The Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv (Bavarian Main State Archive) was formed in 1921 by merging three key archives which had been founded in Munich in 1799 - namely the Allgemeines Reichsarchiv (General Imperial Archive), the Geheimes Staatsarchiv (Secret State Archive), and the Secret Family Archive (Geheimes Hausarchiv) - and the former Kreisarchiv (District Archive of Munich), today’s Staatsarchiv München (Munich State Archive). After the end of WWII the records of the Kriegsarchiv (War Archive) maintaining the heritage of the Bavarian army were affiliated to the Bayerische Hauptstaatsarchiv.
The administrative decree on the structure of State Archives in Bavaria issued on 28 May 1990 (GVBl, p. 175) states that the Bayerische Hauptstaatsarchiv is responsible for "maintaining the records of state authorities concerned with state wide affairs." The Bayerische Hauptstaatsarchiv being the centralized archive for the Duchy, Electorate, Kingdom, and Free State of Bavaria, it is specifically responsible for maintaining:
According to the 1990 structure decree, the Bayerische Hauptstaatsarchiv is furthermore responsible for important technical issues. At present these comprise the practical execution of a comprehensive repography including the creation of backup copies on microfilm for record protection and preservation as well as record conservation and restoration.
The Bayerische Hauptstaatsarchiv is subordinate to the Generaldirektion der Staatlichen Archive Bayerns (Directorate General of the Bavarian State Archives).