Welcome to the library and the testimony archive of the Documentation Centre! This is a place for people and their stories – your story can also find its place here. Visit our scientific library and the testimony archive with moving personal stories and documents in our reading room. Experience exciting insights into our oral history collection and explore your family's origins.
We are looking forward to your visit at the library and the testimony archive
No, you can use all media and services in our reading room without registering. Prior registration is only required if you wish to view archive and library holdings from the stacks. Please register with our staff on site or at our contact address.
The reading room is located on the first floor of the Documentation Centre. We have created a place for meeting, learning and inspiration together with the team of the Dutch architect and creative guide Aat Vos from the office includi. Take a seat at individual and group workstations or on comfortable sofas to linger or work. In addition to ten research stations equipped with media stations, there is a height-adjustable, barrier-free research station and the possibility to use a screen reader. You can log into the open Wi-Fi network with your own devices and you can use the book scanner and photocopier free of charge.
In our reading room, which is open to the public, you can research the holdings of the library and the testimony archive. Numerous media stations are available for this purpose. Here you can access the library's online catalogue, various archival databases and our oral history collection, among other things. You can also use these services outside of the opening hours of the library and the testimony archive at the media stations in front of the reading room.
We provide various external genealogical databases, such as Ancestry or Archion, for you to research in. They give you access to church records, gazetteers or historical maps, among other things. We are happy to assist you. Please feel free to ask us.
We have compiled a handout with some initial pointers on personal and family-related research options.
Are you interested in taking part in our workshop "Displacement, Expulsion, Family Research"? Then please contact us and we will be happy to provide you with further information.
If you would like to support the library and the testimony archive and have books or materials that could be of interest to us, please contact us or make an appointment! For example, we are looking for personal accounts, diaries and letters in a wide variety of languages, as well as photos and other documents that document displacement, expulsion or forced migration. We need your name, address and a brief description of the objects you would like to donate. Please do not send us any materials without prior consultation.