A few days ago, the State Archives of North Rhine-Westphalia relocated to the largest German archives building at Duisburg Inner Harbor. The State Archives combine all six offices of the Rhineland department under one roof - a relocation full of superlatives. Altogether, specialized logistics firms are transporting 100,000 meters of shelf rows to Duisburg from the different offices. Historical documents, including from Augustusburg Castle in Brühl and Kalkum Castle in Düsseldorf have to be transported very carefully under specific climatic conditions. In order to prevent damage to the sensitive goods, the documents, birth registers and marriage registers, parchments, films, aerial photographs, and the "cimelia" (particularly valuable archived goods) are being secured, individually packaged and loaded into air-conditioned trucks. A majority of the documents is irreplaceable – such as the marriage certificate of Heinrich VIII.
"This relocation does not only have a special dimension, but is above all a logistical challenge. Anything that were to be filed incorrectly in Duisburg would be irretrievably lost. In addition, the archived goods are highly sensitive," said Dr. Isabel Niedergöker, Lawyer at Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, which structured, advised on and carried out the award procedure for the logistics services.
Since the middle of January 2014, up to 16 moving trucks are on the way daily with the valuable freight from Brühl or Düsseldorf to Duisburg. After six months, the relocation will be completed in the middle of June 2014. In order to grant the public access to the important documents again as quickly as possible, the reading room in Duisburg with about 100 jobs had already been solemnly inaugurated in advance.