The Leopoldina archive contains enrolment books, as well as numerous original curricula vitae of physicians and natural scientists of the past more than 350 years and beyond. Portraits of members have been collected since the middle of the 19th century. These materials form the basic resource of the archive and provide information on many biographical issues as source material on the history of natural sciences and medicine.
A great treasure is the original Imperial document conferring privileges bestowed upon the Academy by Emperor Leopold I, together with the grand Imperial seal. In addition, the archive keeps paintings, medals and a variety of documents relating to the Academy’s history and its academic activities as well as unfinished works of Leopoldina members and other scientists. Much of this material is yet to be evaluated in terms of its relevance for the history of science. In parallel to the study of these documents, biographical and subject catalogues on the history of science topics are maintained and contain a collection of 20,500 offprints. The archive also receives and responds to inquiries from all over the world. In the reading room, which contains a small exhibition covering the history of the Academy, all those interested in the history of science can study documents.
The activities of the Archive are not exhausted with the extension and maintaining of the stocks. For the general increase in the interest taken in history of science issues is also requiring intensive research to respond to inquiries from all over the world. In the reading room, which contains a small exhibition covering the history of the Academy, all those interested in the history of science can study documents independently and have access to computers as well.
The Archive of the founding city of Schweinfurt also keeps important material documenting the early history of the Academy. In addition to the official documents of the city physicians, it is the personal unfinished works of Johann Laurentius Bausch that above all ought to be mentioned. Apart from valuable biographical testimonials (PhD certificate, testament), they contain the chronicles of the city he himself wrote in several volumes – a top-rank contemporary history source – as well as his library, the foundation of which was laid by his father, Leonhard Bausch (1574-1636). With its 1,830 volumes, this library, which was extended by his heirs belonging to the physician family of the Schmidt´s, can be regarded as an example par excellence of a library of scholars of German renaissance humanism in early modern times.