When did BAMA drop the 'old signature'

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Mori
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When did BAMA drop the 'old signature'

Post by Mori » 29 Jan 2020 13:22

Hello all,

BAMA has a RH-[type]-[unit number]-[file] system (here for Wechmacht units). However, reading books written in the 1980's, I see BAMA used to classify files by their front page number (ex: 53105/3). One can also see this front page number in the NARA catalogs.

Do you know when BAMA changed their classification?

Background of the question: in a just-published book, the author sometimes gives the old reference. I wonder whether it's because he visited BAMA long long time ago or because he copied the source from another book's footnote without actually getting the documents in hands.

Boby
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Re: When did BAMA drop the 'old signature'

Post by Boby » 02 Feb 2020 11:22

My understanding is that this old classification was actually started by NARA, i.e, files were microfilmed before returned to Germany. H files, etc. Reading through EHRI catalogue it seems most of the documents were returned in the 60s early 70s.

Mori
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Re: When did BAMA drop the 'old signature'

Post by Mori » 03 Feb 2020 21:31

Boby wrote:
02 Feb 2020 11:22
My understanding is that this old classification was actually started by NARA, i.e, files were microfilmed before returned to Germany. H files, etc. Reading through EHRI catalogue it seems most of the documents were returned in the 60s early 70s.
Yes.

My question, however, is when did BAMA drop this old classification?

Boby
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Re: When did BAMA drop the 'old signature'

Post by Boby » 04 Feb 2020 12:02

If you look at Google books for "BA-MA, RH/RW/RL/RM" the older results are from the late 60s, i.e, they started reclassifying files when NARA sent them back to Germany. Of course this took a lot of work and lasted years, like the GDR archives in the 90s (Potsdam, etc).

There was no single date, but different for each Bestände. By mid to late 70s all the work was mostly done.

Sean.
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Re: When did BAMA drop the 'old signature'

Post by Sean. » 05 Feb 2020 21:48

Hi,
Not sure if this information is of any interest: In Manfred Kehrig's magisterial Stalingrad: Analyse und Dokumentation einer Schlacht (1974 edition) a combination of NARA's and BA-MA's signatures are used. He even provides both signatures (using "=") for some files. I believe Manfred Kehrig was head of the BA-MA at the time.

Mori
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Re: When did BAMA drop the 'old signature'

Post by Mori » 05 Feb 2020 21:57

Boby wrote:
04 Feb 2020 12:02
If you look at Google books for "BA-MA, RH/RW/RL/RM" the older results are from the late 60s, i.e, they started reclassifying files when NARA sent them back to Germany. Of course this took a lot of work and lasted years, like the GDR archives in the 90s (Potsdam, etc).

There was no single date, but different for each Bestände. By mid to late 70s all the work was mostly done.
Thanks, good piece.

I have seen books from the 1980's only using the "old signature". That's also what Glantz does - just took a look at his Barborassa Derailed - and I can well imagine that's because it's the way he got used to archives when he first explored them in the 1980s.

Boby
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Re: When did BAMA drop the 'old signature'

Post by Boby » 06 Feb 2020 00:16

Remember also that the cover files were stamped with the new signatures in a white rectangle along the old ones, see for example:
https://www.bundesarchiv.de/DE/Content/ ... aende.html

Mori
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Re: When did BAMA drop the 'old signature'

Post by Mori » 06 Feb 2020 08:20

Boby wrote:
06 Feb 2020 00:16
Remember also that the cover files were stamped with the new signatures in a white rectangle along the old ones, see for example:
https://www.bundesarchiv.de/DE/Content/ ... aende.html
Definitively. But that's not the way researchers call them, and not the way catalogs are sorted. But why would an author use one system to access files at BAMA/NARA and another to cite them in footnotes?

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