Swiss Federal Archives to go all digital

The Swiss Federal Archives is in the midst of on a digitization project to provide online access to its archival records.

The first stage of the project is to launch a web portal in fall 2019. By 2021, the Swiss Federal Archives plans to have a digitization program in place that will enable it to digitize everything.

Users will be able to receive information, carry out research, read documents, place digitization orders, submit requests to consult records and view documents online.

The Swiss Federal Archives hold the documents of the Federal State’s political bodies and the federal administration since 1798. They consist mostly of paper files, complemented by photographic, sound and film material, as well as digital data.

Practically all of the Federal Archives’ fonds can be searched online using the Swiss Archives database. The documents deal chiefly with political issues at the federal level.

Immigration documents
Many migrants left traces that today can be found at the Swiss Federal Archives. By the end of the 19th century, Switzerland had changed from a land of emigrants to one of immigrants.

Genealogists looking for traces of their ancestors, who immigrated to Switzerland or who perhaps left the country with the help of an emigration agency, may find related documents in the Swiss Federal Archives.

Births, marriages, deaths
Genealogists will not, however, find vital records about their ancestors at the Swiss Federal Archives.

Records of civil registrations, such as births, marriages, and deaths, and church records are available at the cantonal and municipal level. Each canton has its own archive and website, and these will not benefit from the Swiss Federal Archives’ digitization program.

Information about how to conduct family history research in Swiss records is also available on the Swiss Federal Archives website.

The FamilySearch Wiki on Switzerland Genealogy also provides information on how to do family history research there.

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2 Responses to Swiss Federal Archives to go all digital

  1. Ellen Thorne Morris says:

    Thank you for the news of Swiss records to come online. One ancestor left there for Germany about ten generations ago, and now I can hope to find some more details.

  2. Teres says:

    Would have liked to have seen BMD records there, but now I know where to start…recently discovered that a relative married in Switzerland (which explains why I couldn’t find the record in England), so will be following up on the links you mentioned above – thanks!

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