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
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)