ARCHION is an online portal that has been providing digitized historic church books and other sources relevant for genealogical and biographical research since March 2015.
ARCHION is operated by the Stuttgart-based Kirchenbuchportal GmbH, a company established by the Protestant Church of Germany together with eleven Protestant regional churches. Since its establishment, further associates and contractual partners have joined the limited company. Our partner archives include Protestant, diocese, town, association and state archives.
Kirchenbuchportal GmbH performs its tasks in cooperation with the participating corporations in awareness of the significance of the archive material and its historic and scientific value.
Currently, more than 150,000 church books from 25 archives are available for inspection on ARCHION. The company adds further archive material of its partner archives every day. All new entries are listed on the website on a daily basis. When uploading the digitized archive material ARCHION complies with the regulations of the respective partner archive.
Kirchenbuchportal GmbH is in the hands of the public resp. the church.
The archives make the pictures available. No costs for online presentation and data hosting accrue for the archives.
Archives that make data available have the option of setting up public access to the portal via the free reading room licence.
Based on user feedback it is possible to correct errors with data or pictures or make additions. This is performed in close cooperation with the archives.
The data sovereignty and all rights of the pictures remain with the archives; ARCHION has the simple rights of use. Almost every data system and data format can be integrated.
The researchers obtain comprehensive support: Apart from the contacting by e-mail, it is possible to communicate with the ARCHION support directly from the viewer. In this way, many questions can be solved easily as users can directly refer to the book and the picture from the viewer.
The social interaction among researchers is promoted by existing crowd sourcing options such as UGC (User Generated Content) and the exchange in the forum.
The search whether a certain church book has been digitized is free of charge. The inspection of the digitized sources is fee-based. For this purpose, it is possible to choose between different access passes that all expire upon a certain period. There is no automatic renewal.
During the booking period, an unlimited number of pages can be viewed. Furthermore, the integrated download function allows researchers to permanently save a certain number of pages on their own computers. Each download automatically includes a source citation.
Upon the one-time registration a free personal user area allows for communication among researchers. Bookmarks are saved and the search history is documented, there.