The Archives for Democratic Socialism (ADS) has the task of collecting, developing, preserving, and making publicly available the sources for the development of the party Die Linke and its two predecessor organizations, the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and Labour and Social Justice – The Electoral Alternative (WASG). It mainly handles documents of the party Die Linke, documents of the Bundestag, its European Parliament and Landtag delegations and its representatives, as well as estates and deposits. 

The ADS was created in mid-1999, making it the newest among the archives of party-affiliated foundations. The oldest documents are those from the special party conference of the SED/PDS of December 1989. All documents of the SED before this date can be found in the Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massenorganisationen der DDR im Bundesarchiv (SAPMO) in the Federal Archives and other institutions.

As the collective memory of the democratic socialist movement and the party Die Linke, the ADS makes documents publicly available for those interested in research and journalism.

Access and Conditions of Use

The records are accessible by any person who can substantiate a legitimate interest. A legitimate interest is deemed to be an academic or journalistic one, as well as the exercise of personal interests.

The archival material is subject to a standard protection term of ten years. The term of protection for archival material whose essential content pertains to a natural person ends 30 years after the death of the person concerned. If the year of death cannot be determined or can only be determined with unjustifiable effort, the term of protection ends 110 years after the birth of the person concerned. If the archives have no information on the date of birth either, the term of protection ends 60 years after the acquisition of the archival item. The term of protection for files containing personal data ends 30 years after the date on which the last addition was made to the file. The protection terms do not apply to the persons concerned or to their heirs or legal successors, provided that the intended use does not conflict with the interests of third parties worthy of protection. The terms of protection for personal archive records may be shortened if the concerned persons or their relatives consent to their use.

All files and documents that are subject to state secrecy regulations have use restrictions in accordance with provisions in the Federal Archives Act.

File holdings which have been transferred to the archive by private persons are subject to restrictions on use insofar as these have been agreed with the previous owners. The place or person who handed over the files may use them without restriction. In principle, the archival material which was already intended for publication during its creation process is also available for examination without restriction.

ADS employees will, upon request, make copies of archival records for the user at the user’s expense, provided that the state of preservation of the archival records allows this. The fees and charges for these and other ADS services can be found in the fees and charges chart (in German).

The archive provides adequate premises as well as technical facilities which allow the users to conduct their research and work in a pleasant atmosphere. This includes user-friendly equipment with specialized data processing, which enables quick and differentiated access (archive system AUGIAS) as well as a generously equipped library, which includes both general reference works and a collection of special literature on the Bundestag, Bundesrat, and the Bundesregierung.