Archives of Contemporary History

Main content

ETH Zurich's Archives of Contemporary History safeguards privately owned written, audio and image documents on the history of Switzerland from the late nineteenth century to the present day, and renders these historical source holdings publicly accessible.


  • 675 personal papers, institutional archives and collections (3,897 metres in total) (AfZ Online Archives)
  • 56,600 photos, images, graphics (digitally accessible in the reading room)
  • 26,000 books (


  • Economics: e.g. archives Economiesuisse, Swissmem, Swisstextiles, Landis&Gyr
  • Jewish history: e.g. archives Swiss Refugee Council, Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities, Association of Swiss Jewish Refugee Aid and Welfare Organisations, Israelitische Cultusgemeinde Zürich
  • Politics: e.g. personal papers of Werner Rings, Alfred A. Häsler, Gustav Däniker, Carlo Jagmetti

Relevance of research and Public

Complementary to state archives, the Archive of Contemporary History safeguards privately owned files of national importance, and renders them accessible for teaching and research. In doing so, it collaborates with the Universities of Zurich and Basel, and organises regular events at ETH Zurich.

There are close international cooperative projects with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (digitization) and the Shanghai Municipal Archives (documents by photo journalist Walter Bosshard on modern China).

Current activities, projects

  • Digitization of the holdings in collaboration with ETH-Bibliothek's DigiCenter
  • Online access to the digital copies (Jewish periodicals, Image Archive etc.) in the virtual reading room AfZ Online Archives
  • Safeguarding sources for development collaboration and humanitarian aid (ETH Zurich's pioneering role)

Use of the archive / online presence

Page URL:
Sun Jun 25 08:08:04 CEST 2017
© 2017 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich