The Max Planck Society’s Archives in Berlin-Dahlem were established in 1975 in order to safeguard the files of the Kaiser Wilhelm / Max Planck Societies for the Advancement of Science (mainly files, photographs, audio records, and film) in one central place and to make them accessible to users (currently more than 5,000 meters of shelf space).

The collection focuses on the personal papers of outstanding personalities who conducted research at either the Kaiser Wilhelm Society or the Max Planck Society. These include Nobel laureates Carl Bosch, Walther Bothe, Adolf Butenandt, Paul J. Crutzen, Peter Debye, Gerhard Ertl, Fritz Haber, Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, Georges Köhler, Richard Kuhn, Max von Laue, Feodor Lynen, Ernst Ruska, Bert Sakmann and Otto Warburg, supplemented by collections on Albert Einstein, Fritz Haber and Max Planck, among others.

In addition, the library of the Archives contains scholarly literature on the twentieth-century history of science (40,100 volumes, 150 subscriptions to journals, literature without clearly identifiable authors, 200,000 special editions).