Building on our heritage, and innovation builds on tradition. Mercedes-Benz Classic embraces these values in a very special way through its Archives and Collection department.

The archive, one of the largest business archives anywhere in Europe and undoubtedly the most complete in the automotive industry, provides a documentary record of the outstanding history of the company, its products and ideas dating back to the invention of the automobile in 1886. Its contents are testimony to the ability to develop visionary designs, and document a varied economic and social history.

“The archives underpin our unique corporate history with information on all the products that we have built over the past 125 years since Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler invented the automobile”, says Michael Bock, Head of Mercedes-Benz Classic and Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Museum GmbH. “We utilise this virtually inexhaustible source mainly for Mercedes-Benz brand communications.”

Officially the archives’ history began 75 years ago with administrative order no. 1145 from the then Daimler-Benz Aktiengesellschaft. On 9 December 1936, the company’s Board of Management stated in the order that the engineer Max Rauck had been commissioned “to collect and sort through our historical written and pictorial material in order to set up and manage a historical archive”. However, Rauck had already been exploring in-house the wealth of material worth archiving for nearly two years on behalf of the Board of Management.

The archives have constantly grown since administrative order no. 1145 was published, with their structure and focus being continually honed. Throughout this process, Daimler has taken note of the overall media, political and economic background, but above all focused on the company’s development itself.

Key milestones in the archives’ history include the structural merger with the museum collection in 1957, the relocation to the then newly built Mercedes-Benz Museum in 1960, and the historical archive being split in 1973 into the technical archive and corporate archive. Today the Group’s memory comprises the corporate archive, product archive, media archive and archive library as well as the vehicle collection.

Today the archive faces the increasingly important task of collating and preserving sources from various media types. This challenge is also being used productively by rolling out tools that provide users with multimedia access to the archived content. This applies particularly to the multimedia, archive and research system M@RS.

Source: Daimler AG