k e d its  p l a c e in t h e Registratur.  c. document  storage  C r e a t i n g t h e file a n d d e f i n i n g its p l a c e w i t h i n t h e entire b o d y of files w e r e t h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t t a s k s of t h e registrar in this a s p e c t of t h e filing r o o m activities. T h e r e r e m a i n s a third task, h o w e v e r , w h i c h merits a brief e x a m i n a t i o n in this context: t h e s t o r a g e of files.  O n c e t h e m a t t e r w a s c o m p l e t e d , t h e file w a s a s s i g n e d its file c o d e a c c o r d i n g t o t h e filing r o o m p l a n a n d e n t e r e d into t h e file inventory. It t h e n h a d t o be p u t a w a y . T h i s i n v o l v e d r e m o v i n g t h e d o c u m e n t s f r o m t h e file c o v e r a n d m a k i n g sure t h a t all d o c u m e n t s w e r e p r e s e n t . T h e d o c u m e n t s w e r e t h e n p l a c e d in their p r o p e r o r d e r (the o l d e s t o n t o p , t h e m o s t r e c e n t o n t h e b o t t o m ) , a n d t h e n n u m b e r e d at t h e t o p in c o n s e c u t i v e order. A n y b l a n k s h e e t s w o u l d h a v e t h e t o p right-hand c o r n e r r e m o v e d a n d b e i g n o r e d in t h e n u m b e r i n g . T h e file w o u l d t h e n b e g i v e n to a m e s s e n g e r , w h o (in his s p a r e time) w o u l d stitch t h e d o c u m e n t s a l o n g t h e left-hand f o l d into t h e file cover, f o r m i n g a b o o k - l i k e unit t h a t w a s practically indestructible a n d y e t a l l o w e d t h e d o c u m e n t s to b e p e r u s e d  26  individually. T h e registrar t h e n m a d e a c a r d b o a r d slip f o r t h e file, o n w h i c h w a s w r i t t e n in large c h a r a c t e r s t h e file c o d e a n d t h e s u b j e c t (or simply its title). T h i s slip - t h e s o - c a l l e d  Aktenschwanz  - w a s a t t a c h e d t o t h e file cover, w h i c h w a s p l a c e d flat o n a shelf a l o n g  w i t h t h e o t h e r files. T h e s h e l v e s w e r e d i v i d e d into cubicles, e a c h cubicle b e a r i n g a n a m e or title d e r i v e d f r o m a s e c t i o n of t h e filing r o o m plan. L a r g e filing r o o m s h a d a g r e a t n u m b e r of s h e l v e s t a k i n g u p a c o n s i d e r a b l e a m o u n t of s p a c e , w h i c h quickly led to t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of t h e filing r o o m as a s e p a r a t e entity w i t h i n t h e office or b u r e a u .  3. A typical regulation f o r the filing r o o m T h e activities d e s c r i b e d in t h e p r e c e d i n g s e c t i o n s of this c h a p t e r did n o t t a k e place b e c a u s e of "tradition", o r b e c a u s e t h e officials h a d b e e n t r a i n e d to b e h a v e in t h e m a n n e r t h e y did, o r e v e n less so b e c a u s e it w a s t h o u g h t to b e a " g o o d idea". S u c h c o n s i s t e n c y in t h e o b s e r v a n c e of r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices - g i v e n t h e c o n s i d e r a b l e n u m b e r of e m p l o y e e s in t h e royal a d m i n i s t r a t i o n a n d t a k i n g into a c c o u n t their v a r y i n g p e r s o n a l n a t u r e s , a p t i t u d e s a n d training - c o u l d only be o b t a i n e d t h r o u g h r e g u l a t i o n s w h i c h e s t a b l i s h e d policies a n d p r o c e d u r e s a n d w h i c h also p r o v i d e d f o r disciplinary m e a s u r e s in c a s e of i n f r i n g e m e n t (usually dismissal f r o m t h e s e r v i c e ) . T o c l o s e this s t u d y of t h e 23  classical P r u s s i a n Registratur, it is t h u s e s s e n t i a l to e x a m i n e w h a t m a y b e r e g a r d e d as a typical r e g u l a t i o n f o r t h e filing r o o m .  23. The significance of regulations for the establishment and maintenance of Registratur appears to have been completely ignored by most German archivists who have written about Registratur.  27  T h e "Instructions, H o w All Provincial F i n a n c e Filing R o o m s are t o F u n c t i o n "  24  w a s issued  o n 1 M a r c h 1 7 8 8 by t h e P r u s s i a n G e n e r a l Directorium to t h e W a r a n d D o m a i n C h a m b e r s . It is d i v i d e d into t h e f o l l o w i n g five s e c t i o n s : 2 5  1. S e t t i n g u p a n d o r g a n i z i n g t h e filing r o o m 2. S t o r i n g t h e files 3. M a k i n g files 4 . F i n d i n g aids 5. L o a n i n g files  In t h e third p a r a g r a p h of t h e first s e c t i o n is d e f i n e d t h e primary p u r p o s e of t h e filing r o o m : " T h a t e v e r y t h i n g is s e t u p f o r c o n v e n i e n c e of u s e a n d t h a t t h i n g s c a n b e l o c a t e d v e r y easily."  26  W h i l e a d m i t t i n g t h a t t h e filing r o o m c a n be o r g a n i z e d a c c o r d i n g to v a r i o u s  principles - by d a t e , n u m b e r s , a l p h a b e t or subject - it is quickly laid d o w n that t h e b e s t principle is t h a t w h i c h c o n f o r m s to t h e primary p u r p o s e , a n d this - in v i e w of t h e c o m p l e x i t y of t h e activities of t h e offices involved - c a n only b e t h a t principle w h i c h a r r a n g e s t h e files a c c o r d i n g to t h e n a t u r e of t h e m a t t e r s t h e m s e l v e s . 27  For a r r a n g i n g t h e files by matter, t h e f o l l o w i n g g u i d i n g principle is p r o v i d e d : Every registrar h a s t o picture t h e Registratur w h i c h h a s b e e n e n t r u s t e d t o h i m a s a w h o l e , t h e parts of w h i c h are t h e s e c t i o n h e a d i n g s . H e m u s t f o r m a b a s i c i d e a of this w h o l e a n d s e e w h e t h e r t h e divisions he h a s m a d e a r e t r u e parts of t h e b a s i c i d e a , he also h a s t o e x a m i n e t h e c o n n e c t i o n t h e s e divisions h a v e t o t h e b a s i c i d e a . For t h e s e provide t h e actual rule f o r t h e a r r a n g e m e n t , a n d t h e individual s e c t i o n s of 24. Anweisung, wonach sSmtliche Landes-Finanz-Registraturen zu bearbeiten. 25. Reprinted in Schatz, BehOrdenschriftgut, pp.313-325. 26. "dafS alles zum bequemen Gebrauch eingerichtet worden und sehr leicht aufgefunden werden kann". 27. Anweisung, § 3.  28  t h e Registratur h a v e to c o i n c i d e w i t h its b a s i c c o n c e p t in s u c h a w a y t h a t t h e f o r m e r a r e d e t e r m i n e d by t h e l a t t e r .  28  A final n o t e w o r t h y c l a u s e in this first s e c t i o n a d d r e s s e s t h e situation w h e r e t h e registrar t a k e s o v e r a filing r o o m w h i c h h a s not b e e n set u p in a c c o r d a n c e w i t h t h e primary p u r p o s e : "If h o w e v e r h e [i.e. t h e registrar] finds t h a t t h e rule f o r t h e a r r a n g e m e n t d o e s not suit its primary p u r p o s e , t h e n h e m u s t d e v i s e a n o t h e r plan f o r t h e R e g i s t r a t u r w h i c h c o n f o r m s t o this p u r p o s e , a n d t h e n s u b m i t t h e plan t o t h e C o l l e g e f o r a p p r o v a l . "  29  The  filing o r d e r is n o t s a c r o s a n c t , rather its v a l u e lies entirely in its ability t o effectively s e r v e t h e n e e d s of t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n .  30  T h e s e c o n d s e c t i o n c o v e r s details r e g a r d i n g h o w t h e files are t o b e s t o r e d , m e n t i o n i n g problem areas such as incomplete business matters, matters which cover more than one subject, t h e h a n d l i n g of d o c u m e n t s b e l o n g i n g to o n g o i n g m a t t e r s a n d so f o r t h . It also u n d e r s c o r e s t h e i m p o r t a n c e of t h e registrar h a v i n g a n e x a c t k n o w l e d g e of all t h e files in his c a r e , stating t h a t s u c h k n o w l e d g e is a prerequisite f o r t h e p r o p e r c a r e of t h e files (§ 4). C r o s s - r e f e r e n c i n g is to b e p r o v i d e d t h r o u g h c o p i e s of t h e r e l e v a n t d o c u m e n t s (§ 7). T h e o r d e r i n g of files u n d e r t h e s a m e h e a d i n g is to o c c u r chronologically, w i t h t h e m o s t  28. "Em jeder Registrator muB sich demnach die ihm anvertraute Registratur als ein Ganzes vorstellen, dessen Tei|e die Rubriken Oder Abschnitte sind. Derselbe muB sich von diesem Ganzen eine Hauptidee formieren und sehen, ob die gemachten Einteilungen wahre Teile dieser Hauptidee sind, auch zugleich den Zusammenhang der Einteilungen mit dem Hauptbegriff der Registratur einsehen. Denn diese gibt eigentlich die Regel der Ordnung, und mussen die besonderen Einteilungen der Registratur mit ihrem Hauptbegriffe zusammenhSngen, dergestalt, daB sich erstere aus lezterem bestimmen lassen." Section 1, § 4. 29. "Findet er aber, daB die Regel der Ordnung nicht mit ihrem Endzweck stimmt, so muB er einen andern, dem Endzweck gemSBen Plan von der Registratur entwerfen und dem Collegio zur Genehmigung einreichen." Section 1, § 1. 30. It is unfortunate that popular conceptions about the military nature of Prussian administration have been allowed to draw attention away from this deeply pragmatic aspect of Prussian mentality.  29  r e c e n t file o n t o p ; w i t h i n t h e file e a c h d o c u m e n t is to b e n u m b e r e d (§ 8). Finally, instructions a r e g i v e n c o n c e r n i n g t h e h a n d l i n g of files f r o m o t h e r filing r o o m s (§ 10).  T h e third s e c t i o n is d e v o t e d t o t h e actual c o m p o s i t i o n of t h e files, a n d b e g i n s characteristically w i t h t h e injunction t h a t o n e file is to c o n t a i n only o n e m a t t e r (§ 1 ) . 3 1  A g a i n , n o t surprisingly, t h e o r d e r of t h e d o c u m e n t s within t h e file is to reflect t h e o r d e r of t h e different s t a g e s of t h e p r o c e s s of h a n d l i n g t h e m a t t e r (§ 3). T h e o u t s i d e of t h e file t h a t is t o say, t h e file c o v e r - is to b e m a r k e d w i t h t h r e e e l e m e n t s : t h e file c o d e , t h e file title, a n d t h e d a t e r a n g e (§ 4 ) . E x t e n s i v e files are to b e d i v i d e d into v o l u m e s , a n d § 8 s p e c i f i e s h o w t h e s e are t o b e f o r m e d a n d m a r k e d . T o w a r d s t h e e n d of t h e s e c t i o n - in § 1 1 - t h e rather i m p o r t a n t o b s e r v a t i o n is m a d e t h a t "A principal d u t y of t h e registrar is t o p r o v i d e f o r t h e c o r r e c t n e s s a n d t h e c o m p l e t e n e s s of t h e f i l e s " . T h i s brief p h r a s e m a k e s 32  it a b u n d a n t l y clear t h a t t h e responsibility of t h e registrar e x t e n d s f a r b e y o n d simply k e e p i n g files in order.  T h e registration activities of t h e registrar are c o v e r e d in s e c t i o n four, w h i c h c o n t a i n s instructions f o r m a i n t a i n i n g t h e i n s t r u m e n t s a l r e a d y p r e s e n t e d a n d d i s c u s s e d earlier, n a m e l y : t h e file i n v e n t o r y ( w h i c h s h o u l d c o v e r at least 3 0 y e a r s - s e e § § 2 a n d 5), a n i n d e x to t h e file inventory (§ 3 - this w a s m e n t i o n e d previously a s t h e i n d e x t o t h e j o u r n a l , t h e d i f f e r e n c e b e i n g negligible), a n d t h e j o u r n a l (§ 7). It also c o v e r s t h e k e e p i n g of n o t e s a b o u t w h a t e v e r else m i g h t s e e m i m p o r t a n t to k e e p t r a c k of (§ 9).  3 1 . Unless it is a series file. The handling of such files is regulated in a series of notes in the same paragraph. 32. "Fur die Richtigkeit und Vollstandigkeit der Akten zu sorgen, ist eine Hauptpflicht des Registratoris".  30  Finally, t h e fifth s e c t i o n c o v e r s topics relating t o t h e g e n e r a l relationship of t h e registrar to his files, including s e v e r a l p a r a g r a p h s (§§ 1 t o 7) of instructions r e g a r d i n g t h e l o a n of files t o officials. O f particular interest is t h e r e m i n d e r of t h e i m p o r t a n c e of confidentiality (§ 10) - s i n c e this injunction n e v e r fails t o s h o w u p in r e g u l a t i o n s c o n c e r n i n g t h e filing r o o m or t h e g e n e r a l a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of t h e office, it is clear t h a t b r e a c h of confidentiality w a s a n o n g o i n g issue, involving not only t h e c o m m o n p r o b l e m of "loose t o n g u e s " b u t also m o r e s e r i o u s c a s e s of selling state s e c r e t s . A f u r t h e r p a r a g r a p h ( § 1 1 ) p r o v i d e s a list of all t h e b o o k s w h i c h t h e registrar is t o k e e p in t h e c o u r s e of fulfilling his duties. T h e s a m e p a r a g r a p h p r o v i d e s also f o r t h e division of w o r k w h e n m o r e t h a n o n e registrar is active in a filing r o o m ; h e r e it is stipulated - in a m a n n e r w h i c h s h o u l d n o l o n g e r be surprising — t h a t e a c h registrar is t o a c q u i r e a c o m p l e t e k n o w l e d g e of all t h e files in t h e filing r o o m .  4 . Summary T h e role of t h e registrar a n d of t h e filing r o o m in a typical P r u s s i a n g o v e r n m e n t office w a s a central o n e : h e r e w a s t h e n o d e w h e r e files w e r e c r e a t e d , c o n t r o l l e d , s t o r e d a n d retrieved. F r o m t h e filing r o o m t h e only action r e m a i n i n g w a s t h e t r a n s f e r of t h e files to t h e a r c h i v e s (this w a s t h e responsibility of t h e archivist).  T h e w o r k of t h e registrar i n v o l v e d t w o central e l e m e n t s a n d d e p e n d e d o n a third. First, t h e registrar w a s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e c a r e of t h e d o c u m e n t a t i o n w h i c h e v i d e n c e d t h e a c t i o n s carried o u t by his office - this w a s a c c o m p l i s h e d t h r o u g h m a k i n g files f o l l o w i n g t h e principle of t h e p r i m a c y of t h e b u s i n e s s m a t t e r a n d by o r g a n i z i n g t h e files a c c o r d i n g to a s c h e m e w h i c h reflected t h e entire s c o p e of activities of t h e office. S e c o n d , t h e  31  registrar h a d t o a c c o u n t f o r t h e w o r k that h e p e r f o r m e d a n d f o r t h e material f o r w h i c h h e h a d responsibility. T h i s w a s a c c o m p l i s h e d t h r o u g h t h e v a r i o u s registers - principally t h e j o u r n a l , t h e file i n v e n t o r y a n d t h e index. T h i r d , t h e w o r k of t h e registrar w a s o n l y p o s s i b l e w i t h i n t h e f r a m e w o r k of a set of r e g u l a t i o n s e s t a b l i s h e d by t h e s o v e r e i g n . T h e s e r e g u l a t i o n s n o t only p r o v i d e d specific instructions as to t h e n a t u r e a n d details of t h e w o r k of t h e registrar, b u t also e s t a b l i s h e d t h e c o n t e x t w i t h i n w h i c h his w o r k o c c u r r e d , i.e. t h e relationship b e t w e e n b u s i n e s s m a t t e r a n d r e c o r d k e e p i n g . W i t h o u t s u c h regulations, t h e P r u s s i a n R e g i s t r a t u r w o u l d h a v e b e e n simply a c u r i o u s p h e n o m e n o n .  32  CHAPTER T W O : The Medieval Antecedents of the Prussian Registratur  T h e t h r e e e l e m e n t s of t h e classical P r u s s i a n Registratur - file m a k i n g , registration, a n d b u s i n e s s rules — c a n be d i s c e r n e d in a n a s c e n t f o r m in t h e multitude of practices w h i c h c h a r a c t e r i z e d m e d i e v a l r e c o r d k e e p i n g . I n d e e d , t h e y c a n b e d e t e c t e d a l r e a d y in t h e R o m a n imperial p e r i o d , w i t h its highly d e v e l o p e d administrative structure a n d resulting a b u n d a n c e of r e c o r d s , its u s e of registers in t h e f o r m of commentarii  a n d gesta, a n d its  u s e of w r i t t e n instructions to regulate t h e activity of administrative officials. T h e s e practices n e v e r c o m p l e t e l y died out, b u t w e r e a b s o r b e d in t h e w e s t e r n w o r l d by t h e R o m a n p a p a c y , o w i n g n o t m e r e l y to its R o m a n roots ( m a n y early p a p a l a d m i n i s t r a t o r s h a d their training in s e c u l a r offices), b u t also to t h e f a c t t h a t f o r m a n y c e n t u r i e s it r e p r e s e n t e d t h e largest highly s t r u c t u r e d a n d stable E u r o p e a n o r g a n i z a t i o n . It is a d m i t t e d l y intriguing to s e e h o w certain of t h e r e c o r d k e e p i n g traditions w h i c h d e v e l o p e d in m o d e r n E u r o p e m a y h a v e origins in R o m a n practices t r a n s m i t t e d t h r o u g h t h e P a p a c y . H o w e v e r , t h e c o n n e c t i o n s t h u s s p u n o u t r e m a i n s p e c u l a t i v e a n d c a n n o t s e r v e to e x p l a i n t h e very c o n c r e t e d e v e l o p m e n t s w h i c h led t o t h e e m e r g e n c e of t w o entirely different r e c o r d s y s t e m s h a v i n g a p p a r e n t l y t h e s a m e roots a n d b e i n g a p p a r e n t l y e x p o s e d t o t h e s a m e i n f l u e n c e s . A n y i n f l u e n c e n e e d s fertile soil in w h i c h to g r o w , a n d it is r e c o g n i z e d t h a t soils vary f r o m place t o place. It a c c o r d i n g l y a p p e a r s i n c u m b e n t t o e x a m i n e t h e r e c o r d k e e p i n g c o n d i t i o n s in N o r t h e r n G e r m a n y p r e c e d i n g t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e P r u s s i a n Registratur.  33  1. T h e c o m p i l a t i o n of individual d o c u m e n t s T h e m a k i n g of files as w e k n o w it t o d a y b e g a n only t o w a r d s t h e e n d t h e m e d i e v a l e r a t h a t is, in t h e late 15th century. Prior to this time, a t t e n t i o n w a s f o c u s e d primarily ( a l t h o u g h n o t exclusively) o n t h e d i p l o m a , t h e legal m a n i f e s t a t i o n of a c o m p l e t e d b u s i n e s s matter. H o w e v e r , e v e n w i t h t h e d i p l o m a , m e a n s h a d t o b e d e v i s e d f o r k e e p i n g t h e m as well as t h e p r o d u c t s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e m - c o p i e s , f o r e x a m p l e -  gathered  t o g e t h e r in s o m e f a s h i o n t o p r e v e n t t h e m f r o m b e i n g s c a t t e r e d a n d to e n a b l e a n official to f i n d t h e m w h e n n e c e s s a r y . T h e v a r i o u s m e t h o d s e m p l o y e d f o r t h e s e p u r p o s e s - primitive a s t h e y m a y s e e m to t h e m o d e r n o b s e r v e r - in t u r n s h a p e d t h e s t r a t e g i e s t h e file m a k e r s w e r e to e m p l o y in t h e m o d e r n e r a .  T h e traditions f o r t h e c o m p i l a t i o n of individual d o c u m e n t s w e r e e s t a b l i s h e d in a period w h e n a l m o s t all c h a n c e r y p r o d u c t s w e r e o n p a r c h m e n t . W h i l e o f f e r i n g distinct 1  a d v a n t a g e s o v e r p a p y r u s , particularly in t e r m s of durability, cost, a n d availability of local s u p p l i e s , p a r c h m e n t w a s n e v e r t h e l e s s relatively e x p e n s i v e to p r o d u c e , a n d suppliers w e r e c a r e f u l t o g e t as m u c h f r o m a single skin as possible, w h i c h m e a n t that p i e c e s of p a r c h m e n t arriving in t h e c h a n c e r y w e r e of n o s t a n d a r d s h a p e o r size. A n y solution to t h e p r o b l e m of d o c u m e n t s t o r a g e h a d , t h e r e f o r e , t o p r o c e e d f r o m t h e i d e a that irregular sizes had to be accommodated.  1.  Papyrus was used exclusively by the Merowingian rulers until 677, after which date parchment was very rapidly introduced. The conquering of Egypt, the source for papyrus, by the Arabs under Omer in 641 had led to a considerable increase in price as well as to uncertainty in deliveries. See Bresslau, Handbuch der Urkundenlehre, vol.2, pp.487-489, and Erben, Kaiserund KOnigsurkunden, p. 120.  T h e solutions w h i c h e v o l v e d c a n be g r o u p e d into t w o g e n e r a l c a t e g o r i e s . O n t h e o n e h a n d is t h e c o n t a i n e r solution: loose d o c u m e n t s w e r e g a t h e r e d t o g e t h e r into discreet c o n t a i n e r s , t h e solid s i d e s or w a l l s of w h i c h p r e v e n t e d t h e d o c u m e n t s f r o m shifting location or b e c o m i n g m i x e d w i t h o t h e r g r o u p s of d o c u m e n t s . O n t h e o t h e r h a n d is t h e b i n d i n g s o l u t i o n : h e r e t h e d o c u m e n t s are f a s t e n e d t o g e t h e r by s o m e m e a n s w h i c h k e e p s t h e individual items t o g e t h e r in a certain order; t h e g r o u p t h u s c r e a t e d is internally f i x e d b u t locally m o v a b l e . T h e s e t w o solutions are n o t m u t u a l l y e x c l u s i v e a n d w e r e in f a c t frequently applied simultaneously.  C o n t a i n e r s c o u l d be large o r small. L a r g e r c o n t a i n e r s t o o k t h e f o r m of i m m o b i l e p i e c e s of furniture, f o r e x a m p l e , s h e l v e s or c u p b o a r d s , w h i c h w o u l d be d i v i d e d u p into a n a p p r o p r i a t e n u m b e r of s e c t i o n s . M o r e m o b i l e units s u c h as c a b i n e t s w i t h sliding d r a w e r s w e r e also c o m m o n . Mobility w a s a n i m p o r t a n t f a c t o r f o r t h e m e d i e v a l c h a n c e r y , s i n c e rulers w e r e peripatetic a n d s o m e d o c u m e n t s a l w a y s h a d to be at h a n d . T h u s , w h i l e t h e i m m o b i l e or only partially m o b i l e c o n t a i n e r s m i g h t be a p p r o p r i a t e f o r t h e archival d e p o t , n e c e s s i t y d i c t a t e d e m p l o y m e n t of smaller, y e t no less s e c u r e d e v i c e s : n a m e l y c h e s t s or t r u n k s . A m a j o r p r o b l e m w i t h this s o l u t i o n , h o w e v e r , w a s that t h e s p a c e available f o r t h e d o c u m e n t s w a s t o o small t o b e s u b d i v i d e d , t h u s t h e d o c u m e n t s w e r e simply p l a c e d inside a n d left t o a r r a n g e t h e m s e l v e s a c c o r d i n g to t h e m o t i o n s of travel o r t h e disturbances caused w h e n documents were removed. Another serious problem w a s the limited a c c e s s - w h i l e it w a s clear w h i c h d o c u m e n t s within t h e c o n t a i n e r are o n t o p , it r e q u i r e d s o m e effort to f i n d d o c u m e n t s e l s e w h e r e in t h e pile, b e c a u s e , unlike t h e shelf, c u p b o a r d , o r e v e n t h e drawer, t h e s t a c k o r pile is a c c e s s i b l e only f r o m t o p to b o t t o m , n o t f r o m t h e side. T h e s a m e p r o b l e m s o c c u r r e d w i t h similar d e v i c e s , s u c h as t h e h a m p e r or  35  t h e b a s k e t . C o n t a i n e r s c o u l d , h o w e v e r , b e m a d e so small t h a t t h e y c o u l d t h e n be p l a c e d in o t h e r c o n t a i n e r s ; t h u s a n o t h e r c o m m o n m e t h o d of storing s t a c k s of d o c u m e n t s w a s the b o x ( t u b e s w e r e u s e d if t h e d o c u m e n t s w e r e to be rolled). T h e s e small c o n t a i n e r s h a d t h e a d v a n t a g e of b e i n g very highly m o b i l e a n d y e t at t h e s a m e t i m e a b l e to p r o v i d e a d e q u a t e p r o t e c t i o n to t h e d o c u m e n t s a n d e n s u r e t h a t t h e s t a c k or pile r e m a i n e d intact. T h e y h a d t h e d i s a d v a n t a g e of b e i n g relatively e x p e n s i v e to p r o d u c e , a n d of allowing only a relatively small n u m b e r of d o c u m e n t s to be p l a c e d inside t h e m , d u e t o their limited capacity.  In c o n t r a s t t o t h e c o n t a i n e r s o l u t i o n , b i n d i n g w a s relatively s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d a n d did n o t require t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n of special p i e c e s of furniture o r e q u i p m e n t . It e n t a i l e d , h o w e v e r , t h a t e v e r y d o c u m e n t b e physically altered, s i n c e t h e large n o n - s t a n d a r d p i e c e s of p a r c h m e n t simply did n o t l e n d t h e m s e l v e s to b e i n g b o u n d t o g e t h e r in their original s h a p e . O n e s i m p l e m e t h o d i n v o l v e d rolling t h e p a r c h m e n t s u p individually, a n d t h e n tying t h e m t o g e t h e r into a b u n d l e . M o r e c o m m o n w a s folding d o c u m e n t s into m o r e or less s t a n d a r d sizes a n d t h e n b u n d l i n g t h e m up. T h e r e w e r e t w o m a j o r d i s a d v a n t a g e s t o t h e b u n d l i n g m e t h o d : b u n d l e d d o c u m e n t s c o u l d not b e p e r u s e d , a n d o n c e t h e b u n d l e w a s u n t i e d , t h e d o c u m e n t s w e r e liable to b e c o m i n g easily d i s o r d e r e d .  T h e p r o b l e m s w i t h t h e b u n d l i n g a p p r o a c h w e r e o v e r c o m e by a n o t h e r m e t h o d , w h i c h h o w e v e r m e a n t inflicting e v e n g r e a t e r injury to t h e d o c u m e n t . By piercing t h e d o c u m e n t in t h e c e n t r e , it w a s possible to affix it o n a h o l d i n g d e v i c e w h i c h t h e n b o u n d t h e g r o u p of d o c u m e n t s t o g e t h e r . T h i s d e v i c e c o u l d be either rigid or flexible. Rigid d e v i c e s i n c l u d e d s p i k e s , u p o n w h i c h t h e d o c u m e n t s w e r e literally i m p a l e d in t h e a p p r o p r i a t e order; t h e  36  s p i k e c o u l d either p r o t r u d e vertically, as o n a d e s k or counter, or horizontally f r o m a wall or piece of furniture. A v a r i a n t of t h e rigid d e v i c e is t h e hook, t h e s h a r p e n d of w h i c h c o u l d b e s e t into a h o l d e r m u c h like t h e m o d e r n s a f e t y - p i n . Unlike t h e spike, t h e h o o k w a s m o v a b l e , a n d c o u l d b e s u s p e n d e d f r o m t h e wall w h e r e v e r t h e r e w a s r o o m . T h e u s e of rigid d e v i c e s m e a n t that t h e o r d e r of t h e d o c u m e n t s c o u l d r e m a i n intact w h i l e t h e individual d o c u m e n t s w e r e m o v a b l e , t h u s allowing their c o n t e n t s to b e e x a m i n e d . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , s i n c e t h e n e c e s s a r y rigidity w a s a s s u r e d n o t only by t h e n a t u r e of t h e material (iron) b u t also by its t h i c k n e s s , u s e of rigid d e v i c e s left relatively large h o l e s in t h e d o c u m e n t s . A n o t h e r d i s a d v a n t a g e lay in t h e f a c t t h a t t h e n u m b e r of d o c u m e n t s w h i c h c o u l d b e t h u s held t o g e t h e r w a s naturally limited by t h e size of t h e d e v i c e .  