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The Messe Frankfurt Historical Archive

Life is lived forwards and understood backwards. Following this conviction of the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard, Messe Frankfurt's extensive Historical Archive assumes an important enlightening function.

Graphic of a recyling cyle

Valuable historical documents, surprising curiosities and almost forgotten treasures are stored on light-flooded 600 square meters on level 3 of exhibition hall 9.

Archivist Peter Kerwien knows almost all the stories about them. The oldest document is not quite as old as the 800-year-old Frankfurt trade fair, but it does date back to 1553 and warns against fraud involving supposedly gold-infused fabrics.


Original pieces of the wooden cycling track recall the traditional 6-day race held in the Festhalle in 1929-33 and 1951-1983.


The annual reports of Messe Frankfurt since 1907, some with handwritten corrections, report among other things on the conference with exhibition of the German Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology, which was held at the fairground as early as 1931.

More than 80,000 photos document the rapid development of the exhibition center and the events in good and in difficult times.

Organizers and exhibitors with a long Messe Frankfurt tradition receive active support from Peter Kerwien when researching data or searching for photographic material in the context of company anniversaries. All archived documents and photos are digitally registered and indexed.