Reviewing Office for German Schools and Studies

The holdings include the personnel records of teachers in Prussia as well as other records of the Reviewing Office for German Schools and Studies in the Berlin Institute for Initial and Further Teacher Training and School Development (i.e. Gutachterstelle für deutsches Schul- und Studienwesen im Berliner Institut für Lehrerfort- und -weiterbildung und Schulentwicklung) which were handed over to the BBF archive in 1997.

About the Records

Historically, the holdings from the Reviewers’ Office in the Berlin Institute for Initial and Further Teacher Training and School Development go back to the Royal Prussian Information Office for Textbooks (“Königlich Preußische Auskunftsstelle für Lehrbücher des höheren Unterrichtswesens“) founded in Berlin in 1889 – in 1913, this became known as the “State Information Office for School Affairs” (“Staatliche Auskunftsstelle für Schulwesen”). After 1936, the office became the national socialist “Reichsstelle für Schulwesen”. Ater 1946, in the GDR, it was known as the “Head Office for Education and Schools” (“Hauptstelle für Erziehungs- und Schulwesen”). After 1967, it was renamed into  “Reviewers’ Office for German Schools and Study Affairs in the Berlin Institute for Initial and Further Teacher Training and School Development".

In 1997, the Office’s records were handed over to the BBF archive. They comprise about 310 linear meters, including a register of general school teachers and collections of personnel sheets and files of teachers from higher schools in Prussia and records from the Reviewers’ Office and its predecessors. Moreover, the collection contains theses from the initial and further teacher training institute “Clara Zetkin” in Berlin, files from closed private schools, statistics from primary, middle and secondary schools, registers of textbooks.

Thematically, the holdings is complemented by annual reports from secondary schools in Prussia.

The holdings (shelf mark GUT ...) are fully indexed and can be searched online via the archive database.



Staff Cards and Files of Prussian Teachers

The collection GUT LEHRER consists of two large units:

1. Staff Cards of Elementary School Teachers in Prussia

The index of elementary school teachers was set up in 1932. It comprehends roughly 137,000 index cards – sorted by districts and the teachers’ dates of birth.

The front pages of the index cards in DIN A5 format were usually filled in by the teachers themselves. They contain information on the teacher's examinations, on the employments and working places. On the reverse side there are only instructions on how to fill in the index card. The cards for male teachers are blue, those for female teachers pink.

In many cases, supplementary entries were added on the cards later, for example, the date of death, the date of dismissal from teaching, or the date of retirement. The information mostly refers to reports from the official school gazettes for the respective government districts.

2. Staff Sheets and Staff Cards of Secondary (Grammar) School Teachers in Prussia

The staff sheets and staff cards of Prussian secondary school teachers in Prussia comprehends about 52,000 two-sided respectively four-sided staff sheets. The sheets usually in folio format were filled out by the teachers themselves and contained entries regarding their career (abitur, university studies, teaching examinations,  year at the teacher college and teacher preparation year), information about the teaching position as well as on academic titles and official positions and military status, marital status and academic publications.

There is no evidence as to the date when filling in such a staff form became mandatory for grammar school teachers. It is only certain this was the case time after the founding of the German Reich in 1871. The bulk of the remaining staff sheets relates to teachers born in the second half of the 19th century and later.

The staff card index of all grammar school teachers in Prussia, about 70,000 cards, forms the second part of the collection. It contains not only teachers from the staff sheets collection but also the names assessors who passed the teacher examination but did not enter the school system. Occasionally, the records comprise references to teachers who were dismissed by the National Socialist Regime during the Third Reich, and for whom no longer staff cards exist.

The staff sheets and cards have been fully digitized. The digital copies are linked to the archive database and can be accessed directly.

You can browse through the register of teachers:

  • follow the link
  • click on the symbol "+" in front of the description an alphabetic navigation tree will thereby expand below the general description of the collection
  • navigate through tree by expanding it further until you reach the teacher names
  • click on the sheet symbol in front of the name, which opens the description with small preview images of the digitized card
  • to enlarge the preview images click on them.

Alternativly you can search for teachers directly by name: 

  • open the search menu
  • enter the teacher's name in the search slot
  • expand the menu by clicking on the arrow on the right side
  • enter under "More parameters" the collection name "GUT Lehrer Personalunterlagen von Lehrkräften"
  • press the search button.

Staff Reports of Secondary Schools

The GUT PERS collection contains reports from Prussia's secondary schools on changes in the personal and income status of their teaching staff, for example, information on new and leaving teachers as well as on changes in their employment and private circumstances. The records, amounting to 22 running meters, date from 1914 to 1942. They are arranged according to the administrative districts and locations of the respective schools. In addition, a search by school name is possible.


Theses of Teaching Candidates

The GUT ASS holdings contain examination papers of secondary school teacher candidates from the years 1904 to 1939, comprising ca. 25 running meters. In the archive database, the examination papers are listed by subject. It is also possible to search for topics, authors and locations of origin.


Records from Privat Schools

The records from privat schools (GUT PRIVAT) comprehends 36 running meters covering files from private schools that were closed, mostly from Prussian provinces. Moreover, the stock contains seminar schedules, student registers and exam documents from the years 1874 to 1942.


Collected Materials

The shelf mark GUT SAMML designates statistics and records of elementary schools, middle schools and secondary schools as well as of vocational training institutes but also teacher registers, records pertaining to teacher training institutes and text book registers.

The stock dates from the years 1850 until 1960 and contains approximately 80 running meters.