University of Erfurt

Archive of the Publishing House

The Archive spans 800 metres. It incorporates the archived material of the publishing house established in 1785, a collection of specimen copies of publications and artefacts relating to map production. Information regarding holdings that can already be utilised is available on request. As of April 2012, the Archive of the Perthes Collection can also be accessed via the Thuringia Archive portal (Archivportal Thüringen).

Archived material

The archived material comprises

  • the historical archive of the Justus Perthes Verlag (Justus Perthes publishing house) 1785–1953
  • holdings of the VEB Hermann Haack Geographisch-Kartographische Anstalt Gotha (VEB Hermann Haack  Institute of Cartography and Geography, Gotha) 1953–1992
  • part of the holdings of the Geographische Verlagsanstalt Justus Perthes Darmstadt (Justus Perthes Geographic Publishing House, Darmstadt) 1953–1992

The historical Archive of the Justus Perthes Verlag covers approx. 120 metres. The holdings are sub-divided into five sections:


  • Editorial body of “Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen” (PGM) (“Petermann’s Geographical Observations”): correspondence, parts of the estates of cartographers, geographers and explorers of the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Staff and friends of the publishing house: correspondence, portions of the estates of staff members and authors published by the publishing house, collections of individual publications
  • Company and family archive: archived material specific to the management and administration of the publishing house, private family documents, bequests to family foundations
  • Image archive covering company and family history
  • Editorial body of the Gothaischer Hofkalender (Gotha Court Calendar): archived material relating to the publications on genealogical statistics: Gothaischer Hofkalender (Gotha Court Calendar), Almanach de Gotha (Gotha Almanac), genealogical pocket books, collections of coats of arms.

The holdings of the “PGM Editorial Body”, “Staff and Friends of the Publishers” and “Editorial Board of the Gotha Court Calendar” may be used on request in the special reading room of the Gotha Research Library. The “Family and Friends Archive” and the “Image Archive” are currently being indexed as part of a three-year project.


Large numbers of specimen copies of publications in the areas of cartography, geography and geography for schools are available in the Archive. These include topographical and thematic atlases and cartography, individual maps, monographs and periodicals. The publications were entered in online databases in the course of a cataloguing project conducted in 2007/2008. The catalogued holdings can be reserved online and used in the special reading room of the Gotha Research Library.


Numerous artefacts from the map-making activities of the publishing house are preserved in the Archive; they include tools used by copper engravers and lithographers, equipment from the workplace and printing plates, in particular copper plates.

Primary accession code

Gotha Research Library, Perthes Collection Archive
abbreviated to: FBG SPA

Archive sub-accession codes:
Publishers’ products

  • SPA

Archived material

  • SPA ARCH PGM (editorial body of “Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen”)
  • SPA ARCH MFV (Staff and Friends of the Publishing House)
  • SPA ARCH FFA (Company and Family Archive)
  • SPA ARCH BA (Image Archive)
  • SPA ARCH Gen (editorial body of the “Gothaischer Hofkalender”)
  • SPA ARCH HHG (VEB Hermann Haack, Gotha)
  • SPA ARCH JPD (Justus Perthes, Darmstadt)



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