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Austrian Ministries Files

Modification (color/removal of text) by Sarah Cohen-Smith of Todros Geller's From Land to Land, 1926, wood engraving.

For information on ordering scans of Austrian Ministries records held at AGAD, please click here.

REV Chula Katz Complaint 1

Gesher Galicia has indexed selected files of ministry records kept by the Austrian government in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While not specifically focused on the Jewish population, several of these files contain detailed information on people, many of whom were Jewish. This is particularly the case with records dealing with innkeepers, lawyers and certain other occupations. These Austrian Ministries files are held at AGAD in Warsaw. It is not really clear why these records ended up in Warsaw, rather than in Vienna or even Lwów (which is the source of many of the records).

REV Chula Katz Complaint 2

These “Austrian Ministries Registers” include professional registries, contracts, licenses, business issues and disputes involving Galitzianers throughout the province. There are also documents covering metrical record issues and immigration. Of special interest are a set of files involving the “legitimization” of people born “out of wedlock” – which applies to Galician Jews who were children of a couple who only were married in a religious, as opposed to a civil one. There are also files dealing with the granting of foreign passports, adoptions, annulments and divorces.

The following is a list of all the fonds at AGAD containing Austrian Ministry records:

Fond 304 Ministry of Religion and Education, 1848-1918

Fond 305 Ministry of Justice, 1851-1920

Fond 306 Ministry of Finance, 1888-1918

Fond 307 Ministry of Interior, 1848-1918

Fond 308 Ministry of Trade and Industry, 1878-1918

Fond 309 Ministry of Agriculture, 1888-1918

Fond 310 Ministry of Railways, 1874-1918, 1925

Fond 311 Ministry of Public Works, 1897-1918

Click here for an inventory of all the Austrian Ministries files, for which Gesher Galicia has indexed the extracted records with Jewish names.

Ordering scans

Gesher Galicia members (only) can place orders for scans of records from the Austrian Ministries files, if the records in question have already been indexed by Gesher Galicia and appear on the All Galicia Database.

At the bottom of a search result on the All Galicia Database there is a note giving the fond number, the file number and the page number within the particular file. To take an example, in this case, for a person named Jakob Romaszkan, from Horodenka, for the year 1904, the note in the search result is:

To order scans of this record (which contains three pages, nos. 40-42), you should send your request to: <info@geshergalicia.org>

with the subject line reading something like:

“Order of Austrian Ministries records”.

You should also quote:

  • the fond number (in this case 307),
  • the file number (in this case 158), and
  • the page number or numbers (in this case 40-42).

In addition, it would be helpful to mention the name of the main person in the record—in this case “Jakob Romaszkan”.

After receiving your request, Gesher Galicia will place the order with AGAD. When the records are scanned, we will let you know, with the amount to be paid. Scanning records at AGAD usually takes around a month.

The cost for scanning is 3 złoty per page scanned (about 0.80 USD, 0.70 EUR, or 0.60 GBP, per page). Many of the Austrian Ministries records have several pages—as in the example quoted above. Gesher Galicia also adds a charge for the service, of 8 USD for up to 10 pages, and a further 5 USD for every further set of 10 pages (or part thereof).

Payment to Gesher Galicia—after you have been informed of the charge and that the scans are ready—can be made by credit card or PayPal. Gesher Galicia members in the United States can also send a check payable on a US bank. On receipt of the payment, you will be sent the digital files.


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