Your visit in the Reading Room

Arcinsys - Your access to the Reading Room

Arcinsys StartseiteThe online portal Archival information system Niedersachsen and Bremen (Arcinsys) is your most important tool for, and during your visits to the Göttingen University Archive.

In Arcinsys you can do the following:

  • search through the catalogues of many Lower Saxony archives,
  • submit your request for access,
  • order archival items for access in the Reading Room.

Orders can also be made via Arcinsys while being in the Reading Room.

An overview of Arcinsys' key features with an instructional manual of how to use it is offered on the website Forschen mit Arcinsys.

Supplementary material for beginners:

Viewing of archival items, protection periods

Usage of archival items owned by the University of Göttingen is regulated by the § 5 des Niedersächsischen Archivgesetzes (NArchG).

Generally, you can view archival items that are over 30 years old.
You can normally only use personal archival items 10 years after the death of a person you are looking for – when the individual’s year of death is unknown their archival items are made available 100 years after their birth.
Occasionally, the state of preservation of the archival items is too poor to possibly use. In this case we will contact you about your order and search for a solution.

In the Reading Room

Reading Room in the Historical BuildingPlease register with the Reading Room supervisor, as they will be the one to hand you your (pre)ordered materials. Materials that you ordered on an earlier day via Arcinsys will typically be prepared for you when the Reading Room opens. Note that we always issue requested documents on the following day first.

If you do not have an available laptop, you can access Arcinsys via any computer in the Reading Room. The Reading Room has available laptop workstations, as well as two microfilm readers. Eduroam and GuestonCampus wifi networks are both accessible here.

If you intend to take notes on paper, please do so only in pencil.
Please be aware that any personal bookmarks will be removed once materials have been returned to the Reading Room supervisor. Please note the exact signature of the archival items viewed! The information on the borrowing slip is the most important.

Take photos yourself

You are allowed to take as many photos of the archived materials as you wish free of charge.
In special cases taking photographs may be legally unacceptable, or pose conservational problems. Archived materials that can not be photographed for either of these reasons are marked on the borrowing slip with a red stamp. These pieces may not be photographed. Violation of this can be punishable by withdrawal of usage! Additionally, you cannot submit a reproduction request for marked archival records. Please direct any questions to this to the Göttingen University Archive (email).

Please do not use flash photography when taking photos with your camera or cell phone, as the intense light can damage the paper. Photos you take are your own work materials and not for distributing or publishing. Photography of other materials (manuscripts and scholarly collections) is not generally allowed!

Citing archival items

A full signature is written as such:

  • Archive abbreviation: UniA GÖ
  • Inventory abbreviation, e. g. ‘Kur.’ for Kuratorium
  • Identification number, e. g. 23

The correct signature can be found in Arcinsys and on the archival items' borrower slip.


Legacy signatures can be researched with the help of the search further function in Arcinsys to determine a more modern signature.

We will be happy to help you with any further questions.

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