The Personal Estates Archive contains all kinds of materials, including those contained in other archives of the Deutsche Kinemathek. Moreover, it frequently contains personal papers, letters, private photos as well as some personal objects. Estates are collected under the name of the deceased individual.
In addition to the estates or partial estates of film artists, this archive also contains the personal effects of film scholars and private collectors as well as a number of company archives, including, for instance, documents from the Paul Kohner Agency in Hollywood – one of the most extensive collections of the Personal Estates Archive and the heart of the “Film in Exile” collection.
The Personal Estates Archive has been partially indexed in a database, although many items have so far only been recorded on inventory lists. The archive contains scripts, (unbound) manuscripts and photos. All other materials are in the individual specialized archives and can be found in them by searching under the name of the deceased.
Documents and objects are accessible unless restrictions have been imposed by the estate donor. Selected items from an estate can be borrowed free of charge for exhibitions at public institutions; in all other cases an archive fee will be charged. For scientific or academic purposes, exhibitions or publications, it is possible to obtain a few copies on payment of a fee, that is, unless the condition of an object or existing copyright restrictions make this impossible.