Flexible d e v i c e s c o n s i s t e d of c o r d s a n d t h o n g s a n d a v o i d e d b o t h of t h e d i s a d v a n t a g e s of t h e rigid d e v i c e s , since t h e p u n c t u r e s c o u l d b e s m a l l e r a n d t h e c o r d cut t o w h a t e v e r l e n g t h w a s n e c e s s a r y ; c o r d s w h i c h w e r e t o o short c o u l d b e easily r e p l a c e d by l o n g e r o n e s . A g a i n t h e r e w e r e t w o principal m e t h o d s : either t h e c o r d c o u l d b e k n o t t e d at e a c h e n d in a m a n n e r w h i c h p r e v e n t e d t h e d o c u m e n t s f r o m sliding a l o n g t h e c o r d , o r t h e e n d k n o t s c o u l d b e s p a c e d relatively f a r apart, allowing t h e d o c u m e n t s to slide b a c k a n d f o r t h . T h e first m e t h o d w a s m o r e s e c u r e , b u t m a d e b r o w s i n g t h e individual d o c u m e n t s a bit t e d i o u s . T h e s e c o n d m e t h o d w a s m u c h m o r e c o n g e n i a l f o r s e a r c h i n g , but at t h e s a m e t i m e p r e s e n t e d g r e a t e r d a n g e r s to t h e d o c u m e n t in that a lot of sliding usually e n l a r g e d t h e hole.  37  T h e e x t e n s i v e u s e of p a p e r in N o r t h e r n G e r m a n y , a n d w i t h it t h e possibility of w o r k i n g w i t h d o c u m e n t s w h i c h w e r e a p p r o x i m a t e l y of s t a n d a r d s i z e , p r o b a b l y b e g a n in t h e late 2  14th c e n t u r y . W h i l e t h e introduction of m a n u f a c t u r e d p a p e r w a s in itself s o m e t h i n g of a 3  revolution, its i m p a c t o n t h e g a t h e r i n g of d o c u m e n t s w a s s o m e w h a t less d r a m a t i c . C o n t a i n e r s a n d b i n d i n g s c o n t i n u e d to b e u s e d as b e f o r e , a n d in m u c h t h e s a m e w a y . H o w e v e r , c o n t a i n e r s — a n d especially c o m p a r t m e n t s - c o u l d n o w b e d e s i g n e d to fit t h e d o c u m e n t s m o r e exactly, resulting in a n i n c r e a s e d n u m b e r of c o m p a r t m e n t s f o r t h e s a m e a m o u n t of a r e a in a cabinet. T h i s also i n t r o d u c e d a n e w e l e m e n t of p l a n n i n g into t h e k e e p i n g of d o c u m e n t s , since s t o r a g e w a s n o w d e p e n d e n t not o n t h e w h i m s of n a t u r e as e x p r e s s e d in t h e s h a p e of p i e c e s of p a r c h m e n t , b u t o n calculations m a d e a c c o r d i n g to e x p e c t e d i n c r e a s e s of d o c u m e n t s w h i c h w e r e all of a similar size.  M o r e interesting is t h e c h a n g e in b i n d i n g m e t h o d s . W h e n d o c u m e n t s are all m o r e or less t h e s a m e size, it b e c o m e s practical to bind t h e m t o g e t h e r at a c o r n e r (usually, t h e t o p lefth a n d corner) or a l o n g a n e d g e (again usually, t h e left e d g e ) w i t h o u t e n c o u n t e r i n g t h e p r o b l e m of larger s h e e t s hiding s m a l l e r s h e e t s .  T h e e s s e n t i a l p r o b l e m w i t h m o v i n g t h e p u n c t u r e f r o m t h e c e n t r e of t h e d o c u m e n t t o t h e p e r i p h e r y ( w h e r e it a d m i t t e d l y h a s less o p p o r t u n i t y of m a r r i n g t h e text) is that t h e d a n g e r of t e a r i n g i n c r e a s e s , a n d a t o r n e d g e hole is as g o o d a s no hole at all. T h u s , w h i l e t h e m e t h o d of p a s s i n g a cord t h r o u g h t h e p e r f o r a t i o n or p e r f o r a t i o n s w a s still e m p l o y e d f o r 2.  3.  Standardization itself is a modern phenomenon. However, as Papritz points out (Archivwissenschaft, vol.2, p.10), it was to the commercial advantage of paper makers to ape papers which were of good repute - even to the extent of mimicking the water marks. This copying led, while not to standard sizes perse, nevertheless to a perceptible homogeneity which was sufficient to provide one of the necessary prerequisites for file making. See Blaschke, Urkundenwesen und Kanzlei der Wettiner bis 1485, p.198.  38  b i n d i n g at t h e corner, it b e c a m e m o r e e x p e d i e n t t o stitch t h e d o c u m e n t s t o e a c h o t h e r at t h e corner: this b o u n d t h e d o c u m e n t s securely t o g e t h e r a n d still a l l o w e d officials t o leaf t h r o u g h t h e resulting b u n d l e .  T h e b i n d i n g c o u l d be r e i n f o r c e d by t h e u s e of thick c a r d in t h e f o r m of front a n d b a c k c o v e r s , o r by t h e u s e of p a r c h m e n t cut f r o m old d i p l o m a s . F r o m this m e t h o d it w a s b u t a s h o r t step t o b i n d i n g t h e d o c u m e n t s at t h e side, a l t h o u g h t h e p r o c e d u r e w a s s o m e w h a t m o r e c o m p l i c a t e d , requiring t w o additional s t e p s . T h e first step c o n s i s t e d of p r o v i d i n g a stiff p i e c e of material t o a n c h o r t h e b i n d i n g , s i n c e individual p i e c e s c a n n o t b e effectively b o u n d to e a c h o t h e r at t h e side. T h e s e c o n d step c o n s i s t e d of p r o v i d i n g t h e d o c u m e n t s w i t h a f o l d t h r o u g h w h i c h t h e stitching w o u l d be m a d e ; f o r folio f o r m a t s this i n v o l v e d simply f o l d i n g t h e s h e e t in half, while f o r q u a r t e r f o r m a t s a n artificial f o l d h a d to b e c r e a t e d by f o l d i n g o v e r t h e left m a r g i n s o m e w h a t . T h e stitching itself c o u l d be p l a c e d at t h e v e r y t o p a n d b o t t o m of t h e spine, w h e r e it also s e r v e d to p r o t e c t t h e e d g e s , o r it c o u l d b e l o c a t e d in t w o w i d e g r o u p s s o m e w h a t o f f s e t f r o m t h e c e n t r e . For t h e s p i n e itself p a r c h m e n t w a s a n ideal material, particularly since it c o u l d be c u t in s u c h a w a y that e n o u g h w a s available to c o v e r b o t h t h e f r o n t a n d t h e b a c k of t h e d o c u m e n t b u n d l e a n d o f t e n also t h e o p e n right side.  T h i s m e t h o d of b i n d i n g r e p r e s e n t e d t h e effective e p i t o m e of m e d i e v a l d o c u m e n t g a t h e r i n g t e c h n o l o g y . A l t h o u g h it w a s very c l o s e to true b o o k b i n d i n g , a n d a l t h o u g h true  39  books were even occasionally made, the problems were greater than the advantages , 4  a n d t h e classical P r u s s i a n b i n d i n g w a s a direct d e s c e n d e n t of t h e less f o r m a l m e t h o d .  2. Registration T h e a d v a n t a g e s s e c u r e d by k e e p i n g track of objects a n d e v e n t s w e r e fully realized early in t h e M i d d l e A g e s , a n d t h u s it is of n o surprise that a variety of f o r m s is e n c o u n t e r e d . T h e m o s t c o m m o n of t h e s e w e r e c o p y b o o k s a n d tradition b o o k s f o r d i p l o m a s r e c e i v e d , p r o p e r t y b o o k s , v a s s a l a g e b o o k s , a n d b o o k s f o r g e n e r a l b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s . In t h e h i g h M i d d l e A g e s a p p e a r e d t h e register p r o p e r . 5  G i v e n t h e a b s e n c e of g e n e r a l c h a r t e r s or c o n s i s t e n t legal c o d e s , rights a n d privileges in t h e m e d i e v a l e r a d e p e n d e d very m u c h u p o n individual acts e v i d e n c e d by d i p l o m a s , w h i c h t h u s b e c a m e objects of c o n s i d e r a b l e o r e v e n very g r e a t v a l u e , d e p e n d i n g u p o n t h e n a t u r e of t h e right or privilege. S e c u r e s t o r a g e of t h e s e d i p l o m a s w a s a m a t t e r of high priority, a n d t h e c o m m o n solution w a s to lock t h e m a w a y in a s t u r d y t r u n k or c h e s t w h i c h w o u l d t h e n b e d e p o s i t e d w i t h o t h e r v a l u a b l e s in a r o o m o r v a u l t c o n s i d e r e d relatively s a f e f r o m t h i e v e s , v a n d a l s a n d t h e e l e m e n t s - particularly fire. H o w e v e r , s u c h a solution b a s e d o n t h e n e e d f o r t h e security of t h e original h a d t h e d r a w b a c k of m a k i n g it difficult to  4.  5.  In true book binding, the pages are bound in fascicles, which in octave format leads to pages 1, 2 , 1 5 and 16 being on the same sheet. Book binding of documents therefore requires considerable planning if the order of the documents matters at all. The author follows the customary distinction made by German scholars between use of the term "copybook" (Kopial) for registers of incoming diplomas and the term "register" (Register) for registers of outgoing documents. Although both involved the use of copies, the purpose behind each was fundamentally different, a fact which is reflected in their later development. This should become clear in the course of the following pages.  40  a c c e s s f o r r e f e r e n c e , a n d h e n c e g a v e origin to t h e practice of m a k i n g s u r r o g a t e s in t h e f o r m of c o p i e s .  C o p y b o o k s - i.e., literally, b o o k s c o n t a i n i n g c o p i e s of d i p l o m a s - exist f r o m t h e first half of t h e 9 t h c e n t u r y ; their u s e c o n t i n u e d well into t h e m o d e r n e r a . In f o r m a t a n d layout 6  t h e r e w a s n o s u b s t a n t i a l c h a n g e o v e r this p e r i o d , a n d variations a r e d u e mainly t o t h e practice of t h e particular c h a n c e r y rather t h a n to i m p r o v e m e n t s o r o t h e r d e v e l o p m e n t s .  C o p i e s c o u l d be m o r e or less c o m p l e t e , r e p r o d u c i n g b o t h c o n t e n t a n d f o r m of t h e original, o r t h e y c o u l d be c o n s i d e r a b l y a b b r e v i a t e d , w i t h n o particular a t t e m p t t o r e p r o d u c e t h e f o r m , only t h e t e x t of t h e original b e i n g c a p t u r e d . C o p i e s c o u l d also be m o r e o r less faithful, at t i m e s a l m o s t mirroring t h e original, at o t h e r t i m e s p r e s e n t i n g w h a t m o d e r n r e s e a r c h e r s c a n only r e g a r d as fanciful interpretations. E v e n in fairly faithful r e p r o d u c t i o n s , scribes usually t o o k t h e liberty of correcting w h a t t h e y v i e w e d a s m i s t a k e s in t h e original. A c o p y c o u l d be m a d e directly f r o m t h e original, o r it m i g h t b e m a d e f r o m a n o t h e r c o p y ; t h e p r o d u c t i o n of t h e c o p y c o u l d o c c u r relatively s o o n after t h e receipt of t h e original, or h u n d r e d of y e a r s later.  T h e o r d e r in w h i c h t h e c o p i e s w e r e a r r a n g e d v a r i e d c o n s i d e r a b l y . Q u i t e c o m m o n w a s a r r a n g e m e n t a c c o r d i n g to g e o g r a p h i c a l location; h e r e t h e individual c o p i e s w o u l d b e g r o u p e d by locality a n d t h e n t h e localities a r r a n g e d usually in a l p h a b e t i c a l order. C h r o n o l o g i c a l o r d e r w a s also c o m m o n , a s w a s t h e a r r a n g e m e n t a c c o r d i n g t o t h e legal  6.  From Fulda, ca. 835. Other extant early examples include the Liber aureus of Priim and the copybooks of Corvey, Salzburg (all three 10th century), Utrecht, Malmedy, Honau, St.Mihiel, Kempten, Brixen and Magdeburg (all 11th century). See Bresslau, op.cit., vol.1, pp.94-95.  41  n a t u r e of t h e m a t t e r c o n c e r n e d . M a i n g r o u p s c o u l d also b e f o r m e d - f o r e x a m p l e — a c c o r d i n g to certain kinds of b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s - a n d s u b - g r o u p s c r e a t e d w i t h i n t h e m by locality or c h r o n o l o g y . A r r a n g e m e n t of t h e c o p i e s w a s , h o w e v e r , a s e c o n d a r y t a s k in t h e p r o c e s s of p r o d u c i n g t h e c o p y b o o k , as is m a d e clear by t h e f a c t that s o m e of t h e m h a v e c o m e t o us w i t h n o e v i d e n c e of a n y kind of principle of a r r a n g e m e n t b e i n g u s e d .  C o p i e s c o u l d b e m a d e o n individual s h e e t s , a n d t h e s h e e t s later b o u n d t o g e t h e r into s o m e t h i n g r e s e m b l i n g a b o o k -- this w a s not so e a s y w i t h p a r c h m e n t b u t w a s entirely p r a c t i c a b l e w i t h paper, as t h e p r e c e d i n g e x a m i n a t i o n of d o c u m e n t b i n d i n g h a s s h o w n . M o r e c o m m o n h o w e v e r w a s t h e entry of t h e c o p y o n t o t h e s h e e t s of a p r e - m a d e b o o k : this s a v e d t i m e b u t also c h a n g e d t h e n a t u r e of t h e c o p y s o m e w h a t , since it w a s n o l o n g e r so m u c h a s u r r o g a t e of a d o c u m e n t , b u t a b u s i n e s s m a t t e r in its o w n right, e n t e r e d "into t h e b o o k " in m o r e or less t h e s a m e f a s h i o n as o t h e r b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s .  T h i s is m o r e clear w i t h t h e tradition b o o k s . A l t h o u g h a p r o d u c t of m o n a s t e r y scribes, t h e tradition b o o k s are interesting in t h a t t h e y a i m e d to register n o t m e r e l y t h e v a r i o u s privileges w h i c h t h e m o n a s t e r y c o l l e c t e d , but also o t h e r b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s s u c h as a g r e e m e n t s a n d receipts. T h i s practice is especially e v i d e n t in B a v a r i a , w h e r e tradition b o o k s d e p a r t e d so m u c h f r o m t h e c o p y b o o k s that t h e y m u s t b e r e g a r d e d a s d o c u m e n t s in their o w n right . 7  O f c o u r s e , o u t s i d e of t h e m o n a s t e r i e s , r e c o r d s of t h e s a m e or similar m a t t e r s w e r e kept, a l t h o u g h not in a m a n n e r as u n i f o r m as t h e tradition b o o k s . T h e s e r e c o r d s , usually  7.  See Bresslau, op.cit., p.99-100.  42  g a t h e r e d t o g e t h e r into b o o k f o r m or c r e a t e d as entries into a book, b e a r v a r i o u s n a m e s a n d are identified collectively u n d e r t h e G e r m a n g e n e r i c t e r m s Amtsbucher  Geschaftsbucher,  or  i.e. office b o o k s or b u s i n e s s b o o k s . T h u s , t h e L/hbarwas a list of t h e 8  p r o p e r t y titles held by a l a n d o w n e r a n d i n c l u d e d a register of t h e o b l i g a t i o n s a n d c o n t r i b u t i o n s of t h e p e a s a n t s . O n e e x a m p l e of particular r e l e v a n c e f o r t h e p r e s e n t d i s c u s s i o n is t h e Landbuch  of t h e E m p e r o r C h a r l e s IV, w h i c h is basically a land registry  of t h e M a r c h of B r a n d e n b u r g , w h i c h h a d fallen into his p o s s e s s i o n . T h e Lehensbuch 9  or  v a s s a l a g e b o o k c a m e into u s e a r o u n d t h e b e g i n n i n g of t h e 14th century, d u e to t h e rise of a m o n e t a r y e c o n o m y , a n d p r o v i d e d a list of v a s s a l a g e claims a n d obligations. G i v e n t h a t t h e act of v a s s a l a g e itself w a s often v e r b a l (no d i p l o m a w a s p r o d u c e d ) , t h e v a s s a l a g e b o o k w a s o f t e n t h e only w r i t t e n r e c o r d of this i m p o r t a n t political i n s t r u m e n t . 10  B o o k s f o r financial r e c o r d s w e r e of c o u r s e also c r e a t e d , including t h e u b i q u i t o u s a c c o u n t s b o o k . W i t h t h e b e g i n n i n g of t a x a t i o n in t h e 14th century, t a x b o o k s g r a d u a l l y m a d e their a p p e a r a n c e , registering especially t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n s o w e d by t h e v a r i o u s e s t a t e s . A n o t h e r i m p o r t a n t g r o u p of office b o o k s w a s f o r m e d by p r o d u c t s of t h e l a w courts. H e r e a w i d e r a n g e of series c o u l d arise, e a c h series b e i n g d e v o t e d to particular kinds of c o u r t c a s e s . Finally, t h e r e is t h e city book, w h i c h d e s e r v e s m e n t i o n a s a 1 1  particular i n s t a n c e of t h e office or b u s i n e s s book. Unlike t h e o t h e r b o o k f o r m s , w h i c h a r o s e primarily o n a n a d hoc basis, city b o o k s w e r e c o n c e i v e d f r o m t h e b e g i n n i n g as a kind of single b o o k i n t e n d e d to be u s e d to register all of t h e city's b u s i n e s s . O f c o u r s e , as  8.  Technically, copybooks and tradition books must be regarded as forms of office books, all of which are essentially registers. 9. On 15 August 1373, through purchase. Charies IV's acquisition of the March of Brandenburg ended the rule of the Wittelsbacher dynasty in Brandenburg, and inaugurated the brief reign of the Luxemburgers, which in turn led to the establishment (in 1415) of the Hohenzollern dynasty. See G.Heinrich, Geschichte Preullens, esp.p.37 ff. 10. See Beck and Henning, op.cit. p.93. 11. Ibid., p.97  43  t i m e p a s s e d a n d t h e b u s i n e s s of t h e city g r e w increasingly c o m p l e x , t h e city b o o k w a s split into n u m e r o u s series - property, f i n a n c e s , t h e courts, etc. - w h i c h t h e n c a m e superficially to r e s e m b l e t h e p r o d u c t s of o t h e r c h a n c e r i e s . City b o o k s w e r e particularly v a l u e d by city officials in their c o n s t a n t struggle f o r i n d e p e n d e n c e a n d r e c o g n i t i o n within t h e political structure of t h e E m p i r e a n d its territories; t h e y a c c o r d i n g l y b e g a n v e r y early a l r e a d y in t h e first part of t h e 13th c e n t u r y  12  - and experienced a progressive  development.  A p p r o x i m a t e l y c o i n c i d e n t w i t h t h e city b o o k a r o s e t h e register p r o p e r as a record of o u t g o i n g d o c u m e n t s . T h e practice is first o b s e r v e d in t h e c h a n c e r y of t h e C o u n t of Tirol a r o u n d t h e m i d d l e of t h e 13th c e n t u r y , a n d it s p r e a d fairly rapidly t h r o u g h o u t G e r m a n y , 13  so t h a t e v e n in n o r t h e r n S a m l a n d  1 4  t h e b i s h o p w a s p r o d u c i n g registers f r o m 1 3 2 2 o n . In 1 5  1 3 3 6 t h e first registers a p p e a r e d in B r a n d e n b u r g u n d e r t h e rule of t h e W i t t e l s b a c h e r s , 16  w h o f i g u r e d p r o m i n e n t l y in G e r m a n y f o r their p r o g r e s s i v e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e practices.  T h e basis f o r t h e register w a s - as f o r t h e c o p y b o o k - t h e c o p y . T h e r e w e r e , h o w e v e r , t w o e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n t h e c o p y in t h e register a n d t h e c o p y in t h e c o p y b o o k . First, t h e c o p y b o o k entry w a s a s u r r o g a t e of a n o t h e r d o c u m e n t - t h e original d i p l o m a . Its p u r p o s e w a s t o be w h e r e t h e original c o u l d n o t - f o r r e a s o n s of security - i.e. in t h e c h a n c e r y office. Its f u n c t i o n as a s u r r o g a t e also e n a b l e d it to s e r v e as a g u i d e to t h e h o l d i n g s of d i p l o m a s in t h e d e p o t . T h e register entry w a s n o t a s u r r o g a t e of a n o t h e r  12. Ibid., p.89 13. Extant from 1308; see Stolz, Archiv- und Registraturwesen der oberfisterreichischen Reqierunq. p.125. 14. In what is now Lithuania. 15. Forstreuter, Zur Fraqe der Reqisterfuhrunq in der zentralen Deutschordenskanzlei. p.50. 16. Bresslau, op.cit., vol.1, p.145.  44  d o c u m e n t , f o r it w a s n o t c r e a t e d in o r d e r that it c o u l d b e w h e r e t h e original w a s not. N o r c o u l d it b e c o n c e i v e d as a s u r r o g a t e of t h e o u t g o i n g d o c u m e n t , w h i c h by its n a t u r e w a s n e v e r i n t e n d e d to r e m a i n part of t h e c h a n c e r y . It is, rather, a e x e m p l a r y c a s e of t h e m e m o r i a l d o c u m e n t , that is, a d o c u m e n t c r e a t e d in o r d e r t o r e m i n d t h e c r e a t i n g a g e n c y of w h a t it h a s d o n e .  S e c o n d , t h e c o p y b o o k entry c o u l d be c r e a t e d at a n y time. T h e original w a s , after all, in t h e p o s s e s s i o n of t h e office holder; if t h e c o p y in t h e c h a n c e r y b e c a m e lost or d a m a g e d , t h e scribe c o u l d simply be instructed to p r o d u c e a n o t h e r c o p y . I n d e e d , s o m e c o p y b o o k entries exist w h i c h h a v e b e e n p r o d u c e d at least 2 0 0 y e a r s after t h e receipt of t h e original d i p l o m a . W i t h t h e register entry, t h e p r o c e d u r e w a s quite different. T h e d o c u m e n t u s e d as a b a s i s f o r t h e entry h a d to b e d i s p a t c h e d ; t h e h e a d of t h e c h a n c e r y c o u l d not a f f o r d to w a i t l o n g p e r i o d s f o r d o c u m e n t s to b e c o p i e d b e f o r e d i s p a t c h i n g t h e m . E v e n w h e n t h e register entry w a s m a d e f r o m t h e draft, w h i l e t h e fair c o p y w a s s e n t out, drafts c o u l d pile u p only f o r so long b e f o r e t h e y h a d to b e c o p i e d . A g a i n , a l t h o u g h registers might, at a later d a t e , be c o p i e d in t u r n , here t h e w h o l e register w a s t h e o b j e c t of t h e c o p y i n g efforts, n o t individual d i p l o m a s .  T h i s p r e s s u r e to p r o d u c e t h e register entry quickly led to a m a j o r d e v e l o p m e n t in r e c o r d k e e p i n g t e c h n i q u e s : t h e extract. W h i l e e v e n w i t h t h e c o p y b o o k c o p y s o m e f r e e d o m w a s u s u a l in d e t e r m i n i n g w h a t w o u l d be c o p i e d a n d w h a t not, t h e i n c r e a s i n g b u r d e n of c o p y i n g o u t g o i n g d o c u m e n t s led to t h e i d e a of simply s u m m a r i z i n g t h e c o n t e n t s . A g o o d e x a m p l e is f u r n i s h e d by t h e register practice at t h e c o u r t of t h e E m p e r o r C h a r l e s IV, t h e s e c o n d e m p e r o r - after L u d w i g t h e B a v a r i a n - to k e e p regular registers. O n e v o l u m e of  45  C h a r l e s ' registers h a s s u r v i v e d a n d is n o w in t h e Sachsisches  Hauptstaatsarchiv  in  D r e s d e n . T h e c o v e r b e a r s t h e inscription " R e g i s t r u m r e g i s t r a n d o r u m Karoli quarti, d a r i n n e k e y s e r l i c h e privilegia, l e h e n b r i v e , u n d a n d e r e vil h a n d e l l l a t e y n i s c h u n d d e u c h s c h registrirt s e y n "  1 7  by a 16th c e n t u r y h a n d . T h e entries f o l l o w o n e after t h e other, s e p a r a t e d  only by a s p a c e , w i t h o u t h e a d i n g s . T h e o r d e r is r o u g h l y c h r o n o l o g i c a l : t h e p r o g r e s s i o n f r o m m o n t h to m o n t h is fairly regular, b u t within e a c h m o n t h t h e o r d e r of t h e d a y s is very irregular. In g e n e r a l , t h e register c o v e r s t h e d a t e s J a n u a r y 1 3 6 0 to April 1 3 6 1 , b u t s o m e entries f r o m p r e c e d i n g y e a r s ( 1 3 5 5 , 1 3 5 8 a n d 1359) h a v e b e e n i n t e r p o l a t e d . T h e h a n d s c h a n g e f r e q u e n t l y , as d o e s t h e ink. W h i l e m a n y of t h e d o c u m e n t s a r e fairly c o m p l e t e transcriptions, m a n y ( a p p r o x i m a t e l y 4 0 ) w e r e a b b r e v i a t e d to extracts. S i n c e t h e b u s i n e s s n a t u r e of t h e s e d o c u m e n t s differs in no a p p a r e n t m a n n e r f r o m t h o s e d o c u m e n t s w h i c h w e r e c o p i e d in full - t h e y are, in particular, of n o less i m p o r t a n c e t h a n t h e s e - it is r e a s o n a b l e t o c o n c l u d e t h a t t h e y w e r e c o p i e d in h a s t e directly f r o m t h e fair c o p i e s w a i t i n g t o be s e n t out.  Like t h e c o p y b o o k , c h r o n o l o g i c a l o r d e r w a s o n e of several w a y s u s e d to a r r a n g e t h e entries. O t h e r s i n c l u d e d g e o g r a p h i c a l location, social r a n k of t h e a d d r e s s e e , o r subject; t h e a r r a n g e m e n t c o u l d also b e a mixture of t h e s e , or no s y s t e m of a r r a n g e m e n t c o u l d be u s e d at all. In B r a n d e n b u r g , o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , it a p p e a r s t h a t t h e a r r a n g e m e n t a c c o r d i n g to s u b j e c t - a n d i n d e e d , a c c o r d i n g to t h e subject of b u s i n e s s ~ b e c a m e fairly s t a n d a r d from approximately 1410 onwards . 1 8  17. "A register of documents to be registered, of Charles the Fourth, therein are registered imperial privileges, feudal letters, many other matters Latin and German". 18. Lehmann. Reqistraturqeschichtliche und quellenkundliche Aspekte alterer Kanzleireqister. p.14.  46  3. C h a n c e r y r u l e s C h a n c e r y rules w e r e relatively u n c o m m o n in G e r m a n y b e f o r e t h e 16th c e n t u r y . T h i s lack of w r i t t e n r e g u l a t i o n s h o u l d not, h o w e v e r , be t a k e n to indicate a lack of r e g u l a t i o n altogether: t h e very large n u m b e r of m e d i e v a l d i p l o m a s f r o m G e r m a n c h a n c e r i e s b e a r s clear e v i d e n c e t o t h e contrary. T h e e x p l a n a t i o n is to be s o u g h t rather in t h e reliance o n v e r b a l instruction, a tradition w h i c h lasted l o n g e r t h a n in n e i g h b o u r i n g Italy o r F r a n c e .  Officials in t h e m e d i e v a l c h a n c e r y w e r e g r o u p e d into f o u r c a t e g o r i e s . T h e h i g h e s t official w a s t h e chancellor, s o m e t i m e s referred to as t h e protonotarius  ("chief notary"). T h e  c h a n c e l l o r w a s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e lord's seal a n d h e n c e f o r t h e c h a n c e r y itself; he d i s p e n s e d t h e duties to his s u b o r d i n a t e s . Next in rank w e r e t h e notaries, s o m e t i m e s titled  secretarii  (privy notaries) to distinguish t h e m f r o m public notaries. T h e y w e r e r e s p o n s i b l e  f o r drafting t h e d i p l o m a s a n d o t h e r d o c u m e n t s a n d f o r e n s u r i n g t h a t t h e final c o p i e s w e r e correctly e x e c u t e d . T e c h n i c a l l y of t h e s a m e rank as t h e notaries w e r e t h e registrars, w h o w e r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r k e e p i n g a c c o u n t of t h e b u s i n e s s of t h e c h a n c e r y a s well as of all o t h e r m a t t e r s t h e lord d e s i r e d to k e e p r e c o r d s of. T o t h e registrars fell t h e t a s k of k e e p i n g t h e b o o k s d e s c r i b e d a b o v e . Finally, at t h e b o t t o m of t h e h i e r a r c h y w e r e t h e scribes or 1 9  copyists, w h o s e duty w a s to m a k e t h e fair c o p y f r o m t h e drafts p r o d u c e d by t h e notaries.  O n e of t h e earliest set of regulations f o r a c h a n c e r y w a s p r o d u c e d a r o u n d 1 3 2 0 f o r t h e Officialate of t h e A r c h b i s h o p of C o l o g n e - a very large office f o r t h e time, c o m p r i s i n g m o r e t h a n forty regular p e r m a n e n t staff m e m b e r s , t w e n t y of w h o m w e r e n o t a r i e s . 