Historical background

As an independent institution, the Königsberg Archive were established in 1804. Initially, the Archive  functioned as the Secret Archive in Königsberg, later, in 1828, was changed  into the Provincial Archive, and in 1867 into the State Archive. This was the only state archive working in the Province of East Prussia. Thanks to this, it was possible to gather in one place  the most valuables historical and contemporary fonds of the East Prussia. The most  valuable and the oldest part of the fonds was the Archive of the Teutonic Order which consisted of several thousands of parchments and an extensive collection of letters of the authorities of the Teutonic Order. Archival collections concerning the Duchy of Prussia were equally important.  Apart from historical fonds, the State Archive in Königsberg also acquired  documents of state and local administration, churches, as well as economic, educational, scientific and social institutions. During the Second World War, the Königsberg Archive were evacuated.  However, the authorities of Nazi Germany did not manage to move  all archives  to Germany. A great part of the - collections was hidden in East Prussia, but the oldest and the most valuable collections, among others the archives of the Teutonic Order and Etats Ministerium were moved to Germany. Nowadays they are housed in the Secret State Archive in Berlin.  After the Second World War place in Poland took place an operation of protecting cultural properties .  As a consequence, parts  of the Königsberg Archive were found, among others, in Górowo Iławeckie, Młynary, Miłaków, Giżycko, Mikołajki and Olsztyn.  Some archival materials from Königsberg were found in the area of then Gdańsk and Szczecin Voivodships and in the Lubuskie Region.  As a result of the search, the State Archive in Olsztyn received smaller or larger parts of collections  created  by Regierungsbezirk, Landratsamt, Provincial Government, notaries, Junker families, and many other German economic administration bodies in the former East Prussia. Some of the archival materials are the remnants of the collections of governmental and local administration and church documents from the territory of today’s Kaliningrad region.