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- The structure of the archive holdings (archive plan) largely applicable even today was created by Paul Schweizer, State Archivist between 1881 and 1897. No major modifications to its structure were made in the past one hundred years. The inventories of state origin are classified in capital letters, sub-categories are done in Roman numerals. The non-governmental parts of the Archives are mainly found under the letters W and X. In addition, there is a row with collections.
The old and the new archive departments have developed over time and are not clearly attributed to a specific time. In general:
- Former City State of Zurich until 1798: Old Main Archive (Sections A–C) and Old Branch Archives (Sections D–J)
- Constitutional periods, 1798–1831: Helvetic Republic, Mediation and Restauration (Section K)
- Canton of Zurich as from 1831: inventories are classified according to topics and older holdings of origin (Sections L–Y)
- Canton of Zurich as from 1831, Archive according to the principle of provenance: inventories are filed according to the original places the documents had been produced (Section Z)
- Non-governmental Archive (in particular Sections W and X)
- Collections (collection of prints and drawings, objects, maps and plans etc.)
For detailed information on the structure, please go to online search (German)
Printed finding aids
- Staatsarchiv Zürich. Kurzführer 1982.
Zürich 1982 (32 S.)
- Staatsarchiv des Kantons Zürich. Gesamtinventar. Preface by Ulrich Helfenstein. (3 parts have been published: Älteres Aktenarchiv, Notariatsprotokolle, Bevölkerungsverzeichnisse und Pfarrbücher.)
- Schweizer, Paul. Inventar des Staatsarchivs des Kantons Zürich. SA. excerpt from: Anzeiger für Schweizerische Geschichte. Bern 1897. 112 S.