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The archives

The Albert Schweitzer Central Archives in Gunsbach

After Albert Schweitzer’s death in 1965, his collaborator Ali Silver began, in 1967, to collect and put in order, over a period of twenty years, the spiritual legacy he had left behind.

In addition to letters and manuscripts, there is a wealth of literature by and about Albert Schweitzer. Today, this collection is the largest ever devoted to Albert Schweitzer. Photographs, newspaper articles, scores, medals and diplomas, as well as films and records of his speeches and organ concerts, give an insight into his life, his activities and his thoughts.

The Albert Schweitzer Central Archives are open to all researchers, students, academics and private individuals with a research project of a scientific, literary or other nature.

  • 80 000 Letters
  • 35 000 Photos
  • 20 000 Books
  • 900 Scores
  • 250 Awards
  • 180 Vidéos
  • 120 Vinyls

In collaboration with the Deutsche Archiv Stiftung, we are digitising our collection to make it accessible to everyone. This work will take several years, but you can already consult the documents available here:

For any request concerning the archives, please contact us by e-mail:

Other archive locations

Albert Schweitzer Centre Frankfurt

The Frankfurt Centre holds numerous documents of all kinds (letters, photos, etc.) and a fine library dedicated to Albert Schweitzer. The originality of these archives lies in the chronological classification of the resources… very practical for carrying out research.

Central Library of Zurich

The Zurich Central Library holds 22 files containing Albert Schweitzer’s “Nachlass”. A large part of this “Nachlass” was published by C.H. Beck.

Syracuse University Library

The Albert Schweitzer collection at the Syracuse University Library (USA) contains important original documents, including 123 notebooks written by Schweitzer and 1,400 letters exchanged with his wife Hélène.

Strasbourg National and University Library

A former reader at the Strasbourg University Library, Albert Schweitzer made several donations of books from his personal library. This collection of 2,000 books includes letters.

DEFAP Library

The library of the Service Protestant de Mission holds the original letters that Albert Schweitzer exchanged with the Société des missions évangéliques de Paris.

National Overseas Archives

In these archives you will find documents relating to the former colonies. A wealth of information to put Albert Schweitzer’s work in Gabon into context. Also documents relating to Schweitzer’s dismissal from Gabon in 1914.

Bas-Rhin Departmental Archives

This archive contains documents relating to Albert Schweitzer’s “Alsatian years”. In particular, documents relating to his time at the University of Strasbourg and his vicarage in the parish of Saint-Nicolas in Strasbourg.

Hautes-Pyrénées Departmental Archives

It was at Garaison in the Hautes-Pyrénées that Albert Schweitzer and his wife Hélène Bresslau were interned in a camp during the First World War. The departmental archives hold a complete file on this dark period…

German Literary Archives

The Marbach archives hold around a hundred letters relating to Albert Schweitzer, including some sixty original letters from Schweitzer. Of particular interest is the correspondence with Max Tau and Erwin Ackerknecht.