Yesterday, the municipal archive of Cologne collapsed. And I'm even more crushed by the news now than last evening, because it really had time to sink in. The municipal archive of Cologne was the biggest municipal archive north of the Alps. It contained 65.000 medieval diploms, starting with the year 922. Part of its collection were the archive of the university of Cologne and the archive of hanseatic contor in Antwerpes (and therefore also the older one in Bruges). Since I discovered during my researches how much new insights the original sources for hanseatic history still have to offer, I'm immensely saddened by this loss, because it means that the old editions for hanseatic history from the late 19th and early 20th century will be the only base of research for this matter and for the next generation of historians. The fact that I missed out on seeing one document that I still hoped to see is only a small factor face to the larger consequences for hanseatic history.
ETA: Maybe, I should add to not sound too callous, that, luckily, the people working in the building escaped safely, and that I hope that it's possible to find the missing persons from the neighbour buildings. Saving people has priority over anything else.
- Eulology for an archive