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Archiv für Geographie
Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde
Schongauerstr. 9
04328 Leipzig

Tel.: +49 341 600 55-126/-151
Fax: +49 341 600 55-198

Opening hours

Tuesday to Friday 9 am to 4 pm

Additional opening hours are possible after consultation. Please contact us for details: Tel. +49 341 600 55-127

Scientific collections on the history of geography

Please note

The archival records can be researched on site by prior arrangement and appointment. Please follow our hygiene rules for the reading room.

Contact for requests and visits: archiv(at)

The Archive for Geography at the IfL is the largest of its kind in the German-speaking countries. It was founded in 1902 by Alphons Stübel, a private scholar from Leipzig. Today the letters, diaries, manuscripts and route maps of about 200 geographers and explorers are preserved here. Some of the most prominent papers are those of

  • Alphons Stübel (1835–1904) with autographs, drawings and sketches of his South America travels
  • Erich von Drygalski (1865–1949) with the documentation of the first German South Polar Expedition (1901–1903)
  • Hans Meyer (1858–1929), colonial geographer and the first man to climb Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Friedrich Ratzel (1844–1904), founder of Human Geography and Political Geography

The Archive for Geography has also established itself as a central repository of records from national and international professional associations of geography. Particularly noteworthy is the archive of the International Geographical Union (IGU), taken over from Rome in 2013. The picture collections include historical photographs, postcards and works by the landscape painter Ernst Vollbehr.

The archive is member of the Archives Working Group of the Leibniz Association and partner of Kalliope Union Catalog as well as of Deutsche Digitale Biliothek.

Service and information for users

All collections of papers in the archive are inventorised, and many can be searched online. If you like to visite us in Leipzig-Paunsdorf in order to use the Archive for Geography personally, please inform us by e-mail about topic and launching date of your investigation.