20  One  19. It is of interest to note that although the registrars did essentially the same work as the regular notaries, it was not considered as dignified, for we hear of registrars being promoted to the office of notary. 20. See Janssen, ErzbischOfe von KOIn, pp.152-153.  47  h u n d r e d a n d fifty y e a r s later (!), t h e s e c u l a r a d m i n i s t r a t i o n r e c e i v e d a set of r e g u l a t i o n s in A r c h b i s h o p R u p r e c h t ' s Hof- und Kanzleiordnung  (Regulations for the Court and  C h a n c e r y ) of 1 4 6 9 . T h e i n t e n d e d r e f o r m of t h e Imperial a d m i n i s t r a t i o n in 1 4 9 8 c a u s e d t h e E m p e r o r Maximilian I to d r a w u p r e g u l a t i o n s f o r t h e Imperial C h a n c e r y , w h i c h w e r e a t t a c h e d to t h e r e g u l a t i o n s f o r t h e Imperial C o u r t (Hofordnung) \ 2  T h e s e regulations were  s o o n f o l l o w e d by a s u c c e s s i o n of c h a n c e r y regulations in o t h e r c o u r t s t h r o u g h o u t G e r m a n y , including t h e first c h a n c e r y r e g u l a t i o n s f o r t h e c o u r t of t h e Elector of B r a n d e n b u r g in 1 5 3 7 (Hofordnung  of t h e Electoral Prince J o a c h i m II).  T h e s e early r e g u l a t i o n s usually reflect t w o m a j o r c o n c e r n s of t h e lord: security, a n d r e g u l a t i o n of t h e w o r k i n g h o u r s of t h e staff. T h e a m o u n t of a t t e n t i o n p a i d to t h e s e issues c a n b e s o m e w h a t irritating f o r t h e m o d e r n reader, since v e r y little is said a b o u t t h e o p e r a t i o n of t h e c h a n c e r y itself. A n interesting e x c e p t i o n is t h e a t t e n t i o n g i v e n to t h e office of t h e registrar. T h u s , in t h e regulations f o r t h e c h a n c e r y of t h e A r c h b i s h o p of C o l o g n e of 1 4 6 9 , it is stipulated that registers are to be k e p t of - a m o n g o t h e r t h i n g s t h e e x p e n d i t u r e s of t h e a r c h b i s h o p ' s officials a n d s e r v a n t s as well as of t h e i n c o m e of t h e offices s p r e a d t h r o u g h o u t t h e territory. It is f u r t h e r laid d o w n that " A t t e n t i o n s h o u l d b e g i v e n in t h e c h a n c e r y to t h e Registratur, registers a n d letters, a n d t h e s e s h o u l d b e so a r r a n g e d t h a t t h e y c a n be easily f o u n d , if n e c e s s a r y . "  22  Similarly, in t h e R e g u l a t i o n s f o r  t h e C o u r t of B r a n d e n b u r g of 1 5 3 7 , it is s p e c i f i e d that "All d o c u m e n t s pertaining to c o n f i r m a t i o n s , privileges, property, s e r f d o m , d e p o s i t s , r e c o v e r i e s , p e r m i s s i o n etc., a n d all  2 1 . Erben, op.cit. p.111 and Stolz, op.cit., p.130. 22. "es soli auch sunderlich in der cantzelly uff die registratoir, register und brieff acht gehabt haben und undersheydlich zo legen, das man - so man der bedarff - furderlich fynden moige", cited by Janssen, op.cit., p.169.  48  o t h e r letters w h i c h m a y be of i m p o r t a n c e m u s t b e registered a n d e n t e r e d into s e p a r a t e books."  23  4. S u m m a r y T h e m e d i e v a l e l e m e n t s of r e c o r d k e e p i n g , as d e s c r i b e d a b o v e , w e r e m o r e o r less t h e s a m e t h r o u g h o u t E u r o p e - it w a s only in t h e early m o d e r n e r a t h a t P r u s s i a set o u t o n quite a different p a t h . T h e precise r e a s o n s f o r this d e v e l o p m e n t h a v e n o t y e t b e e n e x a m i n e d , a n d s u c h a n u n d e r t a k i n g w o u l d be f a r b e y o n d t h e limits of t h e p r e s e n t study. H e r e t h e intent h a s b e e n t o simply s k e t c h o u t t h e c o n d i t i o n s existing at t h e birth of t h e P r u s s i a n Registratur. Its roots, w h i l e n o t a c c o u n t i n g directly f o r t h e s p e c i f i c s t r a t e g y p u r s u e d in P r u s s i a , n e v e r t h e l e s s s h e d a g o o d d e a l of light o n its d e v e l o p m e n t . It h a s a l r e a d y b e e n m e n t i o n e d h o w , w i t h t h e introduction of t h e practice of k e e p i n g registers in B r a n d e n b u r g , t h e entries w e r e k e p t quite systematically a c c o r d i n g to t h e n a t u r e of t h e b u s i n e s s m a t t e r - in o t h e r w o r d s , that a basis f o r t h e f u r t h e r d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e a c t i o n file h a d b e e n e s t a b l i s h e d . In addition, of t h e t w o f u n d a m e n t a l t y p e s of d o c u m e n t g a t h e r i n g available, t h e c h a n c e r i e s of B r a n d e n b u r g / P r u s s i a a d o p t e d t h e b i n d i n g m e t h o d - a m e t h o d w h i c h , in c o n t r a s t t o t h e c o n t a i n e r m e t h o d still p r a c t i s e d t o d a y in a d m i n i s t r a t i v e offices in North A m e r i c a a n d W e s t e r n E u r o p e , p l a c e s t h e e m p h a s i s of 24  o r g a n i z i n g o n t h e a g g r e g a t e , n o t o n t h e item. Finally, it h a s b e e n s h o w n t h a t by t h e e n d of t h e Middle A g e s t h e activities of t h e c h a n c e r y of t h e D u c h y of B r a n d e n b u r g w e r e  23.  "alle Confirmation, Privilegien, Eigenthumbs-, Leipgedings-, Vorpfandung-, Wiederkaufs-, Vorwilligungsbrieve etc. und alle Missiven, daran anders etwas gelegen ist, registriren und in sonder Bucher schreiben." Hofordnung des KurfUrsten Joachim II., section II, paragraph 13, reprinted in Altman, op.cit., p.22. 24. I am referring to the ubiquitous file folder as a container for loose documents, and the replication of the file folder in EDP technology.  g o v e r n e d by a set of r e g u l a t i o n s w h i c h explicitly p r o v i d e d f o r t h e k e e p i n g of registers t h e p r e c u r s o r s of t h e j o u r n a l .  50  CHAPTER THREE: Transition - the  Buroreform  T o w a r d s t h e e n d of t h e 19th c e n t u r y a b r o a d m o v e m e n t b e g a n w i t h t h e a i m of r e f o r m i n g b u s i n e s s practices in g o v e r n m e n t offices. T h i s m o v e m e n t , k n o w n as t h e Buroreform  or,  literally, "office (or b u r e a u ) r e f o r m " , a f f e c t e d , at first, primarily t h e offices of t h e S t a t e of P r u s s i a , f o l l o w e d a c o u p l e of d e c a d e s later by t h e g o v e r n m e n t offices of t h e R e i c h . Municipalities also p l a y e d a certain role in t h e r e f o r m m o v e m e n t , w h i c h , of c o u r s e , w a s also s u p p o r t e d in v a r i o u s w a y s by industry a n d c o m m e r c e . T h e r e f o r m lasted essentially f r o m a b o u t 1 8 9 5 to 1 9 4 5 , a n d w i t h it c a m e t h e e n d of t h e classical P r u s s i a n Registratur.  1. The nature of the T h e Buroreform  Buroreform  o c c u r r e d as t h e traditional m e t h o d s of c o n d u c t i n g b u s i n e s s increasingly  f a i l e d t o r e s p o n d effectively to c h a n g i n g b u s i n e s s n e e d s . T h e s e c h a n g e s in g e n e r a l w e r e o c c a s i o n e d by t w o m a i n f a c t o r s ; t h e r e w e r e as well s e c o n d a r y f a c t o r s relating specifically t o file m a n a g e m e n t practices.  O n e m a i n f a c t o r w a s t h e rapid i n c r e a s e in t h e n u m b e r of t a s k s a n d activities of t h e g o v e r n m e n t b u r e a u x a n d a g e n c i e s , resulting in t h e p h e n o m e n a of t h e m a s s files. T h i s i n c r e a s e w a s d u e mainly t o i n c r e a s e d legislative activity by t h e p a r l i a m e n t s , particularly in t h e a r e a s of t a x a t i o n , social w e l f a r e , h o u s i n g , a n d e d u c a t i o n . A n additional c a u s e w a s t h e i n c r e a s i n g p o p u l a t i o n , as well as a rapidly d e v e l o p i n g industry.  51  A s e c o n d m a j o r f a c t o r lay in t h e i n n o v a t i o n s o c c u r r i n g in office t e c h n o l o g y . T h e s e i n c l u d e d s t e n o g r a p h y , t h e typewriter, v a r i o u s c o p y i n g p r o c e s s e s a n d d e v i c e s , t h e s u b s t i t u t i o n of drafts w i t h c a r b o n c o p i e s , a n d t h e introduction of m e c h a n i c a l filing binders.  In t h e specific a r e a of file m a n a g e m e n t , critical p r o b l e m a r e a s i n c l u d e d t h e f r a c t u r i n g of filing s y s t e m s as offices w e r e s u b d i v i d e d o r h a d parts of their f u n c t i o n s t r a n s f e r r e d t o o t h e r offices o r to a n e w office. T h e quality of writing materials steadily d i m i n i s h e d , l e a d i n g to u n s i g h t l y s t a c k s of y e l l o w i n g a n d m o u l d e r i n g d o c u m e n t s , as w e l l as t o p r o b l e m s c a u s e d by t e a r i n g , soiling, a n d f a d i n g ink. Further, t h e filing r o o m , as t h e "eye of t h e n e e d l e " t h r o u g h w h i c h all d o c u m e n t s h a d to p a s s , p r o v e d simply t o o c o n f i n e d to h a n d l e t h e n e w influx of records, m a n y of w h i c h w e r e f o r m s a n d repetitive in n a t u r e . T h e filing r o o m , i n s t e a d of facilitating r e c o r d k e e p i n g , b e g a n t o i m p e d e it. T h i s , c o u p l e d w i t h t h e o t h e r f a c t o r s ( p o o r quality of materials a n d t h e overall m a s s of records) led also to a s t e a d y d e c l i n e in t h e e s t e e m w i t h w h i c h t h e p r o f e s s i o n of registrar w a s h e l d , so that, by t h e e n d of t h e p e r i o d , t h e s e officials w e r e often r e g a r d e d w i t h a certain derision.  2. The history of the B u r o r e f o r m T h e history of t h e Buroreform  c a n be d i v i d e d into t w o m a j o r p h a s e s . T h e first, o r  " P r u s s i a n " p h a s e , b e g a n in t h e final y e a r s of t h e 19th c e n t u r y a n d lasted to a p p r o x i m a t e l y t h e e n d of t h e First W o r l d W a r - in this period r e f o r m activity c e n t r e d a r o u n d t h e offices of t h e P r u s s i a n g o v e r n m e n t . T h e s e c o n d p h a s e o c c u r r e d f r o m t h e e n d of t h e First W o r l d W a r to t h e e n d of t h e S e c o n d W o r l d W a r , a n d involved primarily t h e u p p e r (ministerial) offices of t h e R e i c h .  52  O n e of t h e first g o v e r n m e n t a g e n c i e s t o i n t r o d u c e c h a n g e s in its b u s i n e s s p r o c e d u r e s w a s t h e P r u s s i a n Railway, w h i c h in t h e 1 8 9 0 s b e g a n i m p l e m e n t i n g n e w a d m i n i s t r a t i v e m e a s u r e s to s p e e d up b u s i n e s s p r o c e s s e s a n d to e c o n o m i z e . T h e s e m e a s u r e s also a f f e c t e d r e c o r d k e e p i n g . T h e u s e of t h e j o u r n a l by t h e registrar w a s restricted, a n d t h e filing r o o m w a s c o n n e c t e d m o r e closely t o t h e c h a n c e r y , so t h a t t h e c h a n c e r y clerks t o o k o n s o m e of t h e responsibilities f o r m e r l y held by t h e registrar. Further, a s p e c i a l c a t e g o r y of d o c u m e n t s - so-called Weglegesachen  or "interim d o c u m e n t s " - w a s c r e a t e d in o r d e r  t o relieve t h e filing r o o m by r e d u c i n g t h e n u m b e r of d o c u m e n t s it h a n d l e d .  B e t w e e n 1 8 9 5 a n d 1 8 9 7 , t h e P r u s s i a n g o v e r n m e n t b e g a n t a k i n g m e a s u r e s to i m p r o v e c h a n c e r y p r o c e d u r e s . In 1 8 9 5 , t h e " C h a n c e r y R e g u l a t i o n s "  1  w e r e i s s u e d , f o l l o w e d in  1 8 9 7 by a j o i n t instruction f r o m t h e Minister of t h e Interior a n d t h e Minister of F i n a n c e s entitled Grundzuge  zu Anordnungen  und KommunalbehOrden . 2  uberden  T h e Grundzuge  GeschSftsverkehr  der PreuHischen  Staats-  provided for - a m o n g other things - a reform  of t h e c h a n c e r y l a n g u a g e (including a v o i d i n g t h e u s e of o b s c u r e , f o r e i g n or o u t m o d e d w o r d s as well as t h e t e c h n i c a l j a r g o n peculiar t o t h e c h a n c e r y ) , t h e u s e of p o s t c a r d s , a n d t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n of m e c h a n i c a l filing d e v i c e s . H o w e v e r , b e c a u s e n o n e of t h e m e a s u r e s w a s a c c o m p a n i e d by provisions f o r e n f o r c e m e n t , a n d b e c a u s e of t h e n o t o r i o u s t e n a c i o u s n e s s of P r u s s i a n b u r e a u c r a t i c tradition, t h e y w e r e simply i g n o r e d a n d t h e r e g u l a t i o n s r e m a i n e d a d e a d letter.  1. 2.  Kanzleiordnung for das Justizministerium,. issued on 9 February 1895, published as an attachment to Justizministenalblatt no.8. "Principles for the Regulation of the Business Matters of the Offices of the Prussian State and Municipalities", issued on 12 August 1897.  53  T h e p r e s s u r e f o r r e f o r m r e m a i n e d , h o w e v e r , as w a s m a d e clear by c o m p l a i n t s in t h e C h a m b e r of D e p u t i e s a n d by t h e n u m e r o u s articles a p p e a r i n g in v a r i o u s p r o f e s s i o n a l j o u r n a l s - s u c h as PreuRische  Jahrbucher,  Grenzboten,  a n d Verwaltungsarchiv.  In 1 9 0 9 ,  t h e K a i s e r a p p o i n t e d a "Direct C o m m i s s i o n " to p r e p a r e f o r t h e r e f o r m of t h e g o v e r n m e n t 3  a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . Prior to t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of t h e C o m m i s s i o n , t h e Minister of t h e Interior, v o n Moltke, i s s u e d a set of instructions f o r administrative r e f o r m as well as a 4  m e m o r a n d u m , in w h i c h h e outlined v a r i o u s c o n c r e t e m e a s u r e s t o b e t a k e n in r e g a r d t o 5  reforming the recordkeeping procedures . 6  T h e C o m m i s s i o n c o n s i s t e d of six c o m m i t t e e s , t h e m e m b e r s b e i n g high g o v e r n m e n t officials, m u n i c i p a l leaders, t e c h n o c r a t s a n d r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s f r o m industry a n d t h e f r e e t r a d e s . O f t h e s e six c o m m i t t e e s , only t h e first ~ t h e C o m m i t t e e f o r t h e Simplification of B u s i n e s s P r o c e d u r e s - f i n i s h e d its w o r k . Its report, entitled Grundzuge  (vereinfachte)  Geschaftsfuhrung  der Regierungen , 7  fiireine  contained the following  recommendations: •  t h e u s e of t h e j o u r n a l w a s t o b e r e d u c e d ,  •  control o v e r t h e internal routing of d o c u m e n t s w a s t o b e simplified, a n d routing f o l d e r s were to be used,  •  a s f a r as possible, t h e duties of t h e registrar w e r e to be c o m b i n e d w i t h t h o s e of t h e c h a n c e r y clerks, a n d  3. 4. 5. 6. 7.  Immediatkommission - i.e. a commission reporting directly to the head of government. Formally established on 7 June 1909. On 10 March 1908. Dated 12 December 1908. See Brachmann, Zur Geschichte der Buroreform. p.8. "Basic Principles for a (Simplified) Operation of Government Bureaux". It was ratified by royal decree on 17 June 1910.  54  •  u s e of "interim d o c u m e n t s " (Weglegesachen)  w a s to b e i n t r o d u c e d .  T h e report also r e c o m m e n d e d , h o w e v e r , t h a t t h e traditional ( a n d t i m e - c o n s u m i n g ) filem a k i n g m e t h o d of b i n d i n g d o c u m e n t s be c o n t i n u e d . T h e r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s of t h e  Grundzuge  w e r e i m p l e m e n t e d o n 15 July 1 9 1 0 , a l t h o u g h t h e w o r k of t h e C o m m i s s i o n as  a w h o l e h a d n o t b e e n c o n c l u d e d . A g a i n , h o w e v e r , t h e w o r k b o r e n o fruit, partly b e c a u s e of insufficient p r e p a r a t o r y w o r k to e n s u r e t h e c o - o p e r a t i o n of t h o s e i n v o l v e d , partly b e c a u s e i n a d e q u a t e attention w a s g i v e n to t h e n e e d f o r training a n d d e v e l o p i n g s u p p o r t f o r t h e c h a n g e s . W i t h t h e o u t b r e a k of t h e First W o r l d W a r this particular r e f o r m m o v e m e n t c a m e to a quiet e n d .  Early in 1 9 1 7 , efforts a n d c o n t i n u e d p r e s s u r e f o r s e r i o u s r e f o r m s led to t h e a p p o i n t m e n t of t w o P r u s s i a n C o m m i s s i o n e r s f o r A d m i n i s t r a t i v e R e f o r m : M u g e l s w a s g i v e n 8  responsibility f o r t h e j u s t i c e s y s t e m , w h i l e D r e w s w a s to a d d r e s s t h e situation in t h e r e m a i n i n g a d m i n i s t r a t i v e o f f i c e s . In t h e s a m e year, D r e w s s u b m i t t e d a r e p o r t , l e a d i n g t o 9  10  t h e p a s s i n g of legislation in 1 9 1 8 , w h i c h t h e c o n t a i n e d t h e f o l l o w i n g r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s : •  t h e u s e of filing r o o m aids -- t h e j o u r n a l in particular, w a s t o b e restricted,  •  a t t e n t i o n w a s to b e g i v e n to i m p r o v i n g t h e m e t h o d s a c c o r d i n g to w h i c h files w e r e handled and organized,  •  d e p a r t m e n t a l h e a d s w e r e to b e g i v e n g r e a t e r d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g responsibilities,  •  organically c o n c e i v e d b u s i n e s s p r o c e d u r e s w e r e to be i n t r o d u c e d ,  •  e x t e n s i v e u s e w a s to be m a d e of t h e n e w office t e c h n o l o g y , including t y p e w r i t e r s , telephones, dictaphones, binders and card catalogues,  8. Cabinet order of 19 January 1917. 9. These appointments marked the effective end of the Immediatkommission. 10. Published in Berlin in 1919 under the title Grundzuge einer Verwaltungsreform of an Administrative Reform").  ("The Principles  55  •  p r o v i s i o n w a s to be m a d e f o r i n c r e a s e d c o - o p e r a t i o n a m o n g staff d u r i n g t h e introduction a n d i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of c h a n g e s ,  •  m o r e effective u s e w a s to be m a d e of p e r s o n n e l capacities, a n d  •  n e c e s s a r y a s s u r a n c e s w e r e t o be p r o v i d e d t h a t t h e r e f o r m s p l a n n e d w o u l d also be e x e c u t e d ; a B u r e a u f o r Office I m p r o v e m e n t s w a s e s t a b l i s h e d t o o v e r s e e t h e e x e c u t i o n of t h e r e f o r m m e a s u r e s .  For a third t i m e , h o w e v e r , traditions p r o v e d s t r o n g e r t h a n regulations, a n d real results w e r e intangible. T h e initiative p a s s e d to t h e R e i c h s g o v e r n m e n t .  In t h e R e i c h , efforts to provide t h e e x e c u t i v e office ( R e i c h s r e g i e r u n g ) w i t h efficient b u s i n e s s p r o c e d u r e s b e g a n in 1 9 2 0 , a n d w e r e s u c c e s s f u l l y c o n c l u d e d in 1 9 2 4 w i t h t h e e n a c t m e n t of t h e " P r o c e d u r a l C o d e f o r t h e R e i c h s E x e c u t i v e O f f i c e " . T h e y e a r 1 9 2 0 11  also s a w t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of a " C o m m i s s i o n f o r t h e Simplification a n d S t a n d a r d i z a t i o n of t h e R e i c h s A d m i n i s t r a t i o n "  12  (in o n e of t h e six c o m m i t t e e s of w h i c h D r e w s w a s a  m e m b e r ) , w h i c h , h o w e v e r , w a s t e r m i n a t e d in 1 9 2 1 w i t h o u t h a v i n g a c h i e v e d a n y c o n c r e t e results.  In 1 9 2 2 a f r e s h start w a s m a d e : e a c h ministry a p p o i n t e d a special " C o m m i s s i o n e r f o r M a t t e r s of Efficiency"; e a c h of t h e special c o m m i s s i o n e r s w a s to p r e p a r e r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o n t h e basis of his k n o w l e d g e a n d e x p e r i e n c e , a n d t h e n p r e s e n t t h e m t o his r e s p e c t i v e ministry f o r e x a m i n a t i o n a n d e v a l u a t i o n . In a d d i t i o n , all t h e s p e c i a l c o m m i s s i o n e r s w e r e t o k e e p in t o u c h w i t h o n e another. T h e Director of D e p a r t m e n t I,  11. GeschSftsordnung der Reichsregierung, approved by cabinet on 3 May 1924. 12. Kommission zur Vereinfachung und Vereinheitlichung der Reichsverwaltung.  56  Brecht, w a s a p p o i n t e d f o r t h e Ministry o f t h e Interior (Reichsministerium  des Innern =  RMI), w h i c h h a d a s s u m e d a l e a d i n g role in t h e p r o c e s s .  B r e c h t s u b m i t t e d t h e first draft of a J o i n t P r o c e d u r a l C o d e Geschaftsordnung  (Gemeinsame  = GGO) in 1 9 2 3 . A s a result, a special s u b - c o m m i s s i o n f o r  r e c o r d k e e p i n g m a t t e r s w a s f o r m e d , w i t h Brecht a s o n e of its m e m b e r s . A t t h e s a m e time, t h e C o d e w a s d i v i d e d into a g e n e r a l s e c t i o n ( G G O /: allgemeiner s e c t i o n ( G G O //: besonderer  Te/7), a n d a s p e c i a l  Te/7), a n d by S e p t e m b e r o f t h e s a m e y e a r ( 1 9 2 3 ) , a draft o f  s e c t i o n I w a s f i n i s h e d . H o w e v e r , t h e r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s m a d e in this draft w e r e s o w i d e s w e e p i n g , t h a t c o n s i d e r a b l e d e l a y w a s incurred in t h e a t t e m p t t o w o r k o u t c o m p r o m i s e s a n d e d u c a t e t h e officials in t h e n e c e s s i t y f o r t h e p r o p o s e d c h a n g e s . M e a n w h i l e , w o r k w i t h s e c t i o n II p r o c e e d e d s m o o t h l y , a n d in 1 9 2 4 GGO / / w a s p a s s e d a n d e n a c t e d .  In J a n u a r y o f 1 9 2 6 B r e c h t t o o k t h e u n u s u a l s t e p of setting u p a trial R e g i s t r a t u r in his o w n d e p a r t m e n t o f t h e R M I . H e d e s c r i b e d it a s follows: T h e d e p a r t m e n t s e c t i o n h a s a large Registratur in w h i c h t h r e e registrars sit at their d e s k s ; a m o n g t h e registrars t h e d e s i g n a t e d t a s k s o f t h e s e c t i o n a r e d i v i d e d b y file n u m b e r s . T h u s registrar A w o r k s w i t h files w i t h t h e n u m b e r s 1 0 0 0 t o 4 9 9 9 , registrar B w o r k s w i t h files w i t h t h e n u m b e r s 5 0 0 0 to 5 9 9 9 , a n d registrar C w i t h t h e files f r o m 6 0 0 0 to 7 9 9 9 . T h e n e w l y arrived d o c u m e n t s a r e s e n t to t h e m directly f r o m t h e m a i n office in c o v e r s o n w h i c h a r e n o t e d t h e letters "A", " B " o r " C " - this is n o p r o b l e m f o r t h e m a i n office, s i n c e t h e y h a v e to e x a m i n e t h e c o n t e n t s o f t h e d o c u m e n t s a n y w a y in o r d e r to d e t e r m i n e to w h o m t h e y s h o u l d b e f o r w a r d e d . E a c h registrar h a s o n his d e s k t h e s e n d e r card c a t a l o g u e {Einsenderkartei) file i n v e n t o r y (Aktenverzeichnis),  f o r his a r e a o f responsibility, t h e  a n d , r e a d y at h a n d n e x t to his desk, his files s e t  u p after t h e m a n n e r o f a library, s u c h that a q u i c k o v e r v i e w is p o s s i b l e . T h e files t a k e u p less, n o t m o r e , r o o m t h a n b e f o r e , since either t h i n n e r file b i n d e r s a r e u s e d ,  57  or in t h i c k e r b i n d e r s t h e files a r e a r r a n g e d w i t h h a n g i n g s u b - b i n d e r s until it b e c o m e s n e c e s s a r y to create a n e w s e p a r a t e b i n d e r . . . . T h e registrar r e c e i v e s his i n c o m i n g d o c u m e n t s , t a k e s t h e m in their p r o p e r o r d e r a n d g i v e s e a c h its a p p r o p r i a t e b u s i n e s s n u m b e r (the c o d e f o r t h e d e p a r t m e n t plus t h e file c o d e plus t h e d a t e ) , a n d t h e n m a k e s a n entry in t h e s e n d e r card c a t a l o g u e if n e c e s s a r y . A t t h e s a m e t i m e h e n o t e s o n t h e d o c u m e n t to w h o m it s h o u l d b e s e n t — if t h e m a i n office h a s n o t a l r e a d y s e e n t o this - f o l l o w i n g t h e b u s i n e s s division plan, w h i c h is h a n d i l y o r g a n i z e d in t h e s a m e m a n n e r a s t h e filing p l a n . F o r all t h e s e t a s k s it is n o t n e c e s s a r y f o r t h e registrar to leave his place. T h e to a n d f r o b e t w e e n desk, j o u r n a l , index, s u b j e c t listing etc. t h u s h a s b e e n e l i m i n a t e d . I n c o r p o r a t i n g n e w files is very s i m p l e : o n e r e a c h to t h e file v o l u m e - w h o s e n u m b e r c o r r e s p o n d s to t h e n u m b e r j u s t u s e d a s t h e b u s i n e s s n u m b e r - suffices to h a v e either t h e c o r r e c t v o l u m e o r else t h e loan c a r d in its place w i t h a note c o n c e r n i n g w h o h a s t h e v o l u m e . If t h e m a t t e r p r o c e e d s in t h e u s u a l m a n n e r , this is n o t r e c o r d e d . If t h e m a t t e r h a s to g o to a n o t h e r d e p a r t m e n t o r b u r e a u a n a p p r o p r i a t e entry is m a d e in t h e " C o - s i g n a t u r e List". W h e n t h e m a t t e r is f i n i s h e d , t h e d o c u m e n t s a r e inserted into t h e files b y t h e registrar himself. His m a i n interest c o n c e r n s t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n of t h e files a n d their accessibility.  13  T h e s u c c e s s f u l i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of his r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s b a s e d o n t h e positive e x p e r i e n c e s o f his trial Registratur e n a b l e d Brecht t o bring t h e w o r k of his s u b - c o m m i t t e e t o a rapid c o n c l u s i o n . In F e b r u a r y of t h e s a m e year, a report w i t h r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s w a s s u b m i t t e d to t h e v a r i o u s ministries, w h i c h b y M a y h a d all g i v e n their a p p r o v a l . T h i s w a s f o l l o w e d b y a p p r o v a l f r o m t h e R e i c h s C a b i n e t in S e p t e m b e r , a n d s u b s e q u e n t l y w i t h t h e e n a c t m e n t o f t h e first c o m p r e h e n s i v e c o d e of b u s i n e s s p r o c e d u r e s f o r a G e r m a n g o v e r n m e n t a s t h e Gemeinsame  Geschaftsordnung  13. Brecht, cited by Schatz, op.cit., p.148. 14. Effective 1 January 1927.  I (GGO  f) . u  58  T h i s s u c c e s s led t o t h e s u b m i s s i o n of a draft Joint P r o c e d u r a l C o d e f o r t h e U p p e r B u r e a u x of t h e R e i c h  1 5  (Reichssparkommissar).  