What is the best way to search for people?

Zuletzt geändert von invenio_PA am 2023/05/22 17:57

To search for people, you should primarily use the name search, where all data is found on people and organisations. In the Political Archive, this is especially helpful when looking for records on persons who served in the German diplomatic service, for example their personnel files. When looking for persons who were not part of the Foreign service, you should rather use the "Einfache Suche" or "Erweiterte Suche".

How to search for names:

  • As a basic rule, the fewer search fields you fill out, the more potential hits you will get, because the vast majority of people listed in the archives do not have information recorded in all the possible fields. Therefore, you should search only for first and last names at first; if the number of hits is too big, you can then limit your results with additional criteria, such as year of birth.
  • You should search for names in several variations, such as Fritz – Friedrich – Fri*. Colloquial variations (e.g. Sepp, Minna) are not recommended. When searching for last names, you should try out various spellings (e.g. dt/t, ai/ei).
  • If a name contains “ü”, “ä” or “ö”, the spelling with “ue”, “ae” or “oe” will also be found, and vice versa.


  • You may find it helpful to use truncation, i.e. the combination of letters and wildcards in the form of an asterisk (* for more than one character) or a question mark (? for one character). For example, entering “Fri*” as a search term will return results for “Fritz” AND “Friedrich”, as well as “Friedhelm”, “Friederike”, etc.
  • The position of the truncation may vary. For example, entering “*ike” will return results for “Friederike”, “Ulrike”, etc., while “Ma?r” will find “Mahr”, “Mair”, “Mayr”, etc.
  • You can even use truncation to find titles of nobility and surname affixes. For example, entering “*Mühlen” will also return results for “von zur Mühlen”.
  • You can refine your search by entering a date of birth. You can also just enter the year or a range, such as “1905 - 1910”.

It is also worth using the simple or advanced search, especially for celebrities and prominent people from contemporary history, as this will also run a search for further cataloguing information, i.e. file titles and content notes.

If you run a name search for Friedrich-Werner Graf von der Schulenburg (keyword: Schulenburg), for example, you will find his personnel files from record group P 1; if you run a simple or advanced search, you will find files in the fonds entitled RZ 211 (Political Division of the Foreign Office HQ) or RAV 180-Moskau (Embassy Moscow).

Name search results for “Schulenburg” (as non-registered user):


Simple search results for “Schulenburg” (as non-registered user):


Erstellt von invenio_PA am 2023/05/17 11:47