The online search aid of the Document Collection (DSHI) at the Marburg Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe is the starting point for research in the holdings of the most important archive on the history of the Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia in the German-speaking world.
The holdings of the Document Collection (DSHI) primarily consist of unprinted sources on the history and culture of East Central Europe. Almost ninety percent of the approximately 1,300 linear meters of shelved documents have a Baltic connection and include many unique sources relating to the cultural, social, economic and political history of the Baltic regions of 
deu. Livland, est. Liivimaa, lav. Livonija

Livonia (latv. Livonija, est. Liivimaa) is a historical landscape in the Baltic States. Nowadays it includes parts of southern Estonia and northern Latvia. The landscape was named after the Livons who once lived there.

deu. Estland, est. Eestimaa

Estonia is a historical landscape in northeastern Europe and includes the northern part of the present Estonian state. Until 1918, Estonia was one of the three Baltic Sea governorates of the Russian Empire, along with Livonia and Courland.

deu. Kurland, lav. Kurzeme

Courland is a historical landscape in the west of Latvia. Courland is situated on the Baltic Sea and borders two other Latvian regions - Livonia and Semgalia - and Lithuania to the south. The major cities of Courland include Jelgava, Ventspils and Liepaja.

. The oldest documents date back to the Middle Ages. 
The bulk of the collection consists of family, company and association archives, as well as collections related to local or ecclesiastical administration. Particularly extensive and important are, for example, the archives of the Baltic knighthoods, which are kept as a deposit, or the holdings of the Baltic archive films, which were produced in 1940 in connection with the resettlement of the Baltic Germans in 
deu. Riga

Riga is the capital of Latvia and, with almost 630,000 inhabitants, by far the largest city in the country. It is located in the southwest of the historical landscape of Livonia near the mouth of the river Daugava in the Gulf of Riga. Historically, Riga was an important trading and Hanseatic city with a largely German-speaking population, whose political supremacy changed repeatedly. Until the end of the Middle Ages, it was mainly ecclesiastical rulers (Archbishopric of Riga, Teutonic Order) who claimed the city and the surrounding area for themselves. After a short period of Polish-Lithuanian rule, the city became part of Sweden in 1621. Just a century later, Riga became part of the Russian Empire and here became the capital of the Baltic governorate of Livonia. Only in 1918 Riga became the capital of an independent Latvian state.

Tartu-Jaama, mk. Tartumaa

Tartu is the second-largest city in Estonia with just under 92,000 inhabitants. The city is located in the southeast of the country and is the seat of the county of the same name. The city' s former German name is Dorpat.

deu. Reval

Tallinn (until 1918 Reval) is the capital of Estonia. It is located in the Harju County, right on the Baltic Sea and is home to about 434,000 people.

, and are now, in some cases, unikal themselves, as some of the originals were lost due to the war. In addition, there are numerous personal bequests, mainly from the scientific community. The Document Collection also houses the Herder Institute's own house archive.
The software and technical basis of the online index is the archive information system ACTApro. On the one hand, it can be searched via the tectonics, which allows the inventory structure to be traced – depending on the degree of indexing, down to the file level. In addition, the holdings can be searched using a full text search. Short descriptive texts provide information on the degree of indexing and processing, duration, content or provenance of most sub-collections and collections.