in 1 9 2 7 by t h e Reichs C o m p t r o l l e r  A l t h o u g h t h e draft w a s not c o m p l e t e - missing w a s t h e " C o d e f o r Files C o n t r o l in t h e U p p e r B u r e a u x of t h e R e i c h "  16  - it w a s a c c e p t e d a n d p a s s e d in 1 9 2 9 . In O c t o b e r of 1 7  1 9 3 1 t h e C o d e f o r Files C o n t r o l w a s s u b m i t t e d by t h e R M I . A f t e r d i s c u s s i o n , a r e v i s e d 1 8  d r a f t w a s s u b m i t t e d to t h e Reichs C a b i n e t , w h i c h i m m e d i a t e l y g a v e it a p p r o v a l . E n a c t m e n t f o l l o w e d in April 1 9 3 2 . T h e C o d e f o r Files C o n t r o l w e n t s o m e w h a t f u r t h e r in 1 9  its r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s t h a n t h e earlier Joint P r o c e d u r a l C o d e ; a m o n g o t h e r t h i n g s , it called f o r t h e introduction of A a n d B files (A = allgemeine,  i.e. " g e n e r a l " , B = besondere,  "special"), c o m p r e h e n s i v e u s e of t h e s t a n d a r d i z e d filing p l a n (einheitliche  i.e.  Aktenplan),  the  possibility of f o r m i n g files b a s e d o n single specific m a t t e r s , a n d t h e c o m p l e t e d i s a p p e a r a n c e of t h e j o u r n a l ; it f u r t h e r e v i n c e d a definite p r e f e r e n c e f o r d e c e n t r a l i z e d filing.  T h e s e r e f o r m m e a s u r e s o n t h e part of t h e Reich w e r e s u p p o r t e d by t w o s e m i i n d e p e n d e n t o r g a n i z a t i o n s d e v o t e d to t h e s t u d y a n d i m p r o v e m e n t of r e c o r d s m a n a g e m e n t a n d office p r o c e d u r e s : t h e Diwiv a n d t h e A W V .  T h e Diwiv or Deutsches b e g a n in 1 9 2 6  15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.  2 1  Institut  fur wirtschaftliche  Arbeit  in der offentlichen  as a subsidiary o r g a n i z a t i o n of t h e Verwaltungsakademie  22  Verwaltung  20  in Berlin. Its  Gemeinsame GeschSftsordnung fQr die hOheren ReichsbehOrden, known simply as the GOH. OrdnungsgrundsStze filr die Aktenverwaltung der hOheren ReichsbehOrden or OGHR. Enactment retroactive to 1 October 1928. It had nevertheless been drafted by the Reichs Comptroller. In effect from 1 April. "German Institute for Efficient Work in Public Administration" Founded on 4 May 1926. "Academy of Government Administration".  59  p r e s i d e n t w a s D r e w s , B r e c h t s e r v e d as vice-president. T h e i n t e n d e d p u r p o s e of t h e Diwiv w a s t o a c t as a n i n d e p e n d e n t f o c u s f o r t h e v a r i o u s r e f o r m efforts b e i n g m a d e in g o v e r n m e n t office m a n a g e m e n t . B e s i d e s g a t h e r i n g reports a n d o t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n as well as p r o v i d i n g a d v i c e , its activities i n c l u d e d setting u p exhibits of m o d e l offices ( o n e of t h e n i n e p e r m a n e n t exhibits w a s d e v o t e d exclusively to r e c o r d k e e p i n g ) , o f f e r i n g c o u r s e s t o public e m p l o y e e s , a n d p r o d u c i n g publications. Largely s u c c e s s f u l in its efforts a n d d r a w i n g u p to 8 0 0 s t u d e n t s at a t i m e in its c o u r s e s , o n e of t h e m o s t n o t e d a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s of t h e Diwiv w a s its first publication: Brecht's Die Geschaftsordnung  Reichsministerien. eine Lehrbuch  Ihre staatsrechtliche der Buroreform  23  und geschaftstechnische  Bedeutung.  der  Zugleich  - n o w c o n s i d e r e d a classic w o r k of t h e Buroreform.  The  Diwiv w a s f o r c e d to d i s b a n d in 1 9 3 3 by Hitler's n e w l y installed g o v e r n m e n t as part of its p r o g r a m m e of w i t h d r a w i n g public f u n d i n g f r o m p r o g r e s s i v e o r g a n i z a t i o n s .  A parallel d e v e l o p m e n t w a s r e p r e s e n t e d by t h e A W V or AusschutZ  Verwaltung , 24  fur  wirtschaftliche  e s t a b l i s h e d in 1 9 2 5 as a n a u t o n o m o u s institution of t h e  Rationaliserungskuratorium  derdeutschen  Wirtschaft . 25  It w a s t h u s a n a g e n c y of t h e  private sector. T h e A W V c o - o p e r a t e d w i t h t h e Diwiv: a m o n g w a s j o i n t projects w a s t h e b o o k l e t Die Schriftgutablage  (Registratur) , 26  p u b l i s h e d in 1 9 3 1 . D i s b a n d e d after t h e  S e c o n d W o r l d W a r , t h e A W V w a s r e - e s t a b l i s h e d in 1 9 5 0 a n d h a s w o r k e d closely w i t h t h e f e d e r a l g o v e r n m e n t in W e s t G e r m a n y .  23. "The Procedural Code of the Reichs Ministries. Its Constitutional and Technical Significance. At the Same Time a Manual of the Bilroreform", Berlin 1927. 24. "Committee for Economical Administration" 25. "Curatorium for the Rationalization of the German Economy" - one of the several measures taken after the 1st World War to get the economy back on its feet. 26. "Filing Records (Registratur)".  60  T h e p a s s i n g of t h e C o d e f o r Files C o n t r o l in 1 9 3 1 m a r k e d t h e effective e n d of t h e  Buroreform.  T h e c o n c e p t of t h e s t a n d a r d i z e d filing p l a n w a s m a r k e d l y s u c c e s s f u l ,  h o w e v e r , l e a d i n g t o its a d o p t i o n in a n u m b e r of different ministries a n d a d m i n i s t r a t i o n s , f o r e x a m p l e t h e Reichspost,  w h i c h h a d b e g u n i n t r o d u c i n g t h e s t a n d a r d i z e d filing plan in  1 9 2 6 a n d c o m p l e t e d this p r o c e s s in 1 9 3 2 , t h e R e i c h s F i n a n c e A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ( f r o m 1 9 2 9 ) , t h e Reichswehr'm  1 9 3 1 , t h e Office f o r L a b o u r a n d f o r U n e m p l o y m e n t I n s u r a n c e in  1 9 3 4 , 1 9 3 5 t h e R e i c h s J u s t i c e A d m i n i s t r a t i o n at t h e e n d of 1 9 3 5 , t h e Luftwaffe  in 1 9 3 7 ,  a n d t h e P r u s s i a n Police A d m i n i s t r a t i o n in 1 9 3 4 - a late f l o w e r i n g of P r u s s i a n r e f o r m efforts. In g e n e r a l , interest in r e f o r m d e c l i n e d noticeably d u r i n g t h e Nazi e r a , a l t h o u g h this w a s d u e n o t so m u c h to ideological f a c t o r s as to t h e a b s o r p t i o n of large n u m b e r s of P r u s s i a n officials a n d clerks into t h e g o v e r n m e n t offices, as t h e R e i c h t o o k o v e r t h e P r u s s i a n a d m i n i s t r a t i o n in t h e m i d - 3 0 ' s . T o w a r d s t h e e n d of this p e r i o d , a n d in particular w i t h t h e d e c l a r a t i o n of total w a r in 1 9 4 4 , a r e n e w e d interest in t h e Buroreform  o c c u r r e d as  q u a l i f i e d p e r s o n n e l a n d material r e s o u r c e s b e c a m e e x c e e d i n g l y s c a r c e . H o w e v e r , n o n e of t h e m e a s u r e s t a k e n - including t h e abolition of t h e j o u r n a l - c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e Buroreform  or c a u s e d a n y e n d u r i n g c h a n g e in Registratur.  3. Changes b r o u g h t about by the Buroreform a. The  Aktenplan  T h e Aktenplan  - or "filing p l a n " - p r o v i d e d a m e t h o d of u n i f o r m p l a c e m e n t of a n y a c t i o n  file w i t h i n t h e g e n e r a l c o n t e x t of t h e b u r e a u ' s activity. It d e v e l o p e d o u t of t h e  Registraturplan  ("filing r o o m plan") - w h i c h w a s a m e r e aid t o t h e registrar - into a n  i n s t r u m e n t f o r t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n of files. Further, it e n a b l e d this o r g a n i z a t i o n t o o c c u r  61  i n d e p e n d e n t l y of t h e registrar. It w a s t h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t a n d lasting of all  Buroreform  innovations.  T h e r e are t w o principal d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n t h e Registraturplan w h i l e t h e Registraturplan  a n d t h e Aktenplan.  s e r v e d as a n aid to t h e registrar, t h e Aktenplan  First,  serves the  entire b u r e a u . It is i n t e n d e d to b e easily g r a s p e d by all t h e b u r e a u staff, a n d easily u s e d by t h e d e p a r t m e n t h e a d s a n d their assistants. S e c o n d , t h e Registraturplan a c c o r d i n g to t h e activities actually  was devised  carried o u t by t h e office (or a n t i c i p a t e d to b e actually  carried o u t ) ; it w a s t h e r e f o r e u n i q u e t o e a c h o f f i c e . T h e Aktenplan, 27  c o n c e i v e d w i t h t h e activities of t h e office in m i n d , is generic  a l t h o u g h likewise  in n a t u r e : w h a t f o r m s t h e  b a s i s f o r t h e file structuring are kinds of b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s , n o t specific o r actual b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s . T h u s t h e Aktenplan  l e n d s itself easily t o s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n , resulting v e r y early in  s t a n d a r i z e d filing plans a p p l y i n g to m o r e t h a n o n e office.  T h e Aktenplan  as f o r e s e e n by t h e GGO / d e s e r v e s special a t t e n t i o n ; a l t h o u g h n o t t h e  first filing p l a n of its kind, its specifications as laid o u t in t h e GGO I w e r e to h a v e a m a j o r i m p a c t o n g o v e r n m e n t r e c o r d k e e p i n g . T h e basis f o r t h e p l a n w a s t h e Aktenplan  d r a w n up  f o r t h e m o d e l filing r o o m by Brecht. A c c o r d i n g to t h e GGO I, t h e p l a n is to b e m a d e either f o r e a c h d e p a r t m e n t of a ministry, or f o r t h e entire m i n i s t r y . It is to b e c o n s t r u c t e d 28  "systematically", "with foresight", a n d "with c o n s i d e r a t i o n f o r t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s of t h e b u s i n e s s activity" - i.e. a c c o r d i n g t o t h e t a s k s a n d f u n c t i o n s of t h e d e p a r t m e n t . In c a s e s 29  w h e r e b u s i n e s s a r e a s o v e r l a p , t h e plan is to provide clear g u i d e l i n e s as to w h e r e t h e files  27. See Chapter One, p. 24. 28. GGO / (1926), § 1. 29. ibid.§2.  a r e t o be a l l o c a t e d . T h e four-digit (decimal) classification s y s t e m is to b e u s e d  . The  C o d e claims that t h e efficiency of t h e b u s i n e s s o p e r a t i o n s t h e m s e l v e s a s well as of t h e m a i n t e n a n c e of t h e files d e p e n d s u p o n h a v i n g a g o o d filing p l a n . T h e plan is to b e 3 1  a p p r o v e d by t h e d e p a r t m e n t h e a d , a n d is to be distributed t o t h e ministerial secretary, 3 2  t h e d e p a r t m e n t h e a d , e a c h Dezernent,  e a c h clerk, a n d e a c h r e g i s t r a r . 33  b. The filing binder T h e i n t r o d u c t i o n of t h e filing b i n d e r w a s t h e m o s t visible sign of t h e c h a n g e s t a k i n g place d u r i n g t h e Buroreform,  a l t h o u g h its i m p o r t a n c e f o r t h e filing r o o m w a s m o r e of a  s e c o n d a r y n a t u r e . Filing b i n d e r s e n a b l e t h e individual d o c u m e n t s c o m p o s i n g t h e action file to b e b o u n d t o g e t h e r in s u c h a w a y that individual d o c u m e n t s c a n b e r e m o v e d f r o m or i n s e r t e d into t h e file w i t h o u t disturbing t h e o r d e r of t h e o t h e r d o c u m e n t s . T w o m a i n t y p e s w e r e i n t r o d u c e d : t h e clip b i n d e r a n d t h e ring binder; e a c h of t h e s e h a s its p e c u l i a r advantages and disadvantages . 34  T h e clip b i n d e r a p p e a r s in t w o f o r m s . In o n e f o r m , t h e clip c o n s i s t s of t w o flexible m e t a l p r o n g s o n t o w h i c h t h e individual d o c u m e n t s are affixed after h o l e s h a v e b e e n p u n c h e d into their left m a r g i n . A metal strip, p l a c e d o n t o p of t h e d o c u m e n t s at t h e p e r f o r a t i o n s , 3 5  s i m u l t a n e o u s l y h o l d s t h e m t o g e t h e r t h r o u g h p r e s s u r e a n d s e c u r e s t h e e n d s of t h e t w o  30. ibid.The four-digit system provides for a major category (indicated by the first digit) and three sub-categories arranged hierarchically (for example: group, sub-group and section). Within each category 10 divisions are allowed. 3 1 . ibid. 32. ibid. 33. ibid., § 4 . 1 . 34. Binder technology was first utilized in the private sector, only gradually being adopted by government offices after a long period of persistent advertising by the producers of office equipment - see Papritz, Archivwissenschaft, vol. 2, p.342. 35. The holes were 0.5 cm in diameter and set 8 cm apart (from the centre out).  63  p r o n g s . T h e p r e s s binder, o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , d o e s n o t require that h o l e s b e p u n c h e d in t h e d o c u m e n t s ; i n s t e a d , t h r o u g h u s e of a spring m e c h a n i s m w i t h a t t a c h e d lever a n d latch, t h e d o c u m e n t s a r e h e l d in t h e b i n d e r t h r o u g h t h e c o n s t a n t f o r c e e x e r t e d b y t h e spring.  B o t h t y p e s e n a b l e d o c u m e n t s to b e quickly r e m o v e d f r o m a n d inserted into t h e file. B e c a u s e t h e y are essentially horizontal f i l e s , t h e y a r e h a n d y f o r t h e w o r k e r t o u s e . 36  H o w e v e r , their c a p a c i t y is relatively limited - particularly in t h e c a s e of t h e p r e s s b i n d e r w h i c h c a n usually a c c o m m o d a t e only up to 1 c m of d o c u m e n t s . B e c a u s e of this, t h e c r e a t i o n of single action files or e v e n split action files is e n c o u r a g e d . In s t o r a g e , t h e registrar is f o r c e d t o c o n s i d e r transferring t h e m to o t h e r holders, s i n c e large piles of clip b i n d e r s are difficult to m a n a g e . 3 7  T h e ring b i n d e r c o n s i s t s of t w o c o v e r s (front a n d b a c k ) j o i n e d b y a b r o a d flat spine, all quite rigid to e n a b l e t h e d e v i c e t o s t a n d upright w h e n full. It is a bit larger t h a n t h e D I N - A 4 s t a n d a r d f o r m a t . O n t h e inside of t h e b a c k c o v e r is a m e t a l m e c h a n i s m c o n s i s t i n g of 38  t w o large U - s h a p e d h o o p s : t h e s e a r e h e l d c l o s e d by a spring w h i c h c a n be r e l e a s e d by m e a n s of a lever, t h u s allowing t h e h o o p s to spring o p e n . T h e d o c u m e n t s a r e inserted o n t h e right h a n d part of t h e h o o p s ; holes V2 c m in d i a m e t e r a n d 8 c m a p a r t n e e d t o b e p u n c h e d in e a c h d o c u m e n t . O n c e i n s e r t e d , a metal strip w i t h a spring d e v i c e a n d lever slides d o w n t h e h o o p s a n d h o l d s t h e d o c u m e n t s in place. T h e vertical p o s i t i o n of t h e ring  36. i.e. files intended to lie flat on the working or storage surface 37. The major difficulties lie in identifying the contents of the file from the side of the binder, which is usually too narrow for labelling, and in extracting and replacing files. For a more detailed discussion of the clip binder see Papritz, Archivwissenschaft, vol.2, pp.24-33 and 343-347. 38. DIN-A4 = 21 x 29.7 cm or 8 5/16" by 11 11/16", i.e. somewhat narrower and somewhat longer than a normal US standard sheet.  64  b i n d e r m e a n s that files c a n be m o v e d w i t h o u t disturbing o r m o v i n g o t h e r files. Further, t h e b r o a d b a c k of t h e ring b i n d e r e n a b l e s t h e file c o d e t o b e m a r k e d o n it; it also allows t h e u s e of o t h e r m a r k i n g d e v i c e s (e.g. lines, c o l o u r bars), e n a b l i n g t h e b i n d e r t o be quickly r e p l a c e d in its original location. Ring b i n d e r s are, h o w e v e r , n o t o r i o u s l y s p a c e c o n s u m i n g : o n e b i n d e r t a k e s u p t h e s a m e a m o u n t of s p a c e w h e t h e r it is full o r not. O t h e r typical p r o b l e m s include d o c u m e n t s d r o o p i n g o n t h e rings after a p e r i o d of s t o r a g e (this is a c o m m o n p r o b l e m in all vertical s t o r a g e ) , a n d d o c u m e n t s b e c o m i n g d u s t y d u e t o t h e o p e n t o p a n d sides of t h e binder. Further, b e c a u s e p o o r quality materials are usually u s e d in their m a n u f a c t u r e to m e e t r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r b o t h s t r e n g t h a n d e c o n o m y , p r o b l e m s a r e e n c o u n t e r e d w i t h l o n g - s t o r a g e , a n d particularly w i t h rusting m e t a l parts. N o r d o e s t h e size a n d w e i g h t of t h e ring b i n d e r r e c o m m e n d it f o r c o n s t a n t u s e .  c. Interim d o c u m e n t s  3 9  (Weglegesachen)  Interim d o c u m e n t s are essentially d o c u m e n t s w h i c h , u p o n e n t e r i n g t h e office, a r e c l a s s e d as n o t b e i n g s u i t e d f o r p e r m a n e n t filing, y e t a s b e i n g w o r t h w h i l e f o r k e e p i n g t e m p o r a r i l y o n a c c o u n t of their u s e f u l n e s s f o r particular b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s . T h e y are usually o r g a n i z e d in series ( a l p h a b e t i c a l , n u m e r i c a l etc.), a n d typically c o n s i s t of a d v e r t i s i n g material, prospects w h i c h are not followed u p on, reminder notes, travel expense notes, c o r r e s p o n d e n c e in r e g a r d to t h e t e c h n i c a l a s p e c t s of p r e p a r i n g f o r a b u s i n e s s trip, a n d notifications f r o m t h e p o s t office. In legal o f f i c e s t h e y also i n c l u d e s u m m o n s g i v e n t o witnesses, and fee calculations . 40  39. For a more detailed discussion of the ring binder see Papritz, Archivwissenschaft, 35 and 343-345, also Rohr, Aktenwesen der preuKischen Reqierunaen. p.58. 40. Papritz, Archivwissenschaft, vol.2, p.410.  vol.2, pp.33-  65  P r o v i s i o n f o r t h e c r e a t i o n of interim d o c u m e n t s w a s first m a d e by t h e P r u s s i a n  g o v e r n m e n t in its Grundzuge fureine (vereinfachte) Geschaftsordnung  der  Regierungen  of 1 9 1 0 . T h e r e it w a s s t a t e d that: 4 1  All irrelevant d o c u m e n t s are to b e t r e a t e d as interim d o c u m e n t s a n d are so c h a r a c t e r i z e d in t h e f o l l o w i n g instructions, w h e n it is o b v i o u s either f r o m t h e b e g i n n i n g or d u r i n g t h e p r o c e s s i n g that t h e y will u n n e c e s s a r i l y b u r d e n t h e files. In particular i n c o m i n g d o c u m e n t s s u c h as b r o c h u r e s , p r o s p e c t s , invitations, p o s t i n g s etc., w h i c h are neither t o b e e n t e r e d into t h e j o u r n a l or i n s e r t e d into t h e files, a r e p r o v i d e d w i t h a c o r r e s p o n d i n g n o t e by t h e d e p a r t m e n t h e a d . . . Similar provisions a p p e a r e d in t h e GGO I of 1 9 2 6  4 3  42  a n d in t h e OGHR of 1 9 3 2 . 4 4  A l t h o u g h a p p e a r i n g to b e of o b v i o u s a d v a n t a g e in k e e p i n g e x t r a n e o u s material o u t of t h e filing s y s t e m , t h e r e are f o u r m a j o r p r o b l e m s i n v o l v e d in t h e u s e of interim d o c u m e n t s . First, t h e individual d o c u m e n t is t r e a t e d by itself, i.e. in isolation f r o m t h e c u r r e n t b u s i n e s s matter. A "non-Registratur" or, p e r h a p s better, a n o n - b u s i n e s s m a t t e r a r e a is t h u s c r e a t e d w i t h i n t h e b u r e a u or office. S e c o n d , it is impossible t o d e f i n e w h a t c o n s t i t u t e s a n interim d o c u m e n t in s u c h a precise m a n n e r t h a t all of t h e staff c a n identify t h e m consistently. B e c a u s e of this uncertainty, a n d b e c a u s e t h e secretaries a r e naturally c o n c e r n e d first a n d f o r e m o s t w i t h carrying o u t t h e b u s i n e s s t a s k s a s s i g n e d to t h e m , r a t h e r t h a n m a i n t a i n i n g their r e c o r d s in p r o p e r order, t h e r e is a t e n d e n c y t o classify only t h e m o s t  4 1 . Schatz, op.cit., p.73. 42. Cited by Schatz, ibid.: "Als Weglegesachen sind alle belanglosen Schriftstucke zu behandeln und in den darauf ergehenden Verfugungen zu bezeichnen, bei welchen von vornherein ersichtlich ist Oder sich bei der Bearbeitung ergibt, daB sie die Akten unniitz beschweren wurden. Insbesondere Eingangsstiicke, wie Drucksachen, Offerten, Einladungen, Gelegenheitsanzeigen usw., die weder in das Tagebuch einzutragen sind, noch zu den Akten genommen werden sollen, versieht der Abteilungsdirigent oderder Dezernent mit entsprechenden Vermerken...". 43. GGO /, Anhang A (Registraturordnung), § 2 1 . 44. OGHR, § 8.  66  o b v i o u s l y n o n - v a l u a b l e d o c u m e n t s as interim d o c u m e n t s , a n d place all t h e rest in t h e files - t h u s d e f e a t i n g t h e original p u r p o s e of m a i n t a i n i n g this c a t e g o r y . T h i r d , b e c a u s e interim d o c u m e n t s lie o u t s i d e t h e filing s y s t e m , their a r r a n g e m e n t will o c c u r in s i m p l e m e c h a n i c a l series. A f t e r a certain time h a s e l a p s e d , a m a s s o f interim d o c u m e n t s will a c c u m u l a t e , a n d s o create p r o b l e m s in retrieving specific o n e s . T h e f o u r t h a n d final p r o b l e m t o u c h e s u p o n archival principles, t h a t is, w h e t h e r it is w i s e t o allow t h e s e c r e t a r i e s t o m a k e irreversible decisions r e g a r d i n g d o c u m e n t v a l u e . F o r t h e creation of interim d o c u m e n t s a u t o m a t i c a l l y entails that a certain m a s s o f d o c u m e n t s will b e d e s t r o y e d e a c h y e a r w i t h o u t e v e r b e i n g i n s p e c t e d o r e v e n b r o u g h t to t h e attention of t h e archivist.  d . T h e Sachbearbeiterablage  or "decentralized Registratur"  T h e traditional filing r o o m w a s c o n c e i v e d a s o n e o f t h e s e v e r a l f u n c t i o n a l a r e a s o f t h e b u r e a u o r office, a n d like t h e o t h e r f u n c t i o n a l a r e a s - a c c o u n t i n g , clerical t a s k s , cashier, p o s t h a n d l i n g etc. - w a s a s s i g n e d to o n e place. O n e filing r o o m c o u l d s e r v e all o r s e v e r a l of t h e divisions of a single b u r e a u , o r e a c h division c o u l d h a v e its o w n filing r o o m . T h e large b u r e a u o r ministerial filing r o o m s w e r e early victims of t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e shifts a n d c h a n g e s w h i c h b e g a n o c c u r r i n g t o w a r d s t h e e n d of t h e last century: t h e y b e c a m e split o r fractured as n e w bureaux and agencies arose or as old ones were divided. T h e problems a s s o c i a t e d w i t h this d a m a g e led - a l o n g w i t h t h e drive f o r efficiency - to a s s i g n i n g responsibility f o r filing to s m a l l e r administrative units, a n d e v e n t u a l l y to t h e individual secretary. T h e e n d result w a s t h e so-called Sachbearbeiterablage Registratur".  or "decentralized  67  T h e d e c e n t r a l i z e d Registratur w a s m a d e possible by eliminating t h e j o u r n a l a n d i n t r o d u c i n g t h e Aktenplan,  w h i c h , as s h o w n a b o v e , also p r o v i d e d t h e b u s i n e s s n u m b e r  f o r e a c h b u s i n e s s m a t t e r a n d its a s s o c i a t e d d o c u m e n t . T h e s e c r e t a r y c o u l d t h e n b e g i v e n responsibility f o r all t h e files w h i c h h e c r e a t e d within his particular a r e a ; t h e  Aktenplan  e n s u r e d t h a t t h e m e t h o d of file classification w a s s t a n d a r d a n d a c c u r a t e l y reflected t h e individual b u s i n e s s a r e a s . T h e files w e r e k e p t by e a c h s e c r e t a r y in his o w n o f f i c e . A 45  r e c o r d of i n c o m i n g d o c u m e n t s - w h e n it w a s felt n e c e s s a r y t o h a v e this - w a s k e p t o n filing c a r d s , o n e card b e i n g u s e d f o r e a c h i n c o m i n g d o c u m e n t . T h e GGO I of 1 9 2 6 also 46  m a d e provisions f o r t h e c a s e w h e n t h e s e c r e t a r y w a s a b s e n t (since a c c e s s to all files h a s to b e e n s u r e d at all t i m e s ) . It s h o u l d b e m a d e clear t h a t t h e i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of t h e 47  d e c e n t r a l i z e d Registratur did not necessarily m e a n t h a t a central filing r o o m w a s dispensed with . 4 8  T h e d e c e n t r a l i z e d Registratur h a s t h e a d v a n t a g e of d o i n g a w a y w i t h t h e to a n d fro b e t w e e n office s e c t i o n s a n d t h e filing r o o m : t h e s e c r e t a r y h a s all t h e files h e n e e d s at his i m m e d i a t e d i s p o s a l . T h i s s p e e d s u p t h e h a n d l i n g of t h e b u s i n e s s matter. It also s a v e s labour, for, w h i l e w i t h t h e traditional filing s y s t e m t w o p e o p l e h a v e t o c o n c e r n t h e m s e l v e s w i t h e a c h file (i.e., t h e Registrar a n d t h e secretary), o n e p e r s o n n o w suffices. F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e s e c r e t a r y is, by n a t u r e of his w o r k , m u c h better a c q u a i n t e d w i t h his files t h a n t h e Registrar c o u l d e v e r be. This w a s e x p e c t e d to lead t o a better o r g a n i z a t i o n of t h e files a n d e a s i e r a c c e s s .  45. 46. 47. 48.  GGO /, AnhangA (Registraturordnung), Division D ("Arbeit ohne Registratur"). § 13. ibid, § 13, section 2. ibid, § 1 4 . In GGO /, Anhang A, Division D, reference is specifically made to the existence of a central filing room, which may take over for an absent secretary (who is conducting his own decentralized Registratur) - see § 14, section 2.  