The sudden collapse of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany or the GDR) and the resulting reunification of Germany-what the Germans call die Wende (the turning)-changed many German institutions forever. The German economy, for example, experienced a downturn, the result of which was double-digit unemployment for the first time since the Weimar Republic. Governmental institutions, most notably in education, experienced a dramatic metamorphosis in the neue Länder (new states). Among the most important but largely unnoticed changes taking place, however, are those in the federal archives system. These modifications have had a significant effect on scholars.