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Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation – Krupp Historical Archive

Archive history

In 1905 in preparation for the firm's 100th anniversary, a works archive is set up for the Krupp company (established 1811). It is thus the oldest German company archive of modern times.

In the following years the works archive serves as a historical records and research office under various organizational designations. In the same year Margarethe Krupp sets up the Hügel family archive to safeguard the documents in the possession of the family of owners resident at Villa Hügel. For a long time the two archives are organized separately but maintained by the same staff according to a uniform archiving system. In the early years work focuses on researching the Krupp history. Two commemorative volumes are produced on the basis of numerous internal studies on individual themes. In parallel with this, the first documents are transferred to the archive, though in many cases documents are loaned from the administrative registers and returned after evaluation. In the early years the archive's organizational allocation and management change frequently.

On January 1, 1913, management of the works archive is entrusted to Wilhelm Berdrow (1867 - 1954), who had already been involved with the preparation of the commemorative volumes since 1909. His work continues to focus on writing the history of the firm, even after ill health forces him to retire as head of the archive in 1921. Among other things he produces biographies of the proprietors of the firm and publications on the history of the Krupp and von Bohlen und Halbach families. Berdrow is succeeded by Fritz Gerhard Kraft (1884 - 1950), who has worked in the history department from the very beginning. Over the next few years the archive is subject to severe restrictions in terms of staff and office space owing to the company's unfavorable business situation. It is not until October 1938 that the archive is allowed more staff and space for a short period during which the records are updated and expanded.

Following heavy bombing in September 1942 around 10% of the records are lost. In 1943 the archive is moved to Burg Botzlar castle near Selm/Westphalia. In 1944 the family archive is transferred to a potash mine belonging to Wintershall AG in Unterbreizbach/Rhön. After confiscation by the allied troops it is released from the document center in Herford and taken to Schloss Hugenpoet near Kettwig before finally being returned to Villa Hügel in 1954. In March 1946 the history department is disbanded, the records are placed under the management of the economic department. Fritz Gerhard Kraft retires.

In 1954 the company decides to set up an independent works archive again, partly in view of the firm's 150th anniversary in 1961. In. 1955 Dr. Ernst Schröder (1907 - 1999) is made head of the now combined family and works archive at Villa Hügel, which in 1958 is assigned to a single organizational unit known as the Historical Archive. Schröder continues to run the archive in accordance with the librarianship principles established when the archive was founded. His work focuses on his own research, especially into the history of the company and the city of Essen. After Schröder retires on April 1, 1972 the archive is managed for a few years by Dr. Wolfgang Vollrath, executive member of the board of trustees of Villa Hügel e.V., which is responsible for the art exhibitions.

On July 1, 1976 Dr. Renate Köhne takes over as head of the Krupp Historical Archive, which over subsequent years is restructured and expanded in accordance with academic archiving principles. Extensive records are systematically transferred from the Group's headquarters and subsidiaries. Intensive work is carried out on developing the records, from 1984 onwards with the assistance of computers. In the 1990s a special project is launched to catalog and develop the film records. While concentrating on and expanding the internal services it provides for the company, the archive also increasingly supports external historical research projects and assists with exhibitions. In collaboration with other archives in the region and the Ruhr local government association, selected industrial films are shown to the public in a two-year cycle. Particular mention should be made of the archive's involvement in academic research projects of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation which have produced publications on Villa Hügel and photography as a historical source as well as two monographs on the history of the company in the 19th and 20th century.

Since the merger of Thyssen and Krupp the former Thyssen archive has carried out the function of Group archive for the new Group. Since 1998 the Krupp Historical Archive has belonged to the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation and, based at Villa Hügel, operates as a center for Krupp History.

Overview of stocks

Hügel Family Archive

  • Family archive, 1720-1967, approx. 350 m
    Personal effects and administrative records of family members relating to the Krupp family, company affairs, membership of clubs, associations and boards, journeys, genealogy (also relating to the von Ende - Margarethe von Ende married Friedrich Alfred Krupp - and von Bohlen und Halbach family trees), including company records for the period up to 1848. Krupp grocery and hardware stores, 1732 - 1811, including Gutehoffnungshütte, Oberhausen-Sterkrade, 1797 - 1808. Documents from the estate of Hermann Krupp, Berndorf near Vienna, relating to Berndorfer Metallwarenfabrik, 1844 - 1879. Hügel administration, documents on the administration of the private assets of the Krupp/von Bohlen und Halbach family, 1873 - 1965.
    Resources: computer resources, card indexes