68  T h e r e a r e , h o w e v e r , also a n u m b e r of serious p r o b l e m s . A purely e c o n o m i c a l p r o b l e m is t h e f a c t t h a t t h e s e c r e t a r y - w h o is paid a c c o r d i n g to a relatively h i g h w a g e s c a l e -  now  h a s t o d o a c o n s i d e r a b l e a m o u n t of w o r k f o r m e r i y carried o u t by t h e filing r o o m assistants, w h o w o r k e d at a rather l o w e r w a g e scale, f o r m u c h of t h e filing w o r k is repetitious a n d b o r i n g . For t h e s e s a m e r e a s o n s , it is less likely t h a t t h e s e c r e t a r y will t a k e t h e s a m e interest in his files as d o e s t h e registrar, for, after all, this is n o t his primary duty, n o r d o e s it c o r r e s p o n d w i t h w h a t h e w a s originally t r a i n e d for. It c o u l d also be a r g u e d t h a t t h e f a c t that t h e s e c r e t a r y is m o r e familiar w i t h his o w n r e c o r d s w o r k s a g a i n s t g o o d o r g a n i z a t i o n , in t h a t he w o u l d n o t feel t h e s a m e n e e d f o r a t h o r o u g h o r g a n i z a t i o n as o n e w h o w a s not so familiar w i t h t h e r e c o r d s . S m a l l p r o b l e m s i n v o l v e d w i t h t h e u s e of t h e d e c e n t r a l i z e d Registratur i n c r e a s e proportionally as t h e n u m b e r of s e c r e t a r i e s in t h e office o r b u r e a u i n c r e a s e s . O n e s u c h p r o b l e m is t h e f a c t t h a t e a c h s e c r e t a r y h a n d l e s not only files r e l e v a n t only to his o w n w o r k a r e a , b u t also files of a g e n e r a l n a t u r e , w h i c h are also h a n d l e d a n d n e e d e d by o t h e r secretaries. A s t h e n u m b e r of secretaries i n c r e a s e s , so d o e s t h e replication of w o r k a n d files, c a u s i n g i n c r e a s e d s t o r a g e p r o b l e m s a n d , w h e n t h e t i m e c o m e s f o r t r a n s f e r to t h e archives, a m u c h larger b u r d e n f o r t h e archivist. A similar p r o b l e m is p r e s e n t e d by f i n d i n g files w h e n t h e s u b j e c t or file n u m b e r is only v a g u e l y k n o w n , o r n o t k n o w n at all. W h e n t h e n u m b e r of s e c r e t a r i e s is small, it is still p o s s i b l e to g o t o e a c h o n e a n d inquire w h e t h e r h e h a s t h e file in q u e s t i o n . H o w e v e r , in large b u r e a u x , w i t h a very large n u m b e r of secretaries, t h e s e a r c h f o r s u c h files b e c o m e s truly d a u n t i n g . For t h e s e r e a s o n s t h e introduction of t h e d e c e n t r a l i z e d R e g i s t r a t u r in its p u r e f o r m w a s p r o b a b l y o n e of t h e least s u c c e s s f u l m e a s u r e s of t h e  Buroreform.  69  4. S u m m a r y O n t h e o n e h a n d , t h e Buroreform m a r k e d a relatively s h o r t p e r i o d o f significant c h a n g e in attitudes t o w a r d s traditional r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices, particularly t h o s e o f t h e P r u s s i a n a d m i n i s t r a t i v e offices. Registrars, formerly a d m i r e d a n d v a l u e d f o r their k n o w l e d g e a n d skills in m a i n t a i n i n g c o m p l i c a t e d filing s y s t e m s , c a m e to b e v i e w e d a s i m p e d i m e n t s to a rational a n d e c o n o m i c m a n a g e m e n t o f office p r o c e s s e s , a n d w e r e a c c o r d i n g l y d e m o t e d , t h e i r w o r k o f t e n h a n d e d o v e r to o t h e r s w i t h n o e x p e r i e n c e o r training at all in r e c o r d k e e p i n g . A c o n s i s t e n t p a t t e r n in all t h e d e v e l o p m e n t s o f t h e Buroreform is t h e a t t e m p t , n o t t o i m p r o v e t h e filing r o o m s , b u t to d o a w a y w i t h b o t h t h e m a n d their staff, a n d to e n a b l e n o n - t r a i n e d p e r s o n n e l t o carry o u t t h e n e c e s s a r y filing activities.  O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , it w a s n e v e r t h e a i m of t h e Buroreform t o d o a w a y w i t h g o o d filing practices perse,  nor w a s there any serious attempt m a d e to shape the reform so that the  results c o n f o r m e d m o r e w i t h practices in t h e United S t a t e s , f o r e x a m p l e , w h i c h w a s o t h e r w i s e h e l d u p a s a m o d e l f o r industrial efficiency. In fact, a l t h o u g h certain r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices u n d e r w e n t c h a n g e in t h e c o u r s e of t h e r e f o r m , it is clear that t h e ideals of g o o d r e c o r d k e e p i n g - t h e s a m e ideals a s e v i d e n c e d in t h e classical P r u s s i a n R e g i s t r a t u r - w e r e neither t h r e a t e n e d o r e v e n noticeably a f f e c t e d . C h a n g e s in t h e methods o f file m a k i n g a n d registration w e r e a d v o c a t e d , b u t n o t t h e abandonment  of file  m a k i n g o r registration. I n d e e d , t h e Buroreform e v e n w e n t a step f u r t h e r in t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e traditional t h r e e e l e m e n t s of Registratur a n d p r o v i d e d t h e first u n i f o r m filing c o d e f o r all g o v e r n m e n t ministries (the Registratur r e g u l a t i o n s of t h e GGO I in 1926).  70  I n d e e d , in v i e w of t h e g e n e r a l failure of t h e Buroreform  t o i m p l e m e n t l o n g - t e r m a n d stable  c h a n g e s (apart f r o m t h e u s e of t h e filing plan), it c a n b e legitimately q u e s t i o n e d w h e t h e r it is p r o p e r to s p e a k of a r e f o r m at all. T h e m o v e m e n t p e r h a p s is b e t t e r v i e w e d as simply a result of t h e s t r e s s e s to r e c o r d k e e p i n g b r o u g h t o n by p r e s s u r e s f o r e c o n o m y a n d rationalization, c a u s e d s i m u l t a n e o u s l y by t e c h n o l o g i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t s as w e l l a s by t h e rapidly e x p a n d i n g social role of g o v e r n m e n t - not only in G e r m a n y , b u t in all t h e o t h e r W e s t e r n industrialized n a t i o n s . T h e d e v e l o p m e n t s w h i c h o c c u r r e d , t h e r e f o r e , c a n b e v i e w e d as m o r e integral t o t h e n a t u r e of Registratur t h a n h a s b e e n previously a c k n o w l e d g e d . In a n y c a s e , it is clear that b o t h t h e d e v e l o p m e n t s w h i c h h a v e t a k e n place, a n d t h e d i s c u s s i o n w h i c h c o n t i n u e s to s u r r o u n d t h e n a t u r e of t h e Buroreform,  have  b o t h s e r v e d t o c o n f i r m t h e principles of r e c o r d k e e p i n g a l r e a d y p r a c t i s e d in P r u s s i a in t h e 18th a n d 19th c e n t u r i e s .  71  C H A P T E R FOUR: Registratur in Modern Germany  T h e u n c o n d i t i o n a l s u r r e n d e r of t h e G e r m a n military f o r c e s o n 7 M a y 1 9 4 5 m e a n t t h e e n d n o t only of t h e 7 4 - y e a r - o l d G e r m a n R e i c h b u t also - m o r e significantly - of t h e state of P r u s s i a a n d , h e n c e , P r u s s i a n a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . All of G e r m a n y w a s o c c u p i e d by f o r e i g n 1  t r o o p s , a n d t h e civilian a d m i n i s t r a t i o n w a s controlled by e a c h of t h e f o u r o c c u p y i n g p o w e r s . F r o m this "point z e r o " t h e fairly rapid o n s e t of t h e cold w a r w i t h its t w o o p p o s i n g political s y s t e m s h a d m a j o r implications also f o r t h e survival of traditional r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices, s u c h t h a t w e are f a c e d w i t h t w o G e r m a n r e c o r d k e e p i n g histories u p until reunification in 1 9 9 0 .  1. Registratur in the GDR (German Democratic Republic) D e s p i t e t h e f a c t that t h e S o v i e t O c c u p a t i o n Z o n e - o u t of w h i c h t h e G e r m a n D e m o c r a t i c R e p u b l i c later e m e r g e d - i n c l u d e d t h e c o r e a r e a s of P r u s s i a n history a n d culture ( B r a n d e n b u r g , P o m e r a n i a , P r u s s i a n S a x o n y ) , n o w h e r e else in G e r m a n y w e r e t h e P r u s s i a n r e c o r d k e e p i n g traditions m o r e t h o r o u g h l y b r o k e n a n d t h e v e r y e x i s t e n c e of R e g i s t r a t u r m o r e t h r e a t e n e d . Following t h e capitulation, t h e g o v e r n m e n t of t h e U S S R e s t a b l i s h e d t h e S o v i e t Military A d m i n i s t r a t i o n (SMAD)  as t h e h i g h e s t a d m i n i s t r a t i v e b o d y  in t h e S o v i e t O c c u p a t i o n Z o n e . This a d m i n i s t r a t i o n t h e n p r o c e e d e d to f o r c e t h r o u g h a 2  1.  2.  The formal existence of a Prussian state was formally abolished by Law No.46 of the Allied Control Council, issued 25 February 1947 ("The Prussian State together with its central government and all its agencies is abolished."). Announced as "Befehl Nr.T ("Order No.1") on 9 June 1945, following a directive of the Council of Peoples Deputies of the USSR of 6 June 1945. The directive specified that "The Soviet Military Administration in Germany has the responsibility for supervising the fulfilment by the Germans of the obligations resulting from the unconditional surrender, for administering the Soviet Occupation Zone in Germany and for executing the agreed directives of the Control Council regarding basic issues of a military and economic nature as well as questions of common concern for the whole of Germany." - cited in Weber, Geschichte der DDR, p.60.  72  radical re-structuring of t h e civilian a d m i n i s t r a t i o n in k e e p i n g w i t h t h e c u r r e n t political/ideological g o a l s of t h e S o v i e t g o v e r n m e n t , w h i c h i n c l u d e d e n s u r i n g t h e d o m i n a n c e of t h e G e r m a n C o m m u n i s t Party (KPD). N o t only w e r e k e y a d m i n i s t r a t i v e p o s t s at all levels of g o v e r n m e n t a s s i g n e d to c o m m u n i s t s or o t h e r s w h o w e r e e x p e c t e d to b e h a v e in a loyal m a n n e r t o w a r d s t h e S o v i e t U n i o n , a d r a m a t i c p u r g e of all p r o f e s s i o n s also b e g a n , in t h e n a m e of "de-nazification". By 1 9 4 7 a n e s t i m a t e d 5 2 0 , 0 0 0 p r o f e s s i o n a l s -- m o s t of t h e s e in t h e public s e c t o r - h a d lost their j o b s a n d w e r e r e p l a c e d by p e r s o n s largely i n e x p e r i e n c e d , b u t politically reliable . T h i s radical loss of qualified p e r s o n n e l , 3  4  c o m b i n e d w i t h p r o p a g a n d a a g a i n s t all f o r m s of b u r e a u c r a c y , a politically-inspired h a t r e d of all t h i n g s P r u s s i a n , a n d g e n e r a l l y l o w public interest a n d s u p p o r t f o r controlling large m a s s e s of paper, m e a n t that t h e n e w G e r m a n D e m o c r a t i c R e p u b l i c b e g a n life in 1 9 4 9 w i t h a n a s t o n i s h i n g l y primitive r e c o r d k e e p i n g s y s t e m b e a r i n g hardly a n y t r a c e s of R e g i s t r a t u r - n o s t a n d a r d file m a k i n g p r o c e d u r e s or e v e n filing p l a n s , little interest in registration, a n d n o serious regulations. T h e effects o n efficiency c o u l d n o t b e d i s r e g a r d e d , a n d f r o m 1 9 5 0 o n w a r d s t h e G D R a t t e m p t e d to r e a c h t h e s t a g e in r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices w h e r e t h e Reich h a d left off in 1 9 4 5 .  3. 4.  Weber, Die DDR 1945 - 1990, p.10. The importance of the radical re-structuring of the public administration in the Soviet Occupation Zone for the development of recordkeeping practices in the GDR was curiously ignored in the recent evaluation presented by Hoffmann, op.cit., pp.67-71, in particular p.67, where the essential reason for the disaster is supposed to lie in the fight against bureaucracy. Brachmann, on the other hand, is clear about the fundamental importance of the loss of qualified personnel, referring on the one hand to the "elimination of the professional officials" after the war and citing as first of three main causes for the problem of inefficiency in the state administration the "lack of training" (Brachmann, Zur Geschichte der Buroreform. p.12). Even by the end of the GDR the situation had not altered substantially: Schulze reports that of all the directors and staff members in the central state offices in 1989 55% had their origins in the ranks of the workers and farmers; of these 4 1 % were working in the production sector before assuming their administrative positions (Schulze, Verwaltunqspersonal und Verwaltungsausbildunq. p.147).  73  Strategies devised to improve recordkeeping standards were formulated and i m p l e m e n t e d in f o u r m a j o r a r e a s : in laws a n d regulations; t h r o u g h t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of e d u c a t i o n a l institutions; in t h e s p r e a d i n g of i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t s o u n d practices t h r o u g h b o o k s , b r o c h u r e s a n d articles in p r o f e s s i o n a l j o u r n a l s ; a n d finally in t h e c r e a t i o n of t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a r c h i v e s (Verwaltungsarchive)  — an idea borrowed from the U S S R . 5  T h e b a s i c regulation g o v e r n i n g r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices in central state offices w a s t h e Official S e r v i c e R e g u l a t i o n s of t h e G D R , p a s s e d a b o u t a m o n t h after t h e p r o c l a m a t i o n of t h e n e w r e p u b l i c . A l t h o u g h loosely b a s e d o n t h e GGO / f r o m 1 9 2 6 , its orientation w a s 6  clearly political in nature, a n d only o n e p a r a g r a p h related to r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices, w h i l e details r e g a r d i n g Registratur w e r e missing a l t o g e t h e r . T h e R e g u l a t i o n s w e r e 7  r e v i s e d w i t h t h e issue of t h e F r a m e w o r k R e g u l a t i o n f o r t h e P e r s o n n e l of C e n t r a l S t a t e O f f i c e s in 1 9 5 6 , w h i c h i n c l u d e d provisions f o r t h e c r e a t i o n a n d u s e of filing p l a n s . A s i d e 8  f r o m s p e c i a l i n s t r u c t i o n s , f u r t h e r m e a s u r e s a p p e a r e d in v a r i o u s a r c h i v e s r e g u l a t i o n s a n d 9  g u i d e l i n e s , s u c h a s t h e S t a t e A r c h i v e s R e g u l a t i o n s of 1 9 6 5 , t h e revision of t h e s a m e 1 0  r e g u l a t i o n s in 1 9 7 6 , a n d t h e G u i d e l i n e s f o r t h e C o m p i l a t i o n a n d T r a n s f e r of Official R e c o r d s f r o m t h e S t a t e O f f i c e s t o t h e A d m i n i s t r a t i v e A r c h i v e s , p u b l i s h e d by t h e S t a t e A r c h i v e s A d m i n i s t r a t i o n in 1 9 7 9 . 1 1  5. 6. 7.  Hoffmann, op.cit., p.68, note 22. Dienstordnung der Regierung der DDR, passed on 3 November 1949. A reprint of the Official Service Regulations is provided by Hubener, Umrisse und Untersuchungen, pp.221-260. 8. Brachmann, op.cit., pp.12-13, and Hoffmann, op.cit., p.68. 9. Such as the Richtlinien ilber die Gewdhrleistung der Ordnung und Sicherheit im Umgang mit dienstlichem Schriftgut (22 August 1974), the Anordnung Oberden Umgang mit Dienstsachen und die Erteilung von DienstauftrSgen (2 April 1983) and the Anordnung Qber Dienstsachen (3 February 1988). 10. Verordnung Qber das staatliche Archivwesen, published 17 June 1965. 11. Richtlinien for die Erfassung und Obernahme von dienstlichem Schriftgut aus den aktenfQhrenden Stellen durch die Verwaltungsarchive.  74  W h i l e t h e r e w a s n o specific p r o g r a m m e p r o v i d e d at t h e h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n level f o r g o v e r n m e n t a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , training in administrative m a t t e r s w a s o f f e r e d by a n u m b e r of institutions, including t h e A c a d e m y of Political S c i e n c e a n d L a w of t h e G D R , t h e 1 2  T e c h n i c a l S c h o o l f o r Political S c i e n c e , t h e B u s i n e s s A c a d e m i e s of t h e r e g i o n a l councils 13  a n d by s o m e s c h o o l s o r g a n i z e d by t h e Socialist Unity Party ( S E D ) . O f particular 1 4  i m p o r t a n c e f o r training in r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices w a s t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t in 1 9 6 0 of t h e Institute f o r A d m i n i s t r a t i v e O r g a n i z a t i o n a n d Office T e c h n o l o g y , w h i c h h a d m u c h t h e s a m e role a n d activities of t h e Diwiv in t h e 1 9 2 0 ' s . 15  B e g i n n i n g in t h e 1 9 5 0 ' s a n e v e r i n c r e a s i n g n u m b e r of p u b l i c a t i o n s a p p e a r e d , w h i c h w e r e d e v o t e d to t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g of p r o p e r r e c o r d k e e p i n g a n d to a d v o c a t i n g t h e a d o p t i o n of v a r i o u s practices a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e Buroreform.  T h e Institute f o r A d m i n i s t r a t i v e  O r g a n i z a t i o n a n d Office T e c h n o l o g y p r o d u c e d a n o t a b l e series of h a n d b o o k s , in w h i c h topics s u c h a s t h e creation of filing plans a n d t h e setting u p of efficient filing r o o m s w e r e d i s c u s s e d . Archivists p l a y e d a l e a d i n g role in t h e s e p u b l i c a t i o n efforts: n o t only did t h e y 16  c o - o p e r a t e in t h e publications of t h e Institute, b u t also n u m e r o u s articles d e a l i n g w i t h r e c o r d k e e p i n g issues w e r e w r i t t e n f o r t h e archival j o u r n a l of t h e G D R ,  Archivmitteilungen.  T h e S t a t e A r c h i v e s A d m i n i s t r a t i o n p u b l i s h e d material in c o n n e c t i o n w i t h its c o r r e s p o n d e n c e c o u r s e p r o g r a m m e f o r a r c h i v i s t s ; it s p o n s o r e d a s well t h e p u b l i c a t i o n in 17  Akademie filr Staats- und Rechtswissenschaft der DDR. Fachschule fur Staatswissenschaft. Schulze, op.cit., p.162. The institute was first located in Halle and attached to the Ministry of Finance, later it became part of the Academy of Political Science and Law, with facilities in Leipzig. See Hoffmann, op.cit., p.68. 16. "Leitfaden fur die Aufstellung von AktenplSnen" (1962), "ZweckmSliige Gestaltung der Schriftgutregistratur" (1963), "Rationelle Schriftgutregistratur" (1974), and an additional booklet on filing plans in 1982. See Hoffmann, op.cit., p.68, esp.note 25. 17. For example, a textbook on recordkeeping and a "Studienanleitung Schriftgutverwaltung" by Gottfried Dohme. 12. 13. 14. 15.  1 9 6 5 of B r a c h m a n n ' s m a j o r w o r k o n r e c o r d k e e p i n g , Die Schriftgutverwaltung  in Staat und  Wirtschaft™.  T h e S t a t e A r c h i v e s A d m i n i s t r a t i o n w a s also r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e m o s t significant s t e p t o w a r d s i m p r o v i n g r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices: t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t a n d m a i n t e n a n c e o f t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a r c h i v e s (Verwaltungsarchive).  B e g u n in 1 9 5 1 , t h e p r o g r a m m e w a s s e t 1 9  up to p r o v i d e all state offices - at first j u s t t h o s e of t h e g o v e r n m e n t , b u t later including all s t a t e - o w n e d e n t e r p r i s e s , institutions, o r g a n i z a t i o n s etc. - w i t h r u d i m e n t a r y archival facilities, s t a f f e d by t r a i n e d p e r s o n n e l w o r k i n g u n d e r t h e s u p e r v i s i o n o f t h e S t a t e A r c h i v e s A d m i n i s t r a t i o n o r its a g e n t offices at t h e district level. B a s e d o n t h e c o n c e p t of t h e d e p a r t m e n t a l a r c h i v e s (Altregistratur)  of t h e 1 7 t h a n d 1 8 t h c e n t u r i e s , w h i c h in t u r n w a s  simply a logical d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e m e d i e v a l archival d e p o t , t h e primary t a s k of t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a r c h i v e s w a s to g a t h e r a n d t r a n s f e r t h e office's r e c o r d s t o t h e final a r c h i v e s . Unlike t h e earlier d e p a r t m e n t a l a r c h i v e s , h o w e v e r , t h e y w e r e also a s s i g n e d a 20  18. "Recordkeeping in Government and Industry" - see bibliography. 19. Anordnung zur Einrichtung von Verwaltungsarchiven, 26 February 1951. 20. See Anordnung.... §§ 1 and 5. The difference between the concept of the administrative archives and that of a Zwischenarchiv - intermediate archives, limbo, or records centre should be emphasized here. The Zwischenarchiv is a modern - one would like to say even industrial - concept which post-dates the establishment of the administrative archives. Zwischenarchive or records centres are independent institutions set up to collect records from a number of offices and agencies within their established jurisdiction. They have no legislated authority to interfere with the recordkeeping practices of the source administrations. The administrative archives, on the other hand, were part of the office administration itself, and enabled (in theory) the administration to put its records in proper order - and later even carry out appraisal - before passing them on to the appropriate archival institution. The distinction between administrative archives and Zwischenarchiv is thus quite crucial from the perspective of recordkeeping, and is unfortunately blurred by some authors, including the recent contribution of Landwehr (The German Archival System, pp.44-45) and also -- interestingly enough - in what was obviously intended as the GDR's major contribution to the genre of archival handbook: Archivwesen der DDR ("Unter Verwaltungsarchiven versteht man Zwischenarchive mit zeitlich begrenzter Zustandigkeit fur Registraturgut bzw. Archivgut von Registraturbildnern.", p.130).  76  s e c o n d a r y t a s k w h i c h w a s n o t of a n archival n a t u r e , b u t rather in t h e a r e a of r e c o r d k e e p i n g . In a very brief s t a t e m e n t in t h e original legislation, t h e archivist a s s i g n e d t o t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a r c h i v e s w a s g i v e n t h e authority t o s u p e r v i s e "both t h e practical file m a k i n g a s well as t h e r e c o r d s s t o r a g e of t h e individual d e p a r t m e n t s w i t h i n t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n " . W h i l e in t h e b e g i n n i n g s t a f f e d by p e r s o n s w i t h only a v e r y h a s t y a n d 21  r u d i m e n t a r y training in archival practice, t h e quality g r a d u a l l y i m p r o v e d , s u c h that in t h e final g o v e r n m e n t of t h e G D R , five ministerial a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a r c h i v e s w e r e s t a f f e d w i t h archivists h a v i n g a h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n . 22  T h e p o w e r g i v e n t o archivists t o g u i d e a n d s h a p e t h e r e c o r d k e e p i n g p r a c t i c e s in practically all state offices - e x p r e s s e d so clearly by t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a r c h i v e s a n d r e i n f o r c e d by t h e contributions of archivists in t h e o t h e r a r e a s d i s c u s s e d - c a n be v i e w e d in b o t h a positive a n d a n e g a t i v e light. Its positive c o n t r i b u t i o n lay in t h e possibility of a p p l y i n g u n i f o r m s t a n d a r d s to t h e creation a n d m a i n t e n a n c e of all state r e c o r d s , a n d in e n s u r i n g t h a t t h e archival r e c o r d s - in k e e p i n g w i t h t h e policies of t h e S t a t e A r c h i v e s A d m i n i s t r a t i v e - w e r e properly p r e s e r v e d . O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , t h e duties t h u s a s s u m e d by t h e archivists c o u l d hardly p r o m o t e a c o r r e s p o n d i n g s e n s e of responsibility a m o n g t h e a c t u a l r e c o r d s creators, a n d it is quite legitimate t o c o n j e c t u r e t h a t this w a s a l e a d i n g r e a s o n f o r t h e failure of r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices in t h e G D R t o e v e r e v o l v e b e y o n d t h e level m a r k e d o u t by t h e Buroreform  of t h e 1920's. For w h e n t h e b a l a n c e w a s d r a w n at  t h e e n d of t h e republic in 1 9 9 0 , t h e results w e r e n o t impressive.  21.  "Der Verwaltungsarcfiivar uberwacht zugleich die technische Aktenfufirung und die Schriftgutablage bei den einzelnen Abteilungen der Verwaltung", § 6, section 2. 22. Hoffmann, op.cit., p.70.  77  T h e a b a n d o n m e n t of t h e central filing r o o m a n d t h e a p p l i c a t i o n of d e c e n t r a l i z e d R e g i s t r a t u r - hailed as a m a r k of c o n f o r m a n c e t o t h e Buroreform  - was never  satisfactorily a c c o m p a n i e d by t h e training a n d discipline r e q u i r e d to m a k e this s t e p truly effective. In t h e a r e a of file m a k i n g t h e n e c e s s i t y of b a s i n g files o n b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s w a s still s o m e t h i n g w h i c h n e e d e d to b e m a d e clear to officials. T h e m o s t glaring p r o b l e m h o w e v e r lay in t h e difficulty of getting offices to d r a w up a n d u s e filing p l a n s - a prerequisite f o r t h e u s e of action files w h e n t h e filing activities are d e c e n t r a l i z e d . T h u s H a k e r r e p o r t e d as late as 1 9 8 7 that only a b o u t half of all state offices p o s s e s s e d a filing plan, a n d n o t all of t h e s e in f a c t u s e d i t . 23  A l s o in r e g a r d to t h e o t h e r t w o m a j o r e l e m e n t s of Registratur - registration a n d r e g u l a t i o n s - t h e picture w a s n o t flattering. T h e u s e of t h e j o u r n a l - d e c r i e d by t h e  Buroreform  — d o e s i n d e e d a p p e a r to h a v e g e n e r a l l y c e a s e d , registration o c c u r r i n g  i n s t e a d t h r o u g h t h e u s e of i n d e x c a r d s a n d , later, p u n c h c a r d s . It is difficult to f i n d m u c h d i s c u s s i o n of e v e n t h e s e i n s t r u m e n t s in t h e c o n t e m p o r a r y literature, h o w e v e r , a n d o n e is left w i t h t h e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t registration w a s not a m a j o r c o n c e r n in G D R r e c o r d k e e p i n g ~ s o m e t h i n g t h a t is hardly surprising g i v e n t h e p r o b l e m s w i t h t h e filing plan, w h i c h , after all, p r o v i d e s t h e b u s i n e s s n u m b e r s f o r t h e d o c u m e n t s to b e r e g i s t e r e d . N o r w a s t h e situation a n y better w i t h t h e i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of regulations f o r b u s i n e s s p r o c e s s e s . Not only w e r e t h e r e n o n e w d e v e l o p m e n t s in providing u n i f o r m regulations at e v e n t h e h i g h e r levels of  23. Haker, Zum Stand der Erarbeitunq und Anwendung von Schriftqutbewertungsverzeichnissen. cited by Hoffmann, op.cit., p.69. Haker's observation was confirmed by Kluge in 1990: "Auch die Bemiifiungen des Zentralen Staatsarchivs urn die Einfuhrung von AktenplSnen in den zentralen Staatsorganen hat nicht zu einem Durchburch gefuhrt, da der Anwendungsgrad im allgemeinen zu gering blieb" (Der Staatliche Archivfonds der DDR, p. 164)  78  g o v e r n m e n t , b u t t h e r e g u l a t i o n s i s s u e d ( a n d , a p p a r e n t l y , o f t e n i g n o r e d ) did n o t e v e n m a t c h t h e c o m p r e h e n s i v e n e s s of t h e G G O / of 1 9 2 6 .  