The Gotha Research Centre is a central institution of the University of Erfurt. In connection with the holdings of the Gotha Research Library, it sees itself as a research centre for the cultural history and history of knowledge of the Modern Period from an interdisciplinary perspective. It is a place of work and encounter for national and international research.
The Friedenstein Palace Foundation of Gotha (Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein Gotha) unites the museum collections of art history, history and natural history of the Palace Museum, the Ducal Museum, the History Museum, the Museum of Nature and the Ekhof Theatre. The art and natural science collections essentially originated from the Art Chamber (Kunstkammer) established by Duke Ernest I of Saxe-Gotha in 1653 and were systematically expanded under his successors. Here, Baroque and Enlightenment thought and action can be wonderfully traced. The historic palace rooms and collections are looked after by the Friedenstein Palace Foundation of Gotha, which was founded on 1 January 2004.
The Thuringian State Archives were formed by merging the Thuringian state archives of Altenburg, Gotha, Greiz, Meiningen and Rudolstadt and the main state archive of Weimar on 13 July 2016. The Thuringian State Archives – Gotha State Archive preserves, among other things, the archival records (files, minutes, accounts, letters, inventories, etc.) of the secret archives of the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, which were founded after 1640/41.
The Perthes Collection brings together the historical records of three scientific publishers – the Verlag Justus Perthes Gotha (The Justus Perthes publishing house Gotha), the Geographische Verlagsanstalt Justus Perthes Darmstadt (Geographic publishing house Justus Perthes Darmstadt) and the VEB Hermann Haack Geographisch-Kartographische Anstalt Gotha (State-owned Company Hermann Haack geographic-cartographic Institute Gotha). As the only map publishing archive preserved on the European continent, it contains unique source material on the development of cartography and geography in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the unity and interconnectedness of its holdings, the collection documents the last phase of the Age of Discovery, during which the interior of the non-European continents and the polar regions were explored. The maps, atlases and journals published by Perthes, especially “Stielers Handatlas” and “Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen”, shaped the scientific image of the Earth until well into the 20th century and popularised it for a broad public. Genealogical-statistical publications formed the second focus of the publishers' profile, especially the “Almanach de Gotha” (“Gothaischer Hofkalender”) as the authoritative biographical encyclopaedia of the European nobility. The Perthes Collection was acquired by the Free State of Thuringia in 2003 with the support of the State Cultural Foundation and integrated into the Gotha Research Library. Over the course of 2020, it has become an independent university collection of the University of Erfurt.
The Gotha City Archive preserves sources of the city's history. The holdings include mediaeval documents, files from the city administration and the incorporated villages from the 17th to the 20th century, files of guilds and associations, bequests, building files and other collection items. The archive also holds a historical Gothana library with about 2,500 volumes.