In memoriam - Eckhart G. Franz

Professor Dr. Eckhart G. Franz

24.12.1931 Marburg/Germany - 16.3.2015 Darmstadt/Germany


It is with great sadness that we report the death of Professor Eckhart G. Franz on 16 March 2015. In the 1980s he was a very active member of ICA and an honorary member of ICA since 1996.


Professor Franz studied history, English literature and American studies in Heidelberg, Portland USA, Freiburg and Cologne and completed his PhD in 1956. He started his archival education at the Marburg State Archives in 1957 and finished it at the Archives School Marburg in 1959. From 1959 till 1971 he worked at the Marburg State Archives and  was Director of the Darmstadt State Archives from 1971-1996. He was president of the Association of German Archivists (VdA) from 1977-1985 and was named as an honorary member of the association in 1996. 

His international activities began in 1967 when he worked for UNESCO and the German Foreign Affairs Office to describe the records of the German colonial administration in German East-Africa, which are currently part of the National Archives of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam.

In 1962 he took part in the Stage technique international des archives (STIA) in Paris and came in contact with colleagues from all over the world including some who worked for ICA in Paris. Later he was a guest-lecturer at the Stage technique. 

He maintained good contacts with members of ICA headquarters and in the late 70s became a councillor to the ICA secretariat. At the same time, his interest in the situation of archives in less developed countries led to membership on the Committee on Archival Development. Some years later, from 1985-88 he was appointed as secretary of this committee and as ICA Secretary for Development. Between 1980 and 1984 Prof. Franz was also the secretary of the Round Table (CITRA) and a member of ICA's Publication Committee. From 1984-88 he was a member of the Section of Professional Archival Associations.


In addition to all these activities and his tasks as Director of the State Archives in Darmstadt, he was a lecturer at Archives School Marburg from 1962, fulfilling this teaching assignment until 1996. His commitment to archival education led in 1988 to his taking leadership of the Committee of Professional Education and Training (CPT). In 1990, when ICA planned to form a section for Archival Education and Training (SAE), Prof. Franz agreed to accept the challenge of transforming the CPT into SAE. He served as the first president of SAE until the end of the term in 1992.

At the XIIIth meeting of the General Assembly in Beijing, China in 1996 honorary membesrhip of ICA was bestowed upon Prof. Franz for his commitment and services, half a year before his 65th birthday.


He died on Monday evening, 16th March 2015, at the age of 83 years.