T h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a r c h i v e s - n o d o u b t t h e s t r o n g e s t h o p e f o r t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n of s o u n d r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices - w e r e also largely a failure. In K l u g e ' s brief a s s e s s m e n t of 1 9 9 0 t h e r e w a s n o t h i n g positive: only 1/3 of t h e administrative a r c h i v e s w h i c h did exist m a n a g e d to m e e t t h e quality s t a n d a r d s f o r t h e w o r k r e q u i r e d ( d u e partly to p r o b l e m s with p e r s o n n e l , partly t o a d i s d a i n f o r r e c o r d k e e p i n g a n d p r e s e r v i n g r e c o r d s ) ; K l u g e e v e n s p e a k s of t h e " d y s f u n c t i o n of t h e majority of administrative a r c h i v e s " . 24  D e s p i t e this r a t h e r b l e a k picture of t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of R e g i s t r a t u r in t h e G D R , t h e r e is o n e point w h i c h m u s t be k e p t in m i n d : t h e ideal of Registratur as e x p r e s s e d in t h e classical P r u s s i a n m o d e l , a n d implicit t h r o u g h o u t t h e Buroreform,  was never -  except  p e r h a p s in t h e brief p e r i o d 1 9 4 5 - 1 9 4 9 - lost sight of. T h e a p p r o a c h t o s o l v i n g t h e p r o b l e m s g e n e r a t e d by t h e n e g l e c t of s o u n d r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices w a s n o t t h r o u g h imitation of o t h e r c o u n t r i e s (not e v e n of t h e S o v i e t Union) b u t by a return t o t h e t h r e e e l e m e n t s of Registratur: action file, registration a n d r e g u l a t i o n . T h e difficulties e n c o u n t e r e d , a n d t h e failure to p r o d u c e all-round t a n g i b l e results, c a n n o t b e ( a n d w a s not) a t t r i b u t e d t o p r o b l e m s w i t h t h e t e c h n i q u e s t h e m s e l v e s , b u t t o their i m p l e m e n t a t i o n in t h e f a c e of unskilled a n d u n c a r i n g p e r s o n n e l a n d little public s u p p o r t ; n o d o u b t overcentralization, a n d t h e resulting h u g e a n d h e t e r o g e n e o u s b u r e a u c r a c y , is also to b l a m e .  24. Kluge, op.cit., p.164.  79  2. Registratur in the higher offices of the FRG (Federal Republic of Germany) prior t o reunification A s in t h e G D R , politics p l a y e d a m a j o r role in d e t e r m i n i n g t h e p o s t - w a r e v o l u t i o n of R e g i s t r a t u r in t h e t h r e e w e s t e r n military z o n e s , o u t of w h i c h a r o s e in 1 9 4 9 t h e Federal R e p u b l i c of G e r m a n y . This is especially e v i d e n t in t w o r e s p e c t s : first, in t h e i m p o r t a n c e 2 5  g i v e n t o e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e n e w republic as a f e d e r a l d e m o c r a c y , a n d s e c o n d , in t h e overall c o n s e r v a t i v e attitude t a k e n t o w a r d s c h a n g e s in t h e G e r m a n political a n d administrative system.  T h e F R G ' s f e d e r a l structure, in m a n y w a y s h e a r k e n i n g b a c k to t h e traditionally f r a g m e n t e d state of t h e " G e r m a n n a t i o n " prior t o 1 8 7 1 , a n d cleariy i n t e n d e d as o n e m e a n s of p r e v e n t i n g t o o m u c h p o w e r f r o m a c c u m u l a t i n g in t h e central g o v e r n m e n t , m e a n t that, as f a r a s r e c o r d k e e p i n g w a s c o n c e r n e d , a multitude of practices a n d r e g u l a t i o n s a r o s e at all levels of g o v e r n m e n t , f e d e r a l , regional, a n d local. T h e c o m p l e t e lack of a n y central b o d y to o v e r s e e d e v e l o p m e n t s a n d s u g g e s t r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s , a n d t h e resulting lack of s t a n d a r d s , e n c o u r a g e d n o t only a spirit of e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n , b u t also a certain r e s i g n a t i o n a n d c a r e l e s s n e s s , l e a d i n g Papritz t o write of a "crisis in R e g i s t r a t u r " . 26  T h e g e n e r a l l y c o n s e r v a t i v e a p p r o a c h to t h e re-structuring of t h e G e r m a n political s y s t e m , a n d particularly of t h e administrative o r g a n i z a t i o n , while politically c o n t r o v e r s i a l , 27  25. The FRG was constituted on 23 May 1949. 26. Papritz, Oraanisationsformen der Schriftoutbewahruna in der bffentlichen Verwaltuna. col.291 27. As in the Soviet Occupation Zone, a programme of "de-nazification" was carried out in the three allied occupations zones. The rigour with which this programme was carried out, however, in no way matched the efforts of the Communists in the eastern zone, with the result that many former members and collaborators of the Nazi Party - some having occupied high and influential positions, particularly in the area of justice - either retained their posts or were able to return to similar positions after a relatively short period of incarceration.  80  n e v e r t h e l e s s h a d f o r r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices t h e beneficial result t h a t t h e n e w a d m i n i s t r a t i v e structures w e r e able t o b e g i n f u n c t i o n i n g w i t h p e r s o n n e l a l r e a d y highly t r a i n e d a n d skilled. It is t h e r e f o r e possible t o s p e a k of a n u n b r o k e n tradition in r e c o r d k e e p i n g in t h e F R G , a n d i n d e e d , h a v i n g t a k e n u p w h e r e t h e T h i r d R e i c h left off, certain i m p r o v e m e n t s w e r e able t o b e i m p l e m e n t e d by t h e time of reunification in 1 9 9 0 . In v i e w of t h e c o n t i n u e d lack of s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n , t h e s e i m p r o v e m e n t s c a n b e p r o b a b l y b e s t e x a m i n e d in t h e J o i n t P r o c e d u r a l C o d e (Gemeinsame  GeschSftsordnung  - GGO I) f o r t h e  ministries of t h e f e d e r a l g o v e r n m e n t . 28  T h e J o i n t P r o c e d u r a l C o d e of t h e F R G , like its n a m e s a k e f r o m t h e p e r i o d of t h e G e r m a n R e i c h , c o n s i s t s of t w o m a j o r sections: t h e C o d e proper, a n d A p p e n d i x I. T h e C o d e p r o p e r is in t u r n d i v i d e d into 3 c h a p t e r s , c o n t a i n i n g a l t o g e t h e r 1 0 0 p a r a g r a p h s as well as n u m e r o u s e x a m p l e s of f o r m s . T h e first c h a p t e r is d e v o t e d to b a s i c o r g a n i z a t i o n a l principles, s u c h a s t h e f u n c t i o n a n d o b s e r v a n c e of t h e c o d e a n d t h e m a n n e r in w h i c h t h e ministries a r e s e t up a n d s t r u c t u r e d . H e r e it is i m p o r t a n t to n o t e t h e provision f o r a n o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p l a n : " T h e structuring of t h e ministry is t o be p o r t r a y e d clearly a n d c o m p r e h e n s i v e l y in a n o r g a n i z a t i o n a l plan ( a b b r e v i a t e d r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of t h e c o m p e t e n c i e s of t h e divisions, t h e d e p a r t m e n t s a n d t h e s e c t i o n s ) . T h e p l a n s e r v e s a s a basis f o r t h e b u s i n e s s distribution plan a n d - w h e r e p u r p o s e f u l - also f o r t h e filing  28. With the founding of the FRG in 1949 began also work on a new version of the GGO / of 1926, which reached a successful conclusion in 1957 (Cabinet approval on 8 January 1958). The new GGO /, while essentially identical to that of 1926, contained among other things improvements in technical terminology, better instructions concerning the handling of inactive records, and instructions regarding the organization of the filing room. Since 1958 the GGO / has been through four revisions: 1966 (regulations concerning the new Zwischenarchive), 1969 (decreased regulation concerning the Restliste), 1975 (new instructions regarding preservation), and 1987 (changes in transfer procedures to the Zwischenarchive) - see Hoffmann, op.cit., pp.50-52.  81  plan.  A n o t h e r i m p o r t a n t provision c o n c e r n s t h e b u s i n e s s distribution p l a n , w h i c h is t o  e n s u r e t h a t t h e v a r i o u s activities are d i v i d e d a m o n g t h e divisions, d e p a r t m e n t s a n d s e c t i o n s a c c o r d i n g to t h e n a t u r e of t h e b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s i n v o l v e d ("nach  Gesichtspunkten")  sachlichen  a n d i n d e e d in s u c h a w a y , that conflicts of c o m p e t e n c y a r e a v o i d e d  a n d t h a t similar or related m a t t e r s are all h a n d l e d by o n e a n d t h e s a m e o f f i c e . 30  T h e s e c o n d c h a p t e r of t h e C o d e p r o p e r c o v e r s m a t t e r s relating to b u s i n e s s p r o c e d u r e s , f o r e x a m p l e t h e h a n d l i n g of i n c o m i n g m a t t e r s (EingSnge),  t h e h a n d l i n g of internal  m a t t e r s , t h e m a n n e r in w h i c h d o c u m e n t s are c r e a t e d (drafts, s i g n a t u r e s , fair c o p i e s etc.), a n d t h e h a n d l i n g of special b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s (cabinet m a t t e r s , reports, m e e t i n g s , e v a l u a t i o n s a n d s o o n ) . W h i l e of little i m m e d i a t e r e l e v a n c e to Registratur, this c h a p t e r d o e s c o n t a i n t w o i m p o r t a n t provisions related to r e c o r d k e e p i n g . First, t h e responsibility f o r t h e d o c u m e n t s pertaining to a n i n c o m i n g m a t t e r lies w i t h t h e official d e s i g n a t e d to h a n d l e it f o r as long as t h e m a t t e r is b e i n g w o r k e d o n , o t h e r w i s e w i t h t h e p e r s o n r e s p o n s i b l e f o r k e e p i n g t h e files. T h i s either/or c o n d i t i o n o b v i o u s l y simplifies s e a r c h p r o c e d u r e s . S e c o n d , t h e state of a n y m a t t e r at a n y t i m e s h o u l d b e c o m p l e t e l y clear 31  f r o m t h e file itself, a rule w h i c h n o t only pertains to t h e c o m p l e t e n e s s of d o c u m e n t a t i o n  29.  "Die Gliederung des Ministeriums ist iibersichtlich und erschopfend in einem Organisationsplan (Kurzbezeichnung der Arbeitsgebiete der Abteilungen, Unterabteilungen und Referate) darzustellen. Er bildet die Grundlage fur den Geschaftsverteilungsplan (§ 5) und, wo es zweckmSGig ist, auch fur den Aktenplan (§ Registraturanweisung)." § 4, GGO /. The need for an organizational plan was not expressed in the Code of 1926. The organizational plan, also known as "Organigramm" or "Strukturplan", is further discussed in Hubener, op.cit., pp.30 ff., and Hoffmann, op.cit., p.204. 30. "Die Verteilung der einzelnen Dienstgeschafte auf die Abteilungen (Unterabteilungen) und Referate regelt der Geschaftsverteilungsplan. Er grenzt die Arbeitsgebiete nach sachlichen Gesichtspunten so ab, daB Zustandigkeitsuberschreitungen vermieden, gleichartige Oder verwandte Sachgebiete nur von einer Stelle bearbeitet werden." § 5, GGO /. 3 1 . "Verantwortlich fur den Verbleib eines Eingangs ist wahrend der Bearbeitung der Bearbeiter, nach der Bearbeitung Oder zwischen Bearbeitungsabschnitten die Registratur (Sachbearbeiterablage). Eine dieser Stellen muB jederzeit Auskunft dariiber geben kSnnen, ob ein bestimmter Eingang vorhanden ist und wo ersich befindet." § 19.2, GGO /.  82  c o n t a i n e d in t h e file, b u t w h i c h also d e s c r i b e s w i t h a d m i r a b l e clarity t h e n a t u r e of t h e file itself . 32  T h e third c h a p t e r of t h e c o d e p r o p e r h a s to d o w i t h service a n d h o u s e r e g u l a t i o n s , a n d h a s n o direct b e a r i n g o n r e c o r d i n g k e e p i n g practices.  A p p e n d i x I is entitled "Filing r o o m Instructions" (Registraturanweisung  - RegA); it is  d i v i d e d into t w o sections ( c o m p r i s i n g a l t o g e t h e r 2 3 p a r a g r a p h s ) , t h e first of w h i c h d e a l s w i t h t h e s e t u p a n d o r g a n i z a t i o n of t h e filing r o o m , t h e s e c o n d of w h i c h c o v e r s topics pertaining t o t h e w o r k routines. S i n c e t h e filing r o o m is r e s p o n s i b l e b o t h f o r t h e c r e a t i o n a n d t h e m a n a g e m e n t of files, file m a k i n g is h a n d l e d in t h e first s e c t i o n , a n d file m a n a g e m e n t in t h e s e c o n d s e c t i o n .  B e f o r e e x a m i n i n g t h e s e m o r e closely, it s h o u l d be p o i n t e d o u t that t h e Instructions allow t h e e x i s t e n c e b o t h of t h e central filing r o o m a n d of d e c e n t r a l i z e d Registratur ( e a c h official m a n a g i n g h e r o r his o w n records) - in fact, b o t h t y p e s c o n t i n u e in u s e t o d a y . 33  T h e f u n c t i o n of t h e filing p l a n in p r o v i d i n g t h e f r a m e w o r k f o r t h e c r e a t i o n of files is e v i d e n t in t h e six s e c t i o n s of p a r a g r a p h 3, w h i c h is d e v o t e d solely to this instrument. A l t h o u g h t h e  32.  "Der Stand einer Sache muB jederzeit aus den Akten vollstSndig ersichtlich sein." § 32.1, GGO /. I am indebted to Dr. Buttner for drawing my attention to this simple but fundamental statement, which, although it occurs in direct connection to regulations governing the use of notes, has a general relevance for the nature of file keeping in itself. 33. § 1.2 of RegA enjoins the adoption of the decentralized filing system when "it is purposeful", since it "speeds up and simplifies the work" ("Wenn es zweckdienlich ist, sollen Sachbearbeiterablagen eingefuhrt werden, urn die Arbeit zu beschleunigen und zu vereinfachen."). The recommendations issued by the Auditor General of the FRG (PrSsident des Bundesrechnungshofes) in 1989 present, on the other hand, a sober discussion of both the advantages and the disadvantages of maintaining decentralized filing - see Empfehlungen for die Schriftgutverwaltung, p.69.  83  Instructions p r o v i d e little direction as to h o w a filing p l a n is actually set u p , its d e p e n d e n c e o n t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n a l plan, its u s e of hierarchically s t r u c t u r e d s u b j e c t h e a d i n g s as well as u n i q u e identifying n u m b e r s is clear e n o u g h . T h e u s e of t h e u n i q u e 3 4  h e a d i n g n u m b e r in identifying t h e files t h e m s e l v e s (along w i t h a d e s c r i p t i v e title) is specifically p r o v i d e d f o r . 35  A distinction is m a d e b e t w e e n files of f u n d a m e n t a l i m p o r t a n c e (so-called "A-Akten"  - i.e.  "allgemeine  Akten" or " g e n e r a l files"), a n d files not of s u c h i m p o r t a n c e ("B-Akten"  - i.e.  "besondere  Akten" or "special files"). For g e n e r a l files, t a b l e s of c o n t e n t s are to be  a t t a c h e d t o t h e file, a n d e a c h s e p a r a t e d o c u m e n t is to be n u m b e r e d in c o n s e c u t i v e o r d e r . All files are t o b e s t o r e d upright in ring b i n d e r s (of t h e t y p e d e s c r i b e d in C h a p t e r 36  3), w i t h t h e o l d e s t d o c u m e n t s c o m i n g first, t h e m o s t r e c e n t last, "so t h a t t h e b i n d e r c a n b e r e a d like a b o o k " . 37  V a r i o u s i n s t r u m e n t s are p r o v i d e d f o r in r e g a r d to t h e registration of b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s a n d t h e a s s o c i a t e d d o c u m e n t s , m o s t of t h e s e b e i n g c o v e r e d in t h e s e c o n d s e c t i o n . C h i e f a m o n g t h e s e a r e t h e j o u r n a l (despite t h e Buroreform)  a n d its alternative, t h e file c a r d .  T h e j o u r n a l h a s a l r e a d y b e e n d e s c r i b e d ; it h a s e n j o y e d s o m e m i n o r i m p r o v e m e n t s  34. More clarity could be desired, however. Although the code proper specified the use of the organizational plan for creating the filing plan (see above), the Instructions merely state that the filing plan is drawn up according to the tasks of the ministry, or other systematic principles ("Von der Stoffgliederung der Aufgaben des Ministeriums Oder anderen systematischen Gesichtspunkten ausgehend...", § 3.1) 35. RegA, § 3.3. 36. RegA § 5 . 1 - 2 . 37. "Sie sollen mit dem altesten Schriftstuck beginnen (Behordenheftung), also wie ein Buch gelesen werden kbnnen." RegA, § 6.2. As in the days of the classical Prussian Registratur, the journal is kept according to calender years (RegA, § 11.1).  84  especially in layout, w i t h t h e n u m b e r of c o l u m n s b e i n g r e d u c e d t o a r o u n d s e v e n  . The  file c a r d s are b a s e d o n t h e filing plan (unlike t h e j o u r n a l w h i c h is o r g a n i z e d a c c o r d i n g to t h e b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s t h e m s e l v e s ) . T h e y are rather large, b e i n g t h e s a m e size as a n o r m a l s h e e t of writing paper, a n d o n e is m a d e f o r e a c h h e a d i n g in t h e filing p l a n . T h e h e a d i n g s a r e m u c h t h e s a m e as f o r t h e j o u r n a l . Interestingly, t h e file c a r d s a r e r e c o m m e n d e d f o r u s e only by central filing r o o m s , i m p l y i n g t h a t t h e j o u r n a l ' s role is m o r e for the decentralized Registratur.  39  O t h e r registration aids include t h e s e n d e r list, t h e i n c o m i n g p o s t b o o k , t h e s u b j e c t index a n d t h e file inventory. T h e s e n d e r list (Einsenderverzeichnis)  p r o v i d e s a n a c c o u n t of  e v e r y o n e w h o h a s t a k e n u p c o n t a c t w i t h t h e office f o r b u s i n e s s p u r p o s e s , a n d is usually s e t u p in t h e f o r m of a c a r d c a t a l o g u e , e a c h card c o n t a i n i n g , b e s i d e s t h e p e r s o n a l n a m e , t h e d a t e ( s ) of t h e i n c o m i n g m a t t e r s , t h e b u s i n e s s n u m b e r s a s s i g n e d by t h e s e n d e r , a n d t h e b u s i n e s s n u m b e r (file n u m b e r ) of t h e o f f i c e . T h e i n c o m i n g p o s t b o o k 40  (Eingangsbuch)  fulfils t h e s a m e f u n c t i o n as t h e s e n d e r list a n d c a n be s u b s t i t u t e d f o r it;  h e r e t h e entries are a r r a n g e d in c h r o n o l o g i c a l order, usually w i t h o n e p a g e p e r c a l e n d a r d a y . W h i l e b o t h s e n d e r list a n d i n c o m i n g p o s t b o o k s e r v e to f i n d files by t h e p e r s o n ( s ) 4 1  originating t h e b u s i n e s s matter, t h e subject i n d e x (Sachverzeichnis)  enables matters to  be l o c a t e d by t o p i c o r subject. T h e i n d e x entries are a r r a n g e d in a l p h a b e t i c a l order; t h e  38. The sample journal sheet provided by the RegA shows seven columns in the following order: sequential number, date, sender/business number, nature of the matter, handling office, references, authority for decision, and location of the file. (RegA, Appendix R1) 39. File cards are described in more detail in the recommendations for recordkeeping issued by the Auditor General, op.cit., p.51, by Schatz, op.cit., pp.161-163, and by Hoffmann, op.cit., pp.296-297 40. RegA, § 13.1-3. See also the recommendations of the Auditor General, op.cit., p.52, Schatz, op.cit., pp.145-146, and Hoffmann, op.cit., pp.294-295. 4 1 . RegA, § 13.4. See also the recommendations of the Auditor General, op.cit., p.52, Schatz, op.cit., p.177, and Hoffmann, op.cit., pp.294-295.  85  only o t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n p r o v i d e d is t h e n u m b e r of t h e j o u r n a l or file c a r d e n t r y . All of 42  t h e s e d e v i c e s are optional, as is t h e file inventory, w h i c h is i n t e n d e d t o p r o v i d e a n o v e r v i e w of t h e entire collection of files by file n u m b e r . 43  O f particular interest in t h e C o d e are t h e provisions f o r t h e h a n d l i n g of files o n c e t h e y are n o l o n g e r active. W h i l e t h e C o d e of 1 9 2 6 stipulated, in o n e brief p a r a g r a p h , t h a t e v e r y f i v e y e a r s t h e files w e r e to b e i n s p e c t e d to s e e w h e t h e r t h e y s h o u l d b e t r a n s f e r r e d t o t h e R e i c h s a r c h i v , a n d w h i l e t h e c o r r e s p o n d i n g regulations of t h e G D R of 1 9 4 9 failed t o 44  m a k e a n y p r o v i s i o n at all f o r s u c h a t r a n s f e r , t h e F R G C o d e of 1 9 5 8 c o n t a i n e d t w o n e w 45  p a r a g r a p h s - o n e pertaining t o t h e m a i n t e n a n c e of r e c o r d s n o l o n g e r in active u s e , t h e o t h e r c o v e r i n g t h e sorting of files a n d their e v e n t u a l t r a n s f e r to t h e r e s p o n s i b l e a r c h i v e s or disposal through destruction . Thus a fourth element w a s added to the three already 46  p r e s e n t in t h e classical P r u s s i a n Registratur (file m a k i n g , registration, regulation), n a m e l y d i s p o s a l . T h e r e a s o n this f o u r t h e l e m e n t w a s originally lacking in t h e classical R e g i s t r a t u r is n o d o u b t to b e s o u g h t in t h e f a c t that during t h e c o u r s e of d e v e l o p m e n t of this R e g i s t r a t u r t h e r e w e r e no public archives - e a c h d e p a r t m e n t k e p t its o w n a r c h i v e s , as it w e r e , in t h e f o r m of t h e m o r e or less carefully m a n a g e d Altregistratur,  or "old files depot".  42. RegA, § 13.5. See also the recommendations of the Auditor General, op.cit., p.53 (under the name "Hinweiskartei"), Schatz, op.cit., p.129, and Hoffmann, op.cit., pp.296-297 43. The file inventory can also be laid out in the form of cards. RegA covers the file inventory in § 4.1-2. See also the recommendations of the Auditor General, op.cit., p.50. 44. GGO I, RegA (1926), § 7. 45. Dienstordnung der DDR, op.cit. This lack was to be made up for by the establishment of the administrative archives, as already discussed. In relation to the present discussion it needs to be borne in mind that the Verwaltungsarchive were archival institutions and under the ultimate jurisdiction of the State Archives Administration (or its subordinate offices), and so not an integral part of the business administration. 46. RegA, § 8 "Altablage" and § 9 "Aussonderung, Abgabe, Verwertung und Vernichtung von Schriftgut". Both paragraphs were revised in 1966 and 1975, to account for changes due to the implementation of the Zwischenarchive - archives limbos or records centres. For the text of the original paragraphs as well as revisions see Hoffmann, op.cit., pp.584-589. RegA also makes provision for the creation and maintenance of retention schedules - see § 14.  86  T h e e m e r g e n c e of t h e public a r c h i v e s in t h e last century, c o u p l e d w i t h t h e d r a m a t i c i n c r e a s e in t h e a m o u n t of r e c o r d s b e i n g p r o d u c e d a n d requiring s t o r a g e , c r e a t e d t h e n e e d f o r m a n a g e m e n t of t h e d i s p o s a l of r e c o r d s , either t h r o u g h t r a n s f e r to t h e a p p r o p r i a t e archival institution or t h r o u g h d e s t r u c t i o n , in s o m e orderly a n d s u p e r v i s a b l e manner.  O n t h e e v e of reunification t h e F R G h a d s u c c e e d e d n o t only in m a i n t a i n i n g , a n d c o n t i n u o u s l y d e v e l o p i n g , a c o n s i s t e n t set of rules f o r t h e m e t h o d a n d practice of r e c o r d k e e p i n g in its ministries, but it h a d - d e s p i t e t h e f e a r s a n d m i s g i v i n g s of s o m e o b s e r v e r s - m a n a g e d to build o n t h e w o r k of t h e Buroreform  in a positive a n d  c o n s t r u c t i v e m a n n e r in at least t w o r e s p e c t s . First, w i t h o u t f o r s a k i n g t h e principles of t h e r e f o r m , it h a d s u c c e e d e d in a c k n o w l e d g i n g t h e validity of v a r i o u s a p p r o a c h e s t o efficient r e c o r d k e e p i n g (use of j o u r n a l or u s e of file c a r d s , central filing o r d e c e n t r a l i z e d filing etc.), a n d a v o i d e d a b a n d o n i n g t h e authority a n d i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of s t a n d a r d s n e c e s s a r y to e n s u r e that w h a t e v e r m e a n s w e r e a d o p t e d , t h e m e t h o d a n d e n d results w e r e s o u n d . S e c o n d , it r o u n d e d off t h e w o r k of t h e Buroreform  a n d t h e alteration to t h e classical  Registratur by i n t r o d u c i n g a f o u r t h e l e m e n t to t h e r e c o r d k e e p i n g p r o c e s s - t h e p r o c e s s of r e g u l a t e d d i s p o s a l of inactive r e c o r d s .  3. Post-reunification Germany: Registratur and electronic data p r o c e s s i n g O n a c c o u n t of t h e political c i r c u m s t a n c e s of t h e re-unification of t h e t w o G e r m a n i e s in 1 9 9 0 , t h e r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices of t h e G R D c a m e t o a n official e n d w i t h o u t h a v i n g a n y p e r c e p t i b l e i n f l u e n c e o n f u r t h e r d e v e l o p m e n t s . In fact, t h e e n d of t h e E a s t G e r m a n r e p u b l i c is only a m a r k of c o n v e n i e n c e in periodizing t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e Registratur,  87  s i n c e 1 9 9 0 r e p r e s e n t s n o b r e a k or o t h e r discernible hiatus in t h e r e g u l a r d e v e l o p m e n t s a n d c o n c e r n s f a c i n g r e c o r d k e e p i n g in W e s t G e r m a n g o v e r n m e n t offices b e f o r e 1 9 9 0 , a n d all G e r m a n g o v e r n m e n t offices after 1 9 9 0 . T h e division, w h i l e artificial, n e v e r t h e l e s s is of u s e in e x a m i n i n g t h e c h a l l e n g e s to Registratur w h i c h t h e u s e of electronic d a t a p r o c e s s i n g ( E D P ) h a s i m p o s e d . T h e s e c h a l l e n g e s , w h i l e of c o u r s e existing prior to reunification, h a v e clearly t e n d e d to o c c u p y a h i g h e r profile in t h e literature of t h e 1 9 9 0 s .  A s t h e d e v e l o p m e n t s in r e c o r d k e e p i n g in b o t h G e r m a n republics s h o w , t h e ideal of R e g i s t r a t u r as e x e m p l i f i e d by t h e classical P r u s s i a n m o d e l a n d m o d i f i e d f o r t h e s a k e of e c o n o m y by t h e Buroreform  has never been fundamentally questioned. W h e n the  i m p o r t a n c e of t h e a p p l i c a t i o n of c o m p u t e r t e c h n o l o g y to r e c o r d k e e p i n g t a s k s b e c a m e clear in t h e 1 9 6 0 s , t h e r e f o r e , t h e q u e s t i o n w a s n o t h o w t h e t e c h n o l o g y w o u l d alter R e g i s t r a t u r (for its principles w e r e firmly e s t a b l i s h e d ) , but rather, h o w it c o u l d b e best u s e d - in o t h e r w o r d s , w h a t t h e role of E D P w a s in relation t o Registratur.  