Works Archive / Company Archive

  • Cast steel factory/Group headquarters,
    1842-1999, approx. 5,000 m
    Documents of the company management as well as operations and departments of the cast steel factory/Group headquarters relating to all areas of the company, documents of foreign representatives and company welfare facilities, collections of contracts, land purchase deeds and licenses, collections of circulars and press releases, newspaper clippings relating to Krupp and annual reports on th eentire Krupp Group
    Resources: resource books, computer resources, card indexes
  • Mining company Krupp Bergwerke,
    1853-1980, 2 m
    Krupp Bergwerke Essen, especially the Helene-Amalie colliery: fragmented records of ownership structures, technical equipment, production, sales and personnel matters.
    Resources: card index
    Other records are kept in the mining archive (Bergbau-Archiv), Bochum.
  • Silesian nickel works, Frankenstein,
    1890-1943, 0.4 m
    Fragmented records of the history of the Silesian nickel works Gewerkschaft Schlesische Nickelwerke, established in 1894, which was acquired by Fried. Krupp AG in 1915.
    Resources: card index
  • Hüttenwerk Rheinhausen /Friedrich-Alfred-Hütte iron works, Rheinhausen,
    1897-1989, approx. 400 m
    Old archive of the Friedrich-Alfred-Hütte iron works which was established in 1897 as Hüttenwerk Rheinhausen, in order of pertinence, with documents on all areas, 1897-1960. Management records and records from various offices relating to commercial and technical matters, production, association activities.
    Resources: card indexes, archive plan
  • Archive of Bochumer Verein für Gussstahlfabrikation AG / Krupp Stahl AG Bochum,
    1854 - 1993, approx. 420 m
    Old archive of Bochumer Verein für Gussstahlfabrikation AG, merged in 1965 with Fried. Krupp Hüttenwerke AG, renamed Krupp Stahl AG, Bochum in 1980, in order of pertinence with documents on all areas, 1854 - 1965. Management records and records from various offices of Fried. Krupp Hüttenwerke AG and Krupp Stahl AG, 1965 - 1993.
    Resources: card indexes, archive plan, computer resources
  • Stahlwerke Südwestfalen AG,
    1947 - 1991, approx. 60 m
    Documents of Stahlwerke Südwestfalen AG, merged in 1984 with Krupp Stahl AG, and some subsidiaries.
    Resources: Resource book
    Records of previous periods are kept by the Westphalian economic archive foundation (Stiftung Westfälisches Wirtschaftsarchiv).
  • Sayner Hütte with Mülhofener Hütte iron works near Bendorf/Rhein,
    1816-1887, approx. 150 archive units
    Documents from the Sayner Hütte iron works which was established in 1769/70 by the Elector and Arch Bishop of Trier, and subsequently belonged to the State of Prussia before being acquired by Krupp in 1865. Records, mainly from the Prussian period, on the works' general activity, costing and budget planning, technical equipment and production.
    Resources: card indexes
  • Hermannshütte iron works near Neuwied,
    1901/02-1922/23, 1 m
    Ledger records of the works established by "Weilburger Bergbaugesellschaft Louis Vogts & Co.", Duisburg, in 1857 and purchased by Krupp in 1871.
    Resources: card index
  • Annen steel mill, Annen near Witten,
    1872-1925, approx. 450 archive units
    Documents on the production, sales, general business development, real estate and bookkeeping of the steel mill founded in 1870 and purchased by Krupp in 1886.
    Resources: card index
  • Gruson works, Magdeburg-Buckau,
    1772-1981, 2 m
    Fragmented records with collected documents relating to the history and activity of the shipyard, with engineering works and iron foundry established by Hermann Gruson in 1855, purchased by Krupp in 1893, expropriated in 1945 and continued as a nationally owned plant. Documents relating to the Gruson family history, 1772-1981, with individual references to the company, especially the takeover by Krupp
    Resources: EDP resources, card index
    More extensive records are kept at the main regional archive (Landeshauptarchiv) in Magdeburg.
  • Widia factory/Widia GmbH, Essen,
    1926-1984, approx. 75 m
    Documents on the history of the hardmetal operation established in 1926 from a department of the Krupp cast steel works in Essen, and on the development of Widia products.
    Resources: card index
  • Stahlbau/Industrietechnik, Rheinhausen,
    1906-1978, approx. 45 m plus 130 archive units
    Documents from the structural steel works set up in 1907 in the Friedrich-Alfred-Hütte iron and steel works in Rheinhausen, known as Stahlbau Rheinhausen from 1941, relating to organization and administration, plant construction and mechanical engineering as well as industrial associations.
    Resources: Computer resources, card indexes
  • Polysius AG Dessau and Polysius GmbH/AG, Neubeckum,
    1841-1981, 4 m
    Fragmented collections of individual documents on the history of the Polysius family and the firm of Polysius AG, originally based in Dessau, relocated to Neubeckum after the Second World War, and acquired by Fried. Krupp GmbH in 1970/71.
    Resoures: card index
    More extensive records are kept at the main regional archive (Landeshauptarchiv) in Magdeburg.
  • Heinrich Koppers AG/GmbH, Essen,
    1891-1980, approx. 120 m
    Documents on the development of the company founded by Heinrich Koppers in Essen in 1901, which was acquired by Krupp in 1974; documents relating to the management, technical matters, project engineering, patent matters and bookkeeping.
    Resources: Computer resources, card indexes
  • Germaniawerft shipyard, Kiel-Gaarden,
    1915-1950, 45 m and 300 archive units
    Documents on the general business development of the shipyard founded in 1863 by Christian Bruhn, which was acquired under the name of Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG Germania by Krupp in 1902, in particular documents on the construction of diesel engines for ships and locomotives, ships' turbines, boilers, submarines, patent and licensing matters as well as foreign connections.
    Resources: Computer resources
  • Aktiengesellschaft "Weser", Bremen,
    1850-1980, approx. 65 m
    Collection of individual documents on the history of the iron foundry and machine shop Waltjen & Leonhardt, founded in 1843 and renamed AG Weser in 1872, from 1926 part of Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau-Aktiengesellschaft, and from 1941 part of Fried. Krupp AG following the acquisition of a majority shareholding, together with documents of affiliated works; documents on shipbuilding, patents, licenses, business development of the company.
    Resources: Computer resources

Special collections:

  • Photos from approx. 1860, approx. 1.9 million pieces
  • Historical postcards with Krupp reference, from 1890, approx. 1,500.
  • Badges/medals, from 1862, 2 m
  • Diplomas, 1850-1920, 1 m
  • Special library, approx. 10,000 titles
  • Krupp publications (general collection), 1820-1992, 30 m
  • Krupp publications (technical), 1820-1992, 50 m
  • Film collection, 1936, 1950-1992, approx. 2,000 rolls
  • Video collection, from approx. 1980, approx. 700
  • Maps, 150 m
  • Sound recordings, 1930-1992, 3 m
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