Legacy of Berthold Otto

The BBF archive holds the legacy of Berthold Otto (1859 –1933), a relevant reform pedagogue publisher of the weekly magazine "Der Hauslehrer" and founder of the school for home tutors in Berlin-Lichterfelde, contains his personal papers as well as materials from the practical work of the experimental school he directed.

The legacy of Berthold Otto was donated to the BBF archive in September 1998 - with additions in September 2000 - by the Berthold Otto School in Berlin-Lichterfelde.

The collection consists of Berthold Otto's personal legacy, the school archive of the Berthold Otto School with documents from its founding in 1906 to 1933, and a collection of images from both collections. It comprises 14 running meters and contains records from the period between 1855 and 1990.

The holdings are fully indexed and can be searched via the archive database.



Bertold Otto's Personal Legacy

The legacy of Berthold Otto includes personal documents of him and other family members as well as voluminous correspondence of the pedagogue with private persons and publishers. Furthermore, numerous manuscripts have been preserved, among others for the journals "Der Hauslehrer" and "Deutscher Volksgeist" and for his main work "Der Zukunftsstaat als sozialistische Monarchie". In addition, the legacy contains materials for practical teaching and collections on associations and institutions in which Berthold Otto was involved or which were founded to preserve his pedagogical ideas.

School Archive of the Berthold-Otto-School

The Berthold Otto School was founded in 1906, initially as a "Hauslehrerschule" (i.e. school for privat teachers) in Otto's family home on Dürerstraße in Berlin. In 1907, it received official approval from the Prussian Ministry of Education. Even after the private "Hauslehrerschule" moved to Holbeinstraße, where the Berthold Otto School is still located today, Otto stayed director and continued to teach on the basis of his pedagogical principles. In 1930, the school was renamed in honor of its founder. In 1997, the private school received state recognition and has since borne the title Staatlich anerkannte Privatschule nach der Pädagogik Berthold Ottos – Grund- und Hauptschule.

The school archive of the Berthold Otto School primarily reflects everyday school life in the years between 1906 and 1933. In addition to lists of students and student reports, various student works have also been preserved. In particular, the teaching protocols and letters of his numerous hospitants, as the unpaid interns were called at the time, provide revealing insights into Berthold Otto's pedagogy.


he extensive stock of images with more than 1,400 photographs includes private and family portraits as well as photographs of school practice at the Berthold Otto School. In addition, there are numerous portraits of other people as well as images of places and buildings. The surviving photographs of teaching scenes at the Berthold Otto School provide insights into Berthold Otto's educational concept and his teaching practice.

The image holdings of Berthold Otto's estate and the Berthold Otto School are fully indexed and can be searched via the archive database.