T h i s role c a n be b e s t e x a m i n e d in relation t o t h e f o u r b a s i c e l e m e n t s of Registratur n a m e l y file m a k i n g , registration, regulation, a n d d i s p o s a l . S i n c e E D P h a s n o direct a p p l i c a t i o n in t h e f o r m u l a t i o n of t h e regulatory controls i n v o l v e d in Registratur, t h e r e are, in effect, only t h r e e e l e m e n t s w h i c h n e e d to be c o n s i d e r e d .  E D P m i g h t b e c o n s i d e r e d to h a v e its g r e a t e s t potential u s e in t h e a r e a of file m a k i n g . A t t h e v e r y least, t h e ideal of t h e " p a p e r l e s s office" a p p e a r s - o n first g l a n c e , at a n y rate t o o f f e r t h e p r o s p e c t of m a n a g i n g r e c o r d s w i t h o u t h a v i n g t o c o n s t a n t l y c o n s u l t filing plans a n d place d o c u m e n t s in f o l d e r s in t h e correct m a n n e r . For t h e filing plan c a n exist  88  virtually in e a c h c o m p u t e r , so t h a t t h e a p p r o p r i a t e file c o d e c a n b e a s s i g n e d t o a d o c u m e n t w i t h a simple k e y stroke or click of t h e m o u s e ; w i t h d o c u m e n t s linked electronically to e a c h o t h e r t h r o u g h t h e file c o d e , files c a n b e a s s e m b l e d , v i e w e d , a n d m o v e d a b o u t w i t h o u t o p e n i n g a n y folders or lifting a n y p i e c e s of p a p e r . B e f o r e s u c h a v i s i o n c a n b e realized, h o w e v e r , t w o m a j o r difficulties n e e d to b e r e s o l v e d : first, t h e security of electronic s t o r a g e n e e d s to at least e q u a l that of paper; s e c o n d , electronic c r e a t i o n a n d p r o c e s s i n g n e e d s to p r e s e r v e t h e t r a c e s of t h e b u s i n e s s p r o c e s s .  T h e first difficulty is a familiar o n e a n d requires n o l e n g t h y i n t r o d u c t i o n : t h e c o s t of i n t r o d u c i n g a n d m a i n t a i n i n g E D P s y s t e m s a n d t h e p r o b l e m s of m i g r a t i o n i n c u r r e d t h r o u g h e v e r - e v o l v i n g t e c h n o l o g y , as well as t h e i n h e r e n t u n c e r t a i n t y a b o u t t h e life s p a n of t h e s t o r a g e s u p p o r t s y s t e m , entail a n overall g r e a t e r security risk f o r electronic d o c u m e n t s vis-a-vis p a p e r d o c u m e n t s . B e c a u s e of this security risk a n d t h e responsibility of g o v e r n m e n t offices t o p r e s e r v e r e c o r d s of their activities, t h e d a y o n w h i c h E D P c a n actually r e p l a c e p a p e r (rather t h a n simply r e d u c e it) a p p e a r s to still lie in t h e f u t u r e - at least as f a r a s G e r m a n g o v e r n m e n t offices are c o n c e r n e d . 4 7  O f g r e a t e r s i g n i f i c a n c e , h o w e v e r , are t h e implications w h i c h t h e i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of E D P h a s f o r p r e s e r v i n g t h e t r a c e s of t h e b u s i n e s s p r o c e s s e s . T o d a t e , t h e E D P s y s t e m s o f f e r e d t o G e r m a n g o v e r n m e n t offices h a v e b e e n b a s e d o n principles of d o c u m e n t m a n a g e m e n t . I n c o m i n g d o c u m e n t s are s c a n n e d a n d digitized, circulated t h r o u g h t h e n e t w o r k , e n c o d e d f o r security a n d archival p u r p o s e s (i.e. p r o v i d e d w i t h a n electronic p r o c e s s i n g history), printed o u t as n e e d e d a n d o t h e r w i s e s t o r e d o n optical disks. U s e of  47. Hebig, Die Einfuhrunq von Buroautomatisierunqssvstemen. is a very recent contribution to this issue.  89  a n electronic filing p l a n e n s u r e s t h a t all d o c u m e n t s are p r o v i d e d w i t h a file n u m b e r ; u s e of i n d e x i n g a n d full-text s e a r c h capabilities e n a b l e s d o c u m e n t s t o b e l o c a t e d a c c o r d i n g to a variety of n e e d s .  File m a k i n g in G e r m a n g o v e r n m e n t offices, h o w e v e r , is not simply a b o u t g a t h e r i n g d o c u m e n t s t o g e t h e r (or linking t h e m electronically, w h i c h a m o u n t s t o t h e s a m e thing), it is rather a b o u t b u s i n e s s p r o c e s s e s . A g o v e r n m e n t office is ultimately r e s p o n s i b l e f o r its a c t i o n s - t h e d o c u m e n t s a r e of u s e only in so f a r as t h e y aid in t h e r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of t h e h a n d l i n g of t h e b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s . T h i s in t u r n is only p o s s i b l e if t h e y b e a r t r a c e s of t h e d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g i n v o l v e d in t h e p r o c e s s e s - h e n c e t h e instructions, n o t e s , a n d special m a r k s w h i c h are either w r i t t e n directly o n t h e p a p e r d o c u m e n t s o r a t t a c h e d t o t h e m as s e p a r a t e i t e m s . W h i l e it is p e r h a p s c o n c e i v a b l e that a n E D P s y s t e m m i g h t b e d e v e l o p e d t o t a k e a c c o u n t of t h e p r o c e s s e s a n d not of t h e d o c u m e n t s perse,  the past and current  failure t o d o so m a k e s t h e a p p l i c a t i o n of E D P f o r file m a k i n g q u e s t i o n a b l e , to s a y t h e  T h e u s e of E D P f o r t h e registration of d o c u m e n t s or p r o c e s s e s a p p e a r s o n t h e o t h e r h a n d to c o n t a i n c o n s i d e r a b l e p r o m i s e . T h e f u n c t i o n of t h e s e v e r a l c o n v e n t i o n a l registration i n s t r u m e n t s , j o u r n a l or file c a r d s y s t e m , s e n d e r list, p o s t b o o k , file i n v e n t o r y a n d so o n , c a n b e c o m b i n e d into o n e d a t a b a s e ; u s e of n e t w o r k i n g c a n t h e n m a k e t h e i n f o r m a t i o n in this d a t a b a s e a c c e s s i b l e to all a u t h o r i z e d office staff. P r o v i d e d t h e a p p r o p r i a t e p r e c a u t i o n s are t a k e n - especially in r e g a r d t o s u p e r v i s i n g c h a n g e s to t h e  48. The issue of the use of EDP and preserving the traces of business processes has been very clearly discussed especially by Menne-Haritz, see for example: Buroautomation und Schriftqutverwaltung; Akten, VorgSnge und elektronische Barosysteme (esp.pp.85-104); and Schriftqut oder Dokumente. See also Hebig, op.cit.  90  d a t a b a s e - E D P c a n t h u s provide certain relief in registration routines a n d o f f e r n e w p e r s p e c t i v e s in s e a r c h t e c h n i q u e s . 49  W i t h r e g a r d to t h e final e l e m e n t , d i s p o s a l , t h e situation is n o t s o optimistic. S i n c e d i s p o s a l a f f e c t s files, a n d n o t individual d o c u m e n t s , t h e u s e of E D P c a n , t o d a t e , only b e c o n s i d e r e d in r e g a r d to files a l r e a d y m a d e a n d identified (since, as h a s b e e n s h o w n , E D P s o f a r h a s n o t b e e n able to h a n d l e file m a k i n g satisfactorily). In this limited c a s e , E D P c a n t h e n carry o u t f u n c t i o n s v e r y similar to registration: t h e r e t e n t i o n s c h e d u l e , c o u p l e d to t h e filing p l a n , c a n b e c o n n e c t e d to t h e file inventory, a n d a m e a n s p r o v i d e d t o signal or f l a g files a s their d i s p o s a l d a t e a p p r o a c h e s . H o w e v e r , t h e d e c i s i o n as to h o w l o n g t h e r e t e n t i o n p e r i o d is t o be, a n d w h a t s h o u l d h a p p e n at t h e e n d of t h e r e t e n t i o n p e r i o d (transfer to t h e Zwischenarchiv  or destruction) is n o t a m a t t e r w h i c h c a n be t a k e n care of  t h r o u g h a n y E D P s y s t e m , n o r c a n a n y t h o u g h t b e g i v e n to a u t o m a t i c d e s t r u c t i o n f o r r e c o r d s n o t d e s t i n e d f o r t h e Zwischenarchiv,  s i n c e t h e Bundesarchiv  h a s t h e final s a y o n  d e s t r u c t i o n of f e d e r a l g o v e r n m e n t r e c o r d s . 50  4. S u m m a r y T h e d e c a d e s f o l l o w i n g t h e e n d of t h e S e c o n d W o r l d W a r h a v e clearly b e e n t u m u l t u o u s o n e s f o r Registratur in G e r m a n y . Following t h e r e - e s t a b l i s h m e n t of a d m i n i s t r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e s , t h e c o n d i t i o n s i m p o s e d by t h e different political r e g i m e s - in t h e e a s t a s t r o n g  49. Hoffmann, op.cit., discusses the use of EDP for registration in more detail; see pp.195-196. 50. GGO /, RegA (1975), § 9a.2.: "Ausgesondertes Schriftgut... ist an das Zwischenarchiv abzugeben. Soweit es nicht mehr aufzubewahren und nicht archivwurdig ist, kann es mit schriftlicher Zustimmung des Bundesarchivs bei der Behorde ausgeschieden werden." An exception to this rule applies for temporary files (Weglegesachen).  91  c e n t r a l i z e d s y s t e m crippled by lack of training, e x p e r i e n c e , discipline a n d m o t i v a t i o n , in t h e w e s t a d e c e n t r a l i z e d s y s t e m h a m p e r e d by local a m b i t i o n s , lack of s t a n d a r d s a n d effective m e a n s of c r o s s c o m m u n i c a t i o n - a n d , since t h e 1 9 6 0 s , t h e bewilderingly rapid c h a n g e s in t h e a p p l i c a t i o n of electronic d a t a t e c h n o l o g y , h a v e w i t h g o o d r e a s o n led to d e e p c o n c e r n a m o n g t h o s e w h o s e w o r k d e p e n d s o n m a i n t a i n i n g of Registratur. T o s p e a k of a "crisis", h o w e v e r , s e e m s u n n e c e s s a r i l y dramatic. For at no t i m e in t h e p a s t fifty y e a r s h a s t h e institution of Registratur itself b e e n called into q u e s t i o n by t h o s e in w h o s e d o m a i n it h a s traditionally r e s i d e d . T h u s , while t h e Buroreform 51  s h o w e d t h e e x t e n t to w h i c h  R e g i s t r a t u r c o u l d b e altered a n d a d a p t e d to c h a n g i n g c o n d i t i o n s , t h e p o s t - w a r y e a r s h a v e clearly p r o v e n t h e r o b u s t n e s s a n d vitality of Registratur. For n o t only h a v e t h e t h r e e e s s e n t i a l e l e m e n t s s u r v i v e d intact, b u t a f o u r t h o n e (disposal) w a s a d d e d .  5 1 . Namely government offices. While private organizations have a very mixed attitude towards recordkeeping practices as refined as those carried out in government offices, this is nothing new.  92  C H A P T E R FIVE: Registratur as an Archival C o n c e p t  Up to n o w , t h e t e r m s "Registratur", "filing r o o m " or "filing s y s t e m " or simply "filing" h a v e b e e n u s e d a l m o s t s y n o n y m o u s l y . W h i l e this is quite valid f r o m t h e point of v i e w of r e c o r d k e e p i n g , it is potentially m i s l e a d i n g , as "Registratur" is also u s e d in G e r m a n archival practice, a n d i n d e e d in a w a y w h i c h is of f u n d a m e n t a l i m p o r t a n c e t o t h e G e r m a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e n a t u r e of archives. T o r o u n d off this s t u d y of t h e c o n c e p t of Registratur, it will t h e r e f o r e be n e c e s s a r y to e x a m i n e its role in t h e field of archival t h e o r y and methodology.  1. Defining a r c h i v e s T o u n d e r s t a n d t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e of Registratur f o r G e r m a n archivists, it is instructive t o b e g i n w i t h t h e classic q u e s t i o n " W h a t is a n a r c h i v e s ? " . A n a n s w e r to this q u e s t i o n m a y be a p p r o a c h e d t h r o u g h t h e s t u d y of a m o d e l w h i c h p r o p o s e s t o reflect only very b a s i c f e a t u r e s of t h e object of t h e q u e s t i o n . T h i s m o d e l m a y b e called t h e "primitive archives", a n d is historically e x e m p l i f i e d by t h e archival d e p o t s c o m m o n in m e d i e v a l G e r m a n y - as w e l l , of c o u r s e , as in all o t h e r W e s t e r n E u r o p e a n c o u n t r i e s .  T h e primitive a r c h i v e s is quite simply a s p a c e w h i c h c o n t a i n s d o c u m e n t s h e l d t o b e of significant v a l u e . T h e v a l u e of t h e d o c u m e n t s is - unlike j e w e l s o r o t h e r p r e c i o u s objects - n o t of a material, b u t of a juridical nature: t h r o u g h t h e d o c u m e n t s t h e h o l d e r is (theoretically) able t o establish claim t o certain rights a n d privileges, w h i c h at t i m e s c a n b e very c o n s i d e r a b l e . B e c a u s e t h e d o c u m e n t s are v a l u a b l e , t h e s p a c e is k e p t s e c u r e . T h e s p a c e m a y b e large e n o u g h f o r a p e r s o n to m o v e a r o u n d , h e n c e a r o o m , c h a m b e r ,  93  vault, or it m a y b e so small that only t h e relevant d o c u m e n t s c a n b e c o n t a i n e d , as, f o r e x a m p l e , a chest, trunk, cabinet, b o x etc. H o w e v e r large or s m a l l , t h e s p a c e is k e p t l o c k e d at all t i m e s a n d a c c e s s is strictly c o n t r o l l e d . 1  C a r e of t h e primitive a r c h i v e s c a n b e e x e r c i s e d f r o m t w o p e r s p e c t i v e s . T h e first p e r s p e c t i v e - a n d no d o u b t historically also t h e earliest - is t h a t of p r e s e r v a t i o n : T h e security of t h e place n e e d s to be m a i n t a i n e d in o r d e r that t h e d o c u m e n t s c o n t a i n e d within it are n o t lost or d a m a g e d . T h e s e c o n d p e r s p e c t i v e is t h a t of order: A s t h e n u m b e r of d o c u m e n t s c o n t a i n e d by t h e s p a c e i n c r e a s e s , it b e c o m e s proportionally m o r e difficult to f i n d a n y particular d o c u m e n t if t h e total m a s s is n o t articulated in s o m e helpful m a n n e r . Ultimately, if t h e d o c u m e n t c a n n o t be f o u n d (a c o m m o n e n o u g h p r o b l e m in t h e Middle A g e s a n d early m o d e r n era), t h e care p u t into its security is f o r n a u g h t .  In m e d i e v a l G e r m a n y t h e primitive a r c h i v e s w a s identified exclusively f r o m t h e 2  p e r s p e c t i v e of p r e s e r v a t i o n , h e n c e t h e u s e of Latin e x p r e s s i o n s s u c h as " a r c h a " (or "area", b o t h simply d e n o t i n g a "closed place"). F r o m " a r c h a " w a s d e r i v e d t h e p o p u l a r " a r c h a r i u m " , w h i c h r e f e r r e d m o r e specifically t o a c o n t a i n e r f o r d o c u m e n t s . " A r m a r i u m " w a s a n o t h e r c o m m o n Latin e x p r e s s i o n , d e n o t i n g a kind of c u p b o a r d or closet. L a t i n i z e d G r e e k t e r m s s u c h as " c h a r t u l a r i u m " (from %apxa - literally, a s h e e t of p a p y r u s ) h a d similar c o n n o t a t i o n s . V e r y p o p u l a r w a s t h e Latin w o r d "scrinium", a g a i n d e n o t i n g usually t h e c o n t a i n e r in w h i c h t h e d o c u m e n t s w e r e kept, s o m e t i m e s h o w e v e r , in a b r o a d e r s e n s e , t h e collection of d o c u m e n t s as a physical entity. T h e w o r d " s a c r a r i u m " is k n o w n  1. 2.  Note that this definition does not take account of the locality of the place, which may be in the same building as the administration, or in a church or monastery, in the city walls, etc. Up to the end of the 15th century.  94  exclusively f r o m t h e Middle A g e s a n d clearly reveals its origin in t h e u s e o f t h e c h u r c h sacristy a s a place f o r s a f e g u a r d i n g d i p l o m a s a n d o t h e r v a l u a b l e d o c u m e n t s .  G e r m a n e x p r e s s i o n s f o r t h e primitive a r c h i v e s also a b o u n d e d . A s i d e f r o m t h e v a r i o u s 3  t e r m s u s e d f o r t h e different kinds o f c o n t a i n e r s t h e d o c u m e n t s w e r e s t o r e d in - "schrin", "lade", "truhe", " s c h r a n k " — t h e c o n c e p t w a s e x p r e s s e d w i t h s u c h w o r d s a s " G e w o l b e " (a vault, f o r e x a m p l e in a cellar, o r in a thick wall) o r " K a m m e r " (a r o o m o r c h a m b e r , usually w i t h t h e c o n n o t a t i o n o f privileged a c c e s s ) .  O n l y t o w a r d s t h e v e r y e n d of t h e Middle A g e s d i d primitive a r c h i v e s b e g i n t o b e d e n o t e d f r o m t h e p e r s p e c t i v e of order, b u t t h e n quite specifically a n d uniformly w i t h t h e m e d i e v a l Latin t e r m "registratura" o r w i t h its G e r m a n c o g n a t e , R e g i s t r a t u r . T h e b e s t early 4  e x a m p l e s o f this u s e a r e w i t h o u t d o u b t t w o treatises o n R e g i s t r a t u r p u b l i s h e d b y J a c o b  v o n R a m m i n g e n : Von der Registratur, a n d Ein Summarischer unnd volkommen Registratur ein gestalt... .  kunstlichen  5  Bericht / Wie es mit einer  In t h e first w o r k , a g e n e r a l  r e c o m m e n d a t i o n of his p r o f e s s i o n , v o n R a m m i n g e n d e f i n e s R e g i s t r a t u r a s bringing t o g e t h e r "all o f t h e o l d p a p e r s " into a single b o d y a n d t h e n d e s c r i b i n g it precisely "in its v a r i o u s divisions a n d kinds" - i.e., t h e classical archival t a s k o f a r r a n g e m e n t a n d d e s c r i p t i o n . T h e s e c o n d treatise is m u c h m o r e precise a b o u t t h e n a t u r e o f t h e w o r k 6  i n v o l v e d in Registratur:  3. 4. 5.  6.  That is, since the 14th century, when use of German began to become common in the chanceries. See for example Janssen, ErzbischOfe von KOIn. p.156. See Papritz, Archivwissenschaft, vol.2, pp.454-455. Both 1571, see bibliography. It is no coincidence that the problem of ordering and its solution - Registratur - begin to come to fore at the same time as the first modern records start appearing. "... renewal with Registratur brings together perfectly and artfully all of the old papers and matters - i.e. His Highness' rights and properties - into a single corpus and describes it diligently and precisely in its various divisions and kinds and set it into a very well constructed  95  R e g i s t r a t u r involves registering t h e c o n t e n t s of t h e i n s t r u m e n t s a n d o t h e r d o c u m e n t s in v a r i o u s b o o k s f o r t h e p u r p o s e s of p e r p e t u a l r e f e r e n c e a n d m e m o r y , a n d p l a c i n g t h e s e i n s t r u m e n t s a n d d o c u m e n t s in their p r o p e r o r d e r a n d g r o u p s , a n d t h e n m a i n t a i n i n g a n d p r e s e r v i n g t h e m f r o m d e s t r u c t i o n . Registratur, w h e n carried o u t as precisely, t h o r o u g h l y a n d skilfully as possible, consists in a t h o r o u g h analysis of all i n s t r u m e n t s , of d e t e r m i n i n g b o t h t h e principal a n d s e c o n d a r y m a t t e r s in their c o n t e n t s , of s u m m a r i z i n g t h e s e in brief s t a t e m e n t s a n d m a k i n g t h e a p p r o p r i a t e entries. It f u r t h e r consists of dividing t h e i n s t r u m e n t s a n d d o c u m e n t s , in a r r a n g i n g a n d o r g a n i z i n g t h e m in b o o k s u n d e r s e p a r a t e titles, of c o n s t r u c t i n g archival c a b i n e t s , p l a c i n g t h e archival d o c u m e n t s in their a s s i g n e d p l a c e s , a n d t h e n m a i n t a i n i n g e v e r y t h i n g in its p r o p e r order, p r e v e n t i n g a n y c o n f u s i o n a n d p r e s e r v i n g them from destruction.  7  By t h e t i m e v o n R a m m i n g e n p u b l i s h e d his treatises t h e primitive a r c h i v e s h a d - at least in t h e m a j o r a d m i n i s t r a t i v e c e n t r e s - e v o l v e d into s o m e w h a t m o r e c o m p l e x p l a c e s usually t a k i n g up at least part of a r o o m , if not several r o o m s . T h e t e r m i n o l o g y r e m a i n e d t h e s a m e h o w e v e r - n o w e n r i c h e d by t h e w o r d "Registratur", a n d t h e o c c a s i o n a l u s e of 8  " a r c h i v u m " o r its G e r m a n e q u i v a l e n t "Archiv". It w a s n o t until a l m o s t a c e n t u r y later, in t h e w a k e of l e a r n e d d i s c u s s i o n c o n c e r n i n g t h e n a t u r e a n d a p p l i c a t i o n of ius archivi, that a split b e g i n s to be discernible a n d t h e m o d e r n c o n c e p t of a r c h i v e s starts t o e m e r g e .  A l t h o u g h a d e t a i l e d e x a m i n a t i o n of t h e i n f l u e n c e of ius archivi  o n t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e  m o d e r n c o n c e p t of archives h a s y e t to be u n d e r t a k e n , it s e e m s clear f r o m t h e w o r k w h i c h  7.  8.  condition, in which then this Registratur is maintained in an orderly and skilful manner and preserved from decay and destruction". Rammingen, Von der Registratur/und iren Gebawen und Regimenten (there is no pagination, the cited passage is in the preamble, on leafs 8 and 9 (counting from the title leaf). This is a paraphrase of the original text, which is in late Latin and almost impossible to comfortably render in English. See von Rammingen, Ein Summanscher Bencht / Wie es mit einer kUnstlichen unnd volkommen Registratur ein gestalt... (first leaf after the title page). As just one example, the new archives established by Maximilian I in Innsbruck was known as a "Briefgewolbe" - a "letters vault" (see Brenneke, Archivkunde, p.156).  96  h a s b e e n d o n e t h a t it s t r e n g t h e n e d t h e e m p h a s i s o n t h e a s p e c t of p r e s e r v a t i o n a n d 9  c o n t r i b u t e d t o shifting t h e m a i n b u r d e n of o r d e r i n g o v e r to Registratur, w h i c h c a m e m o r e a n d m o r e t o b e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e activities of t h e administrative filing r o o m . For w h a t  ius archivi w a s ultimately c o n c e r n e d w i t h w a s t h e admissibility of d o c u m e n t s as e v i d e n c e in a c o u r t of l a w — this w a s s u p p o s e d to be g u a r a n t e e d f o r all d o c u m e n t s originating f r o m a bona fide a r c h i v e s . T h e c o n c e r n a b o u t t h e f u n c t i o n of d o c u m e n t s as legal e v i d e n c e w a s n o t n e w , a n d i n d e e d w a s p r o v i d e d f o r in t h e C o d e of J u s t i n i a n , u p o n w h i c h ius  archivi w a s b a s e d . W h a t J u s t i n i a n ' s C o d e h a d in m i n d , h o w e v e r , w a s not t h e individual 1 0  d o c u m e n t ( e q u a l t o t h e m e d i e v a l d i p l o m a ) , but rather t h e commentarii  or gesta,  which  w e r e in f a c t registers, w h o s e reliability w a s e n s u r e d n o t by c o r r o b o r a t i v e d e v i c e s s u c h as s e a l s or by special protective m e a s u r e s , b u t by t h e very processes  them . u  required  to  produce  T h e tradition of k e e p i n g registers h a d , h o w e v e r , b e e n quite b r o k e n in G e r m a n y in  t h e c o u r s e of t h e m i d d l e a g e s , s u c h that t h e absolutist rulers of t h e 16th a n d 17th c e n t u r i e s w e r e c o n f r o n t e d w i t h t h e situation of either h a v i n g t o o w n u p t o t h e s h o d d y r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices of t h e past, a n d a d m i t that their s t o c k p i l e s of d i p l o m a s h a d little or only q u e s t i o n a b l e legal v a l u e , or to p u s h t h r o u g h a n interpretation of ius archivi  which  e q u i p p e d t h e s e d i p l o m a s w i t h a n u n b l e m i s h e d p a t i n a of legitimacy, p r o v i d e d that t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s of their c u s t o d y m e t certain s t a n d a r d s . T h e s e s t a n d a r d s c o u l d n o t b e 12  m e t by Registratur a l o n e , b u t only t h r o u g h t h e " a r c h i v u m " - t h e a r c h i v e s - t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s of o w n i n g w h i c h t h e ius archivi w a s c a r e f u l t o d e l i n e a t e in f a v o u r of t h e  The author is aware of only two works - both valuable - which have examined ius archivi in Germany from an archival standpoint: Pitz's BeitrSqe zur Geschichte des Ius Archivi. and Merzbacher's Ius Archivi - see bibliography. 10. Ius archivi appealed specifically to provisions in the Novellae, no. 49, chapter 2, § 2. See also Cod.lust. 7, 52, 6: "Gesta, quae sunt translata in publica monumenta, habere volumus perpetuam firmitatem". 11. See Pitz, op.cit., col.281 ff. 12. For a more detailed discussion of this manoeuvre see Pitz, op.cit., col.285-286.  9.  97  territorial a n d local p o t e n t a t e s . T h u s f o r Leibniz, archivist a n d librarian to t h e H a n o v e r i a n c o u r t of D u k e J o h a n n Frederick, a n a r c h i v e s w a s simply a p l a c e " w h e r e t h e p a p e r s useful to t h e state are so p r e s e r v e d , that t h e y are kept intact a n d u n a l t e r e d f o r p u r p o s e s of f u t u r e c o n s u l t a t i o n as well as f o r t h e eventuality of s e r v i n g as c o m p l e t e l y i n d i s p u t a b l e legal e v i d e n c e . " . 13  Registraturprinzip  2. Archives and the  W i t h t h e a r c h i v e s t h u s h a v i n g e m e r g e d in t h e c o u r s e of t h e 17th c e n t u r y as "the place where documents are p r e s e r v e d "  14  a n d Registratur b e i n g c o n s i g n e d t o t h e control of  d o c u m e n t s in t h e administrative offices, t h e p r o b l e m r e m a i n e d of h o w t o o r d e r t h e d o c u m e n t s h e l d in archival s t o r a g e .  T h e n a t u r a l inclination of m o s t archivists - especially in t h e 1 7 t h , 18th a n d early 19th c e n t u r y - w a s t o f o l l o w t h e e x a m p l e of t h e l i b r a r i a n s . In t h e a b s e n c e of a d e f i n e d 15  principle of p r o v e n a n c e , a n d w i t h a n e n t h u s i a s m b o r n e o n t h e w i n g s of r a t i o n a l i s m , e n c y c l o p a e d i c s t o r e h o u s e s of k n o w l e d g e w e r e e n v i s a g e d , in w h i c h a r c h i v e s w e r e t o play t h e i r o w n s p e c i a l r o l e . Classification s c h e m e s w e r e d e v i s e d , b a s e d o n v a r i o u s 16  a p p r o a c h e s to s u b j e c t h e a d i n g s : usually p e r s o n a l n a m e s , p l a c e s , a n d t h e m a t i c keyw o r d s . T h i s s t r a t e g y of archival a r r a n g e m e n t , k n o w n as a r r a n g e m e n t a c c o r d i n g to t h e principle of p e r t i n e n c e , p r o v i d e d c o n s i d e r a b l e o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r d i s p l a y s of intellectual  13. Gottfried Wilhlem Leibniz (1646-1716), renowned for his philosophical works, was employed at the ducal court in Hanover from 1676 to the end of his life. The passage quoted is cited in Knabe: Leibniz' Vorschiaqe zum Archiv- und Reqistraturwesen. p.118. 14. For Meisner (Archivarische Berufsprache) the archives is still primarily "the archival building as a whole, the place of preservation of archival documents, the administrative and research rooms,..." (p.260). 