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Landesarchiv NRW Abteilung Westfalen

Landesarchiv NRW Abteilung Westfalen

The history of the Abteilung Westfalen of the NRW State Archive begins in 1829 with its foundation as a "Royal Provincial Archive" for the new Prussian Province of Westphalia.

This entity gathered together the archive holdings of the dissolved old territories and the secularised abbeys to protect them from loss. 
The Prussian administration implemented in 1815 proved to be extremely durable – after several decades their old files were then archived in the building that in the meantime had gained the title of "Staatsarchiv Münster". 

In 1889 the archive relocated from Domplatz to the town peripheries in Bohlweg and a spectacular new building: for the first time in Prussia the separation of administrative building and repository was implemented in the form of two building sections connected by a stairway – this was a major step forward in a time that was continuously exposed to fire risk. As with other Prussian authority buildings from this era, the new archive was highly prestigious and a real "eyecatcher" in the Neo-Renaissance style.

Old Empire to 1802/03:
Deeds, files and maps from the Prussian territories of the County of Mark with Lippstadt and Soest, the principality of Minden, the County of Ravensberg, the town of Herford and the Counties of Tecklenburg and Lingen

Intermediate period 1802-1816:
Files of the Münster and Paderborn hereditary principalities 

Prussian authorities from 1816:
Files, maps and plans from the holdings of the executive committee of Münster, Government of Münster, Government of Arnsberg, inventories of the districts to 1945, police, Land Register to 1945, building administration, provincial school college, state schools, traffic, forestry, mining, water management, agriculture regulation, post and railway

Association archive:
Archiv des Vereins für Geschichte und Altertumskunde Westfalens, Abt. Münster e. V. [Archive of the Association of History and Archaeology of Westphalia, department Münster e. V.] (depository)

How to get here


Bohlweg 2, 48147 Münster


How to get here

On the car park behind the building


Public transport

Per foot from the station requires around 15 minutes
Town bus routes 4, 17 and R51 to the "Hörstertor" stop


Visit website


Opening hours

Use of the archive:
Mon, Tues.: 8.30 am - 4.30 pm
Wed., Thurs.: 8.30 am - 6 pm
Fri.: 8.30 am - 1 pm

Tours through the Prussian repository building are possible at any time subject to agreement.


Kein Eintritt

Eat and Drink

Coffee, tea and a selection of cold drinks and sweets are available at the gate.


Pot for distilling brandy with coal-firing, 1815

(1) Pot for distilling brandy with coal-firing, 1815

Design for a new sawmill in Beckinghausen an der Lippe (near Lünen), 1819

(2) Design for a new sawmill in Beckinghausen an der Lippe (near Lünen), 1819

Picture Credits

(1) LAV NRW W, Oberpräsidium, Nr. 2872, Bd. 2 / (2) LAV NRW W, Karten A, Nr. 21705