The Archive for the History of Geology in Freiburg (Geologen-Archiv)

This archive is a treasure chest for those interested in the history of geology.  From its beginning, it was closely linked with the German Geological Society (DGGV; Deutsche Geologische Gesellschaft - Geologische Vereinigung).

After the first “Geologen-Archiv”, founded in 1942 by Erich Haarmann (photo on the right), had been destroyed with all of its more than 25,000 documents in Berlin during WW II, the present one was established in 1956 by Max Pfannenstiel in Freiburg, who collected numerous letters, manuscripts and photos.

When Pfannenstiel (photo on the right) handed the collections over to the University Library for storage and future cataloguing in 1972, they already consisted of more than 30,000 documents, among them complete sets of scientific correspondence mainly by geologists, mineralogists, and paleontologists. After Pfannenstiel’s death in 1976, his work was continued by Martin Schwarzbach and with 1988 by Eugen and Ilse Seibold (photo on the right) and somewhat later also by Kathrin Lutz. In 2005, Jörg Keller took over the archive in collaboration with Ilse and Eugen Seibold and Kathrin Lutz. At the beginning of 2016, Andreas Hoppe (geologist), Dorothee Hoppe (biologist) and Ursula Leppig (paleontologist) succeeded them.

Today, the “Geologen-Archiv” contains more than 100,000 documents about more than 2,500 persons: In addition to letters, there are movies, tapes, maps, sketches, field books, portraits, medals, obituaries, and other papers of historical interest. All documents are catalogued in Kalliope, a network system for autographs („Verbundinformationssystem für Nachlässe und Autographen“on A photo collection holds about 1,300 pictures. All documents can be reserved and accessed in a special reading room of the University Library in Freiburg (

The archive’s growth depends almost entirely on gifts from interested and generous colleagues. Examples from recent decades include the bequests of André Cailleux, Hans Cloos, Gerhard Einsele, Wolf von Engelhardt, Franz Goerlich, Georg Knetsch, Franz Kockel, Günter Möbus, Manfred Schidlowski, Eugen and Ilse Seibold, Wolfgang Soergel, Hans Stille, Curt Teichert und Eugen Wegmann. Archive news, including a list of recent benefactors, is published annually.


Context Column


Andreas Hoppe
Dorothee Hoppe
Ursula Leppig
Platz der Universität 2
D-79098 Freiburg, Germany

Erich Haarmann

Erich Haarmann (* 14. Juni 1882 in Osnabrück; † 17. April 1945 in Bonn). Aus NN (1942): IJES (Geologische Rundschau), 33, 2-3: 81-83;

Max Pfannenstiel

Max Pfannenstiel (* 25. Juli 1902 in Wanzenau, Elsass; † 1. Januar 1976 in Freiburg im Breisgau)

Eugen & Ilse Seibold

Eugen & Ilse Seibold