The archives at LUI are both a part of the Institute (the Archives of Everyday Culture) as a teaching collection) and an object of research (on archival and collections theory, and in research on the materials collected). The archives include items collected from the time of the founding of the Institute in 1934 until the present day. Within the archives are the Language and Dialect Archives, or “Arno Ruoff Archives,” in addition to material on other topics included in the archival canon of traditional “Volkskunde” or Folklore Studies, along with objects pertaining to mass culture and everyday life in the 20th and 21st centuries. The collections serve as bodies of reference in the field of academic history and for research on the construction of knowledge, for practical training in museology, and for research on the history of the discipline. In addition, the archives are the subject of research projects and papers that examine the archives as a place where a specific form of knowledge is created.
The holdings of the archives were decimated in a fire in March, 2017. Work on an up-to-date inventory is underway.