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Edition Detmold, available from June 2006 on

Introducing the project

Edition Detmold is a digitalization and editing project run by the Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen Staats- und Personenstandsarchiv Detmold. Digitalization of the parish register duplicates and civil status registers from Westphalia and Lippe has been taking place since 2004. The basis for this is provided by microfilms of the registers of births, deaths and marriages (Personenstandsbücher) from Sauerland to Minden from the 18th and 19th centuries. Gradually, the parish register duplicates and civil status registers from the time before the introduction of the Personenstandsgesetz (the law of civil status) (1874/1876) are being edited on CD ROMS or DVD.

Digitalization is being carried out to reduce use of the originals and for conservational reasons. It is also being undertaken to meet the increasing demand for historical data which are accessible via digital media.

Historical research and widespread private genealogical research is based on historical documents for checking the results, for instance, of data bank enquiries. The Staats- und Personenstandsarchiv Detmold would like to use this editing project to promote the interest in historical archives and to draw attention to the vast amount of information contained in these registers of births, deaths and marriages.

Parish register duplicates and civil status registers provide information on names and biographical data. They also provide information on parish history, on the professions of the persons registered, including places of birth and personal networks. They therefore provide important sources for genealogy and for historical research, e.g. social history or historical demography.

What kind of information is digitalized and edited?

The Edition Detmold project plans to digitalize and edit the parish register duplicates, civil status registers and registers of Jews and Dissenters from 1779 to 1874/1875 from Westphalia and Lippe (known today as the administrative districts of Arnsberg, Münster und Detmold). Planned for 2006 is the edition of parish register duplicates of the former principality of Lippe.

Remarks on the editor

The Landesarchiv Nordrhein Westfalen Staats- und Personenstandsarchiv Detmold is one of four state archives in North Rhine-Westphalia and one of seven departments of the Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen. The Staats- und Personenstandsarchiv Detmold is a dual archive, consisting of a state archive with a jurisdiction over records from state authorities in the administrative district of Detmold, and the Personenstandsarchiv Detmold.

The Personenstandsarchiv Detmold is central for genealogical research in Westphalia and Lippe. The only other central archives of status registers is located in Brühl. It is responsible for registers of births, deaths and marriages from the Rhineland. The Personenstandsarchive/archives of status registers unique. No other federal German state but North Rhine Westphalia offers access to this quantity of state documents relating to civil status via central archives.

The jurisdictions of the Personenstandsarchive in North Rhine-Westphalia correspond to the areas of the respective regional authorities Rhineland und Westphalia-Lippe (Landschaftsverbände). The Personenstandsarchiv Detmold therefore contains personal information from Siegerland, Münsterland and Sauerland, from Lippe und the Ruhrgebiet. Parish registers, parish register duplicates, civil status registers and the registers of Jews and Dissenters, along with the registers of the civil registry offices from the three administrative districts of Arnsberg, Detmold and Münster are all kept here.

More information see