Swiss Archivists’ Association: Verein Schweizerischer Archivarinnen und Archivare (VSA) - Association des archivistes suisses (AAS) - Associazione degli archivisti svizzeri (AAS) - Uniun da las archivarias e dals archivaris svizzers (UAS)
Languages: mainly in German.
An essential site. This association (the VSA) was founded at Lenzburg (AG) by the Society for the History of Switzerland on 4 September 1922.
The site provides the history of this association, important dates related to it, its statutes, its aim, etc. The option «Aktuell» gives a calendar of significant meetings and activities. It is also possible to learn more about the career of an archivist, including possible links with other fields, such as politics.
The option «Aktivitäten» summarizes the projects run by the association (for example: work group: «ecclesiastical archives»; work group: «communal archives», etc.)
The VSA is also a publisher. Its house journal Arbido provides a «Guide to useful terms for archivists».
The last option, «Archive addresses» is very full: it includes a list of all the archive centres in Switzerland and the addresses of a large number of international archives (in Mexico, Santa Lucia, Cuba, Fiji and Macao, to cite just a few), the addresses of associations of archivists and of schools for archivists (notably Marburg). To help find Swiss archives, there is the possibility to view a map of Switzerland divided into cantons: choose the canton to obtain a complete list of archives in that canton (addresses, location, etc.).
Swiss Literary Archives – The National Library
Languages: French, German, Italian, English
These two national institutions retain the collections of numerous private archives, including Genevan archives. The Swiss Literary Archives also hold the summary guide to manuscript collections conserved in the libraries and archives of Switzerland Répertoire sommaire des fonds manuscrits conservés dans les Bibliothèques et Archives de Suisse.
Swiss Federal Archives
Languages: French, German, Italian
The Swiss Federal Archives currently hold around fifty kilometres of documents, most of which date from the nineteenth and twentieth century. These documents can be consulted in the reading rooms. Access to them is regulated by the federal law on archives (LAr, RS 152.1).
State Archives, Fribourg
Languages: French, German
Clear and precise site. The option ‘Archives de l’État’ gives useful information.
Some catalogues, notably concerning medieval history, can be accessed online using the option «Nos documents». Since July 2004 the State Archives have been working to make the existing guides to their archives available online. Some of the paper catalogues have been digitised, and adapted as much as possible to the general international norm of archival description ISAD (G). The current version is a test version. Le Guide des Archives de l’État de Fribourg (The Guide to the Archives of the State of Fribourg) is also available (but not to download). Also available is an alphabetical list by parish, and by commune with the parish listed, with the range of dates shown for each register. This list is regularly updated. Many links.
State Archives, Geneva
This site, which is still something of a draft in terms of its presentation, offers several options with a presentation of the archives, and the database Adhémar, and of current exhibitions in Geneva; «À votre service» provides help for researchers (legal information, contacts, training, glossary, publications, etc.); «Exhibitions». Search engine.
The State Archives of Geneva provide the public with access to their database ‘Adhémar’. The inventories of the collections are now available online; more than 100,000 document descriptions are easily available online. The document descriptions comply with the international norm ISAD(G). Adhémar has been active since 1989, describing modern and contemporary holdings. Many earlier inventories (medieval and early modern collections) have been added to it. It is updated daily. Adhémar can be searchable by collection, by theme or by class mark. A search by collection leads to the inventory of this or that service of the administration of a canton, of a family or of a society. A thematic search makes it possible to gain access to a description of all the documents, in all collections, related to a keyword. A large number of links.
See also the Guide des archives publiques genevoises (Guide to the Geneva public archives) provided by the Société Auxiliaire des Archives.
This foundation came into existence in June 2000 «with the aim of assisting the Abbey authorities in their efforts to make the archives more widely available».
The website provides much useful information and is well presented. In general, it is a very practical site.
The link «La Fondation» provides a detailed description of the archives of Saint Maurice Abbey (the aims of the Foundation, the members of its administrative council, the history of the abbey, the history of the abbey archives, the rules of the archives), and also enables the user to donate money to the abbey.
The Foundation has begun an inventory of the abbey’s documents (which are particularly rich for the medieval period) and also their digitisation (mainly amongst the older collections at the moment).
Access to the inventories – for the older collections, the analysis often goes down to the level of the individual item (for example, for the registers of recognisances for goods) – is available for free.
The option Autres fonds d’archives directs the reader to four archive collections: the Archives of the Congregation of the Canons of Grand-Saint-Benard (accesible if the reader pays the 48 Swiss Franc subscription), the Archives of the Cathedral Chapter of Sion (also accessible through this subscription), the State Archives of Turin and, of course, the Archives of Saint-Maurice Abbey.
The other options in this site are familiar ones: the roll of honour (patrons), links.
Archives of the Canton of Vaud (ACV)
These archives were founded in 1798. The site provides abundant information concerning both the Archives and on research methodology.
The site gives the history of the archives, significant dates, the personnel of the archives, statistics and the aims of the ACV.
The site offers information concerning the documents conserved in the archives of the communes of the canton of Vaud. This includes a summary description of research tools which are not available online. Nonetheless, the ACV are in the process of putting together a number of digital research tools (a database). These will be offered to the public when complete, notably an indexed guide to the collections preserved by the ACV, a detailed inventory of parish registers, state and notarial registers. The site does not offer direct consultation of the documents.
Links to partners in the canton, amongst Swiss archives, and to international partners.
Ecclesiastical holdings in Swiss archives
Languages: English, French, Italian
Guide to the ecclesiastical archives compiled by the workgroup for ecclesiastical archives of the Association of Swiss archivists.
State Archive of the Canton of Basel-Town
Digitisation of research tools in process. Possibility to search the contents of the collections.