15. See Papritz, Archivwissenschaft, vol.3, pp.2-3. 16. Such was the vision of Leibniz, for example - who combined both positions as archivist and librarian. See Knabe, op.cit., pp.117-119.  98  i n g e n u i t y a n d led incidentally to t h e p r o d u c t i o n of s e v e r a l l e a r n e d treatises o n t h e matter . 17  T h e p r o b l e m s w i t h s u c h a r r a n g e m e n t , h o w e v e r , p r o v e d in t h e e n d t o be its u n d o i n g . O n e v e r y c o n s i d e r a b l e difficulty w a s that t h e office w h i c h c r e a t e d t h e files d e s t i n e d f o r t h e a r c h i v e s h a d n o t a r r a n g e d t h e m a c c o r d i n g to t h e classification w h i c h t h e archivist h a d d e v i s e d ; this m e a n t t h a t all files, o n c e a c c e s s i o n e d , h a d t o be r e - a r r a n g e d a n d d e s c r i b e d - a p r o d i g i o u s u n d e r t a k i n g i n d e e d , particularly b e c a u s e t h e files h a d to b e c o m p l e t e l y d i s m a n t l e d . Further, u s e of t h e archival classification p l a n m e a n t t h a t all of t h e materials 18  in t h e a r c h i v e s h a d t h e s a m e status - f o n d s w h i c h w e r e of m o r e i m p o r t a n c e t h a n others w e r e n o t a p p a r e n t as s u c h . T h e classification also m e a n t t h a t a c c r u a l s c o u l d a d d to a n y s e c t i o n w h a t e v e r , m a k i n g it impossible to d e t e r m i n e in a d v a n c e h o w m u c h s t o r a g e s p a c e to allot to a n y o n e division. T h i s s a m e f a c t m e a n t t h a t it w a s i m p o s s i b l e to e v e r m a k e a definitive set of f i n d i n g aids, f o r at t h e latest t h e y w o u l d b e o u t of d a t e by t h e t i m e of t h e n e x t a c c r u a l . A s a d m i n i s t r a t i o n g r e w m o r e c o m p l e x in t h e 19th c e n t u r y , a n d files g r e w 19  e v e r m o r e n u m e r o u s , it b e c a m e imperative t o a d o p t a n alternative m e t h o d .  17. For example, Georg Aebbtlins "Tractatio de archivis atque registraturis vulgo Anfuhrung zu der Registraturkunst" (Ulm 1669), Johann Stephan Putters "Anleitung zur juristischen Praxis" (GOttingen 1753), and Cad Gottlob Gunthers "Qber die Einrichtung der Hauptarchive, besonders in teutschen Reichslanden" (Altenburg 1783). For a more detailed discussion of the literature, see Brenneke, op.cit., pp.44-52. Perverse as it seems, while the Prussian Registratur was developing into the instrument of perfection it ultimately became, the archivists were busy undoing the work and reclassifying incoming documents according to subject. Indeed Schonbeck, held to be the author of the famous instruction which is a cornerstone for the making of action files ("one document, one subject") devised a subjectbased method of arranging the material in the archives which lasted almost 250 years. See Kohnke, Die Pertinenzbestande im Deutschen Zentralarchiv. p.224. 18. Schonbeck refused to accept bound files, see Kohnke, op.cit. 19. For these and other difficulties associated with the method of arrangement by pertinence see Papritz, Archivwissenschaft, vol.3, pp.2-8.  99  T h e i d e a t h a t t h e files s h o u l d b e k e p t in t h e a r c h i v e s in a m a n n e r reflecting their origin in a particular office c a n b e s e e n g e r m i n a t i n g a l r e a d y in t h e w o r k of S p i e s s , w h o , after f o l l o w i n g t h e usual s u b j e c t - o r i e n t e d classification m e t h o d , r e s i g n e d l y c o n c l u d e d in t h e f a c e of t h e difficulties c a u s e d by this m e t h o d that "the b e s t plan is t h a t w h i c h t h e d o c u m e n t s t h e m s e l v e s p r o v i d e " . F r o m g e r m i n a t i o n t o r e g u l a t e d principle, h o w e v e r , t o o k 20  m o r e t h a n a century. A decisive i m p u l s e w a s p r o v i d e d by t h e F r e n c h R e v o l u t i o n a n d t h e s u c c e e d i n g political m o v e m e n t s in F r a n c e - including t h e R e s t o r a t i o n of t h e B o u r b o n s in 1 8 1 4 - w h i c h , in t h e c o u r s e of e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h large a m o u n t s of e x p r o p r i a t e d a n d later r e c l a i m e d a r c h i v e s , greatly s h a r p e n e d t h e a w a r e n e s s of t h e n e e d f o r m a i n t a i n i n g t h e identity of t h e original c r e a t o r of t h e r e c o r d s . H o w e v e r , e v e n in F r a n c e it w a s not until 21  1 8 4 1 t h a t t h e principle of respect  des fonds w a s officially e n o u n c e d , a n d e v e n t h e n , 2 2  within t h e n e w f o n d s e s t a b l i s h e d a c c o r d i n g to p r o v e n a n c e , t h e old library s y s t e m of d e d u c t i v e a r r a n g e m e n t (i.e. b a s e d o n rational principles) c o n t i n u e d u n t r a m m e l l e d . 23  M e a n w h i l e , in P r u s s i a - a n d in t h e w a k e of t h e c a t a s t r o p h e of t h e N a p o l e o n i c W a r s a n d of t h e e n s u i n g administrative r e f o r m s of S t e i n a n d H a r d e n b e r g of respect  2 4  - a cautious formulation  des fonds w a s p r e s e n t e d in a r e c o m m e n d a t i o n of t h e A c a d e m y of S c i e n c e s in  20. Spiess, Von Archiven, p.57: "Nun sollte ich auch einen Plan zu Verfertigung eines ArchivRepertoriums nach alien Tituln vorlegen. Ich habe einen verfertiget, er ist auch hochsten Oris vollkommen genehmiget worden, allein die Erfahrung hat mich bishero gelehret, daB der beste Plan derienige ist, den die Urkunden selbst an die Hand geben. Mein verfertigter Plan thut mir also wenig Dienste, ich finde Urkunden, die mich an einen Titul erinnern, an den ich vorhero gar nicht gedacht habe, Oder ich sehe offenbahr, daB ich fehlen und mir viele Unbequemlichkeit zuziehen w u r d e , T h e reference to Spiess in Brenneke (op.cit., p.50) incorrectly cites this passage as § 27, it is in fact § 21 of the second chapter, entitled "Von besondem nOthigen und niitzlichen Anstalten zur innerlichen Einrichtung eines Archivs". 2 1 . For the effects of the political developments on attitudes towards archives in France after the revolution see Brenneke, op.cit., pp.179 ff. Brenneke's contribution is admirable in indicating convincingly that the move towards the principle of provenance occurred as a result of practical necessity and against the intellectual currents of the time. 22. In a circular of the Minister of the Interior of 24 April 1841, concerning the regulation of the archives in the departements and the districts. 23. See Brenneke, op.cit., pp.62 ff, and Delmas, Bilance et perspectives de I'archivistique francaise. pp.83-84.  100  Berlin a l r e a d y in 1 8 1 9  . N e v e r t h e l e s s , d e s p i t e a lively d i s c u s s i o n c o n c e r n i n g t h e  relationship b e t w e e n a r c h i v e s a n d t h e Registratur of t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e offices, in w h i c h , a m o n g o t h e r s , t h e r e n o w n e d diplomatist Sickel p a r t i c i p a t e d , s e r i o u s practical 26  d e v e l o p m e n t s h a d t o w a i t until 1 8 8 1 .  A f t e r t h e r e f o r m s of 1 8 1 5 , t h e P r u s s i a n Privy S t a t e A r c h i v e s c o n t i n u e d w o r k i n g w i t h t h e s a m e classification plan d e v i s e d by S c h o n b e c k o v e r 1 5 0 y e a r s previously, n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g m a j o r c h a n g e s n o t only to t h e administrative structure b u t also in t h e very f u n c t i o n s of t h e central state offices. Files not f o r e s e e n by S c h o n b e c k ' s s c h e m e w e r e simply inserted under the most convenient heading, and eventually the confusion b e c a m e so g r e a t t h a t only t h e initiate c o u l d find their w a y a r o u n d in t h e a r c h i v e s . 27  E v e n t u a l l y state archivist L e h m a n n d r a f t e d r e g u l a t i o n s to t h e e f f e c t t h a t 1) t h e materials in t h e Privy S t a t e A r c h i v e s w e r e to be a r r a n g e d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e p r o v e n a n c e of t h e r e c o r d s , a n d 2) t h a t t h e files w i t h i n e a c h p r o v e n a n c e g r o u p w e r e to b e left in t h e w a y t h e originating office kept t h e m , f i n d i n g aids i n c l u s i v e . W h i l e t h e first provision w a s simply a 28  r e s t a t e m e n t of t h e principle of respect  des fonds, t h e s e c o n d p r o v i s i o n w e n t f u r t h e r a n d  w a s t h e first e x p r e s s i o n of w h a t s o o n b e c a m e k n o w n a s t h e Registraturprinzip  - the  principle of Registratur.  24. Heinrich Friedrich Karl Reichsfreiherr von und zu Stein (1757-1831); Kari August Freiherr von Hardenberg (1750-1822), Prussian State Chancellor. 25. Recommendation of the Historical-Philological Section of the Beriin Akademie der Wissenschaften of 6 April 1819, cited by Brenneke, op.cit., p.61. The recommendation stipulated that "die Archive der verschiedenen Landschaften, Stifter und KI6ster auch nach ihrer Vereinigung in einer Stadt oder in einem Lokal doch noch gesondert blieben". 26. Theodor Sickel realized that in order to accurately assess the complete characteristics of diplomas, they had to be maintained in the same order as they were in the originating chanceries. For Sickel's contribution, as well as of contemporary archivists, see Brenneke, op.cit., pp.52-61 and 66. 27. Brenneke, op.cit., p.67. 28. Requlativ fur die Ordnunasarbeiten im Geheimen Staatsarchiv of 1 July 1881. See Brenneke, op.cit., p.68 for a brief passage from the regulations.  101  T h e n e w principle quickly g a i n e d g e n e r a l a c c e p t a n c e , particularly after t h e D u t c h archivists p u b l i s h e d their n o w f a m o u s m a n u a l . R e a c t i o n t o this w o r k , h o w e v e r 2 9  especially in r e g a r d t o t h e practical difficulties e n c o u n t e r e d in c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e rather rigid D u t c h rules - led to i m p o r t a n t modifications, p r o b a b l y b e s t e x p r e s s e d in t h e w o r k of t h e G e r m a n archivist B r e n n e k e , w h o a d v o c a t e d a "principle of f r e e Registratur", a c c o r d i n g to w h i c h t h e i m p o r t a n t t a s k w a s n o t to p r e s e r v e or r e c o n s t r u c t t h e original R e g i s t r a t u r after t h e f a s h i o n of t h e Muller, Feith a n d Fruin's archival p a l a e o n t o l o g i s t , b u t t o p r e s e r v e a n d m a k e clear - if not a l r e a d y clear - t h e f u n c t i o n s a n d activities of t h e originating o f f i c e . S i n c e t h e classical P r u s s i a n Registratur w a s itself n o t built u p o n a n y 30  rigid p l a n , b u t rather o n t h e p r e m i s e t h a t t h e plan h a d t o reflect t h e n a t u r e of t h e b u s i n e s s activities, B r e n n e k e ' s c o n c e p t i o n of t h e principle of R e g i s t r a t u r — t h e s a m e c o n c e p t i o n w h i c h largely h o l d s t o d a y - c a n be v i e w e d a s n o t a "free" interpretation of Registratur, but, o n t h e contrary, as c o n c e p t u a l l y m o r e c o n s i s t e n t t h a n t h a t a d v o c a t e d by t h e P r u s s i a n regulative of 1 8 8 1 a n d t h e D u t c h m a n u a l of 1 8 9 8 .  Little c h a n g e c a n b e d e t e c t e d in t h e i m p o r t a n c e of t h e principle of R e g i s t r a t u r t o t h e w o r k of G e r m a n archivists since B r e n n e k e ' s w o r k , a l t h o u g h t w o d e v e l o p m e n t s a r e w o r t h m e n t i o n i n g in this context. In 1 9 2 6 Striedinger p u b l i s h e d a n a r t i c l e  31  which examined the  c o n c e p t of archival d o c u m e n t s in contrast to library d o c u m e n t s , a n d e s t a b l i s h e d t h a t t h e crucial d i f f e r e n c e lay in t h e f a c t that archival d o c u m e n t s all h a d their origin in a  29. Muller, Feith and Fruin, Handleiding voorhet Ordenen en Beschrijven van Archieven - see Bibliography. The Dutch had already been practising the principle of Registratur before the publication of the manual. The reception of this work has far exceeded the understanding of its original historical context, and it is surprising to see the principle of Registratur defended in, for example, North America, which has never had Registratur. 30. Brenneke, op.cit., pp.22-23. 3 1 . Striedinger, Was ist Archiv-. was Bibliotheksqut?. See bibliography.  102  Registratur. T o m a k e this claim a p p l i c a b l e also to private p a p e r s , h e e x t e n d e d t h e c o n c e p t of Registratur so m u c h t h a t e v e n private individuals c o u l d b e c o n s i d e r e d as h a v i n g their o w n R e g i s t r a t u r . W h i l e this claim p r o v e d t o o f a n t a s t i c f o r c o n t e m p o r a r y 32  archivists, t h e i d e a w a s t a k e n up less t h a n 4 0 y e a r s later by archival theorists in t h e G D R , w h o f o u n d it t o b e a n interpretation c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e c o n c e p t of t h e "state archival f o n d s " , in w h i c h also t h e private p a p e r s of individual citizens p l a y e d a role.  T h e s e c o n d d e v e l o p m e n t also o c c u r r e d in t h e G D R , a n d also a s a result of w o r k w i t h t h e c o n c e p t of t h e "state archival f o n d s " . In t h e c o u r s e of d e v e l o p m e n t of a set of s t a n d a r d s f o r t h e a p p r a i s a l of archival d o c u m e n t s , it w a s f o u n d n e c e s s a r y - d u e to t h e 33  u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d m a s s r e p r e s e n t e d by t h e "state archival f o n d s " - t o h a v e r e c o u r s e to s o m e t h i n g o t h e r t h a n e s t a b l i s h e d filing s y s t e m s . T h e c o n c e p t of t h e Registraturbildner  -  " R e g i s t r a t u r m a k e r " - e m e r g e d , articulated by B r a t h e r in d e l i b e r a t e r e f e r e n c e to S t r i e d i n g e r . W h i l e this e n a b l e d private p a p e r s to be i n c l u d e d in t h e registers i n t e n d e d t o 34  b e d r a w n u p f o r a p p r a i s a l p u r p o s e s , it w a s in f a c t n o t h i n g m o r e t h a n a r e s t a t e m e n t of  respect  des fonds a n d r e p r e s e n t e d t h r o u g h its g e n e r a l i z a t i o n of t h e c o n c e p t of  R e g i s t r a t u r s u c h a serious distortion as t o r e n d e r it effectively m e a n i n g l e s s . N e i t h e r of these developments continued past 1989.  "Every natural or juridical person possesses at least one Registratur, even the hobo on the country lane: the tattered and soiled papers which he presents to the gendarme is his Registratur." Striedinger, op.cit., p.151. 33. GrOndsStze der Wertermittlung (1965). 34. Brather, Reqistraturqut -- Archivqut - Sammlunaen (see bibliography). 32.  103  3. S u m m a r y A f t e r R e g i s t r a t u r a n d a r c h i v e s b e g a n to g o their s e p a r a t e w a y s in t h e 16th c e n t u r y , R e g i s t r a t u r as a c o n c e p t initially lost its significance f o r archival w o r k . T h i s s i g n i f i c a n c e w a s reluctantly r e g a i n e d in t h e 19th century, h o w e v e r , w h e n t h r o u g h practical n e c e s s i t y t h e rationalistic a p p r o a c h t o t h e o r d e r i n g of t h e d o c u m e n t s in archival s t o r a g e p r o v e d to b e inherently u n s a t i s f a c t o r y . T o d a y t h e principle of Registratur, w h i c h , g o i n g b e y o n d t h e principle of respect  des fonds a n d d e m a n d i n g r e s p e c t not only f o r t h e office of origin b u t  also f o r t h e p r e s e r v a t i o n of t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e f u n c t i o n s a n d activities of t h a t office as e x p r e s s e d in t h e a p p r o p r i a t e a r r a n g e m e n t of t h e files, is s u c h a n integral part of G e r m a n archivists' a p p r o a c h to a r r a n g e m e n t a n d d e s c r i p t i o n , t h a t t h e y h a v e b e c o m e t h e m o s t a r d e n t s u p p o r t e r s of Registratur in t h e administrative offices.  104  CONCLUSION  T h i s thesis h a s c o n c e n t r a t e d o n p r e s e n t i n g t h e c o n c e p t of R e g i s t r a t u r as a p h e n o m e n o n . P e r f e c t e d by t h e P r u s s i a n s , w h o h a d started w i t h t h e s a m e r e c o r d k e e p i n g practices as t h o s e c o m m o n t h r o u g h o u t t h e rest of E u r o p e in t h e Middle A g e s , t i n k e r e d w i t h by t h e r e f o r m e r s of t h e early 2 0 t h century, nearly buried a n d t h e n r e s u r r e c t e d by t h e G D R , t o l e r a t e d a n d e v e n s o m e w h a t i m p r o v e d in t h e particularist a d m i n i s t r a t i v e e n v i r o n m e n t of t h e F R G , e m b r a c e d by t h e archivists as o n e of their k e y principles (after t h e y h a d s u c c e e d e d earlier in b a n i s h i n g t h e idea t o t h e c h a n c e r i e s ) - R e g i s t r a t u r p r e s e n t s a variety of f a c e t s a p p a r e n t l y difficult, o n first g l a n c e , to reconcile w i t h o n e a n o t h e r . R e g i s t r a t u r h a s t o d o w i t h creating files, m a i n t a i n i n g d o c u m e n t s in p r o p e r order, k e e p i n g t r a c k of b o t h b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s a n d d o c u m e n t s , regulating t h e b u s i n e s s p r o c e s s e s t h e m s e l v e s , e n s u r i n g that files are properly s t o r e d a n d that, o n c e s t o r e d , c a n b e quickly f o u n d , a n d p r o v i d i n g f o r t h e controlled d i s p o s a l of files after t h e y a r e n o l o n g e r required by t h e office. All of this w o r k c a n o c c u r either in a s e p a r a t e r o o m o c c u p i e d by registrars a n d their assistants, or in t h e single offices of individual s e c r e t a r i e s ; s o m e of it c a n b e t a k e n c a r e of t h r o u g h E D P . Registratur h a s f u r t h e r to d o w i t h d e f i n i n g t h e n a t u r e of a r c h i v e s a n d t h e o b j e c t of archival w o r k ; it h a s also to d o w i t h p r o v i d i n g archivists w i t h a vital i n s t r u m e n t in a p p r o a c h i n g t h e issue of a r r a n g e m e n t a n d d e s c r i p t i o n , a n d it c a n play a role in d e v e l o p i n g appraisal strategies.  All of t h e s e f a c e t s a r e c o m p l e m e n t a r y , h o w e v e r , a n d not contradictory. A definition c a n b e a c h i e v e d , as long as it is b o r n e in m i n d t h a t t h e kind of definition to b e a i m e d f o r is  descriptive  in n a t u r e , rather t h a n prescriptive.  For t h e f a c t is t h a t R e g i s t r a t u r h a s e x i s t e d ,  105  a n d i n d e e d , f l o u r i s h e d , f o r a l m o s t 5 0 0 y e a r s w i t h o u t b e i n g d e f i n e d in a m a n n e r b i n d i n g f o r e i t h e r r e c o r d k e e p e r s or archivists.  A k e y c o n c e p t u a l e l e m e n t of Registratur is clearly t h e i d e a of control. T h i s is p r o b a b l y m o s t e v i d e n t in t h e classical m o d e l p r e s e n t e d in C h a p t e r O n e , w h e r e all t h e p r o c e s s e s i n v o l v e d in t a k i n g c a r e of a b u s i n e s s m a t t e r are c h a n n e l l e d t h r o u g h t h e filing r o o m . It is particularly visible in t h e u s e of t h e j o u r n a l a n d o t h e r d e v i c e s linked t o registration, a s well a s in t h e f i n d i n g aids. H o w e v e r , t h e i d e a of control is n o t in itself sufficient t o d e f i n e Registratur. For control d o e s not a c c o u n t f o r t h e special m a n n e r in w h i c h t h e d o c u m e n t a t i o n of t h e b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s is k e p t in order, or e v e n f o r t h e w a y in w h i c h files are c r e a t e d . If Registratur w e r e simply control, archivists w o u l d h a v e in their Principle of R e g i s t r a t u r m e r e l y a n o t h e r e x p r e s s i o n of respect  des  fonds.  A f u r t h e r k e y c o n c e p t u a l e l e m e n t c a n b e d i s c e r n e d in t h e i d e a of  organization.  R e g i s t r a t u r o c c u r s in a w e l l - d e f i n e d , highly articulated m a n n e r in w h i c h all t h e s t e p s i n v o l v e d in carrying o u t a b u s i n e s s m a t t e r h a v e b e e n a n a l y s e d a n d c o n n e c t e d w i t h e a c h o t h e r in a rational a n d p u r p o s e f u l m a n n e r . This idea is b e s t e x p r e s s e d by t h e filing r o o m p l a n of t h e o l d e r P r u s s i a n offices as well as by t h e m o d e r n filing p l a n (Aktenplan),  a n d is  clearly reflected in t h e regulations f o r Registratur a n d f o r t h e articulation of t h e b u s i n e s s p r o c e s s e s a n d of t h e w o r k flow. B e c a u s e o r g a n i z a t i o n also e x p r e s s e s t h e individuality of a n office (in c o n t r a s t to control, w h i c h is i m p e r s o n a l in n a t u r e ) , it is this e l e m e n t w h i c h e n a b l e s t h e Principle of Registratur to be a p p l i e d by archivists in d e s c r i b i n g n o t m e r e l y t h e source  of t h e archival d o c u m e n t s , but their very  identity.  106  A third k e y c o n c e p t u a l e l e m e n t is required f o r Registratur to b e c o m p l e t e l y a c c o u n t e d for: t h e i d e a of regulation.  T h e control a n d o r g a n i z a t i o n d e m o n s t r a t e d by R e g i s t r a t u r a r e  n e i t h e r f l e e t i n g or sporadic, b u t c o n t i n u o u s a n d regular. T h e s e qualities c a n only b e e n s u r e d t h r o u g h t h e e x i s t e n c e of regulatory m e a s u r e s i n d e p e n d e n t of t h e office carrying out the Registratur . 1  By c o m b i n i n g t h e s e t h r e e c o n c e p t u a l e l e m e n t s : control, organization,  a n d regulation,  the  f o l l o w i n g definition of Registratur is o f f e r e d by w a y of c o n c l u d i n g this thesis:  Registratur  is the regulated  documents  generated  coherently  articulated  processing  of business  by these matters. and consistent  matters  The regulation  with the purposes  in the form of the  ensures of the  that the processing  is  office.  T h e q u e s t i o n s w h i c h lie a h e a d c o n c e r n t h e r e l e v a n c e of Registratur in t h e c o n t e x t of N o r t h A m e r i c a n r e c o r d k e e p i n g a n d archival w o r k , a n d w h e t h e r R e g i s t r a t u r h a s a future. W h i l e n e i t h e r of t h e s e q u e s t i o n s c a n be a d e q u a t e l y a d d r e s s e d within t h e f r a m e w o r k of this thesis, n e v e r t h e l e s s s o m e indication c a n be g i v e n as t o t h e direction of t h e r e s p o n s e .  1. The neglect of this concept of regulation is what has led to the idea that also private individuals can have Registratur - see in particular Striedinger as cited above, as well as the concept of personal Registratur propagated in the GDR. A private citizen can, in a quite disciplined manner, imitate the recordkeeping system of a government office using Registratur and maintain this to the end of her or his life. At the end of this life, however, the Registratur comes to a definite end — quite unlike the situation in the government office, where, even if the office is closed, the functions and activities are transferred to another office (and the Registratur along with them). The lack of ability of individuals to regulate their own recordkeeping activities is the primary reason why they cannot produce archival documents (i.e., documents which have their origin in a Registratur).  107  T h e practice  of Registratur, as d i s c u s s e d within this thesis, is clearly c o n d i t i o n e d by  G e r m a n - a n d specifically, Prussian  - culture a n d traditions, a n d t h u s it is difficult t o  e n v i s a g e it as a p r o d u c t of export. S c e p t i c i s m is in o r d e r as well w i t h r e g a r d t o a d o p t i n g e v e n o n e o r t w o of t h e f e a t u r e s of Registratur, for, as t h e thesis h a s m a d e clear, R e g i s t r a t u r is n o t a h a p h a z a r d a s s e m b l a g e of practices a n d routines, b u t a w e l l c o n s i d e r e d integration of articulated p r o c e d u r e s a n d c o n c e p t s . For e x a m p l e , t h e lack of k n o w l e d g e of h o w to m a k e action files (which c a n n e v e r o c c u r simply as individual s u b j e c t files b a s e d o n b u s i n e s s matters, but only within a s y s t e m c o n c e i v e d a c c o r d i n g to all of t h e activities carried o u t by t h e office) is sufficient in itself to m a k e R e g i s t r a t u r impossible.  T h e idea of Registratur, h o w e v e r , as e x p r e s s e d in t h e definition a b o v e , is of g r e a t interest, particularly in t h e w a k e of t h e failure of t h e traditional r e c o r d k e e p i n g s y s t e m s in N o r t h A m e r i c a t o a c c o m m o d a t e t h e c h a n g e s b e i n g i m p o s e d by E D P . B e c a u s e t h e s e s y s t e m s are b a s e d o n t h e c o n c e p t of series, w h i c h in t u r n is d e f i n e d by t h e d o c u m e n t s c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n it, t h e y are inherently i n c a p a b l e of r e s p o n d i n g t o t h e real n e e d s of t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n s , that is, to t h e n e e d f o r control a n d o r g a n i z a t i o n of their b u s i n e s s activities. Registratur, o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , b e c a u s e it a d d r e s s e s precisely t h e s e n e e d s , a n d treats d o c u m e n t s only in relation to t h e b u s i n e s s m a t t e r s f r o m w h i c h t h e y arise, is clearly in a v e r y g o o d position t o p r o v i d e m u c h - n e e d e d g u i d a n c e .  W h e t h e r t h e f u t u r e , in w h i c h t h e p r e s s u r e f o r s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n is a n t i c i p a t e d t o i n c r e a s e , b e l o n g s t o Registratur or t o t h e c u r r e n t North A m e r i c a n a p p r o a c h , is n o t clear at this point. It is likely t h a t b o t h will n e e d to c h a n g e in f o r m . Hopefully, h o w e v e r , a b e t t e r  u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e n a t u r e of Registratur will i n c r e a s e t h e c h a n c e t h a t it will b e able t o play a m a j o r role in g u i d i n g t h e i m p r o v e m e n t s r e q u i r e d .  109  BIBLIOGRAPHY  Archivwesen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik. 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Series: O l d e n b o u r g G r u n d r i s s d e r G e s c h i c h t e , n o . 2 0 , 2 n d edition, M u n i c h : R . O I d e n b o u r g V e r i a g 1 9 9 3  

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