The Krupp Historical Archive

Three institutions – one goal: The Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation as owner of Villa Hügel, the Krupp Historical Archive – also owned by the Krupp Foundation – and the Kulturstiftung Ruhr are working successfully together to make Villa Hügel accessible to the public, preserve it and preserve its historical heritage.

The Krupp Historical Archive is Germany’s oldest business archive, with its own history dating back more than one hundred years. The Fried. Krupp company and its proprietor family founded both a company archive and a family archive as early as 1905. The two were merged in the mid-1950s at the Villa Hügel to form the Krupp Historical Archive, which has been located in the Guest House since 1961. Today, the archive is owned by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung.

“But I hope that what remains will not be lost.”
Alfred Krupp, 1871

The Krupp Archive continually acquires new material, systematically indexes it and ensures its preservation for posterity. It serves the internal needs of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung and the thyssenkrupp Group while also providing historical source material for external research. The archive works to advance historical knowledge through its publications, its own exhibitions and the support it provides for the “Krupp Historical Exhibition”. In addition, researchers, media representatives, museums, public authorities and private individuals are invited to make use of the archive’s rich inventory of photographs, files and artefacts.

Leaflet of the Krupp Historical Exhibition (German only)

Stocks and use


9,800 metres of shelf space holding raw materials passed down over time: The oldest document dates from 1437, but the majority of material originated in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The archive stores “classic” documents such as files, business ledgers and plans, but also postcards, museum objects and much more. Its inventory of images is of international standing: both the approximately 2.5 million photographs as well as the films – on some 5,000 reels – date back to the early days of these media. Also worthy of note are documents from companies that over the decades became part of the Krupp Group: Bochumer Verein, Germaniawerft, Grusonwerk, AG Weser, Koppers and many more. The Krupp family holdings reflect the business activities of the company owners as well as their role in society, politics, science and culture.


In order to preserve memories and keep them accessible for future generations, professional and continual conservation of the physical information carriers – documents, photographs, films, tapes, graphics, posters and all other archival materials – is of the utmost importance. The Krupp Historical Archive thus undertakes ongoing projects to lastingly safeguard the condition of the materials entrusted to it. This might involve, for example, the complex restoration of a single document, the cleaning of glass photographic plates, or the mass deacidification of industrially produced papers – and also includes microfilming and digitisation of its extensive holdings.


An archive for the whole world: The Krupp Historical Archive regularly responds to enquiries from all over the world. It supports museums by loaning items for exhibitions and also provides images for international and domestic television productions. Anyone interested can carry out research in the reading room after submitting a prior written request and receiving approval.

For a detailed overview of the holdings and information on their use, please see the website Archive NRW.

Archive NRW