Located at the Dominican Monastery at Ptuj and established in 1955, the Historical Archives Ptuj collect and keep records of the archives of organisations and institutions of local and regional interest. A lecture room for 25 people and a space for occasional exhibitions are available in the main location. In 2008 the resounding exhibition National Consciousness was Awakened in Ptuj in 1908 took place. In Spring 2012 the archives moved to a new location
The huge complex of buildings – a former Dominican monastery with more than 2,000 square metres on the ground floor and as many in the upper floor and in the basement – is now the premises of the Historical Archives of Ptuj (located in the western part of the monastery), the Ptuj – Ormož Regional Museum, and housing. The monastery has a very rich history. It was built from 1230 to 1231 by the Dominicans, who owned the place until the reforms of Emperor Joseph II in 1785. The complex was assigned to various purposes until the 1920s when the museum society gradually moved in. One year before the founding of the present archives in 1955 it already functioned as an independent institution within the museum. In 1966 the archives became a member of the Archival Association of Slovenia (AAS). Today the Historical Archives of Ptuj occupy an area of 887 square metres of storehouses and office premises.
The archives perform expert tasks related to public and private documents and archives. The archives consist of the material issued by state bodies, local self-governing communities, and bearers of public authority and public services. Its remit includes the state administrative units (territorial divisions other than municipalities used in state governance) of Ormož and Ptuj.
The Historical Archives Ptuj house around 2,800 linear metres of archival and documentary material. The archives consist of: documents dating from 1338 to 1867; manuscripts dating from 1440 to 1965; the Museum Society Collection dating from 1605 to 1961; records of the Lords of Ptuj Castle since 1431; records of the Minorite Monastery in Ptuj dating from the 14th century; records of the Municipalities of Ptuj and Ormož and of their predecessors dating from the 14th century to 1945; records of the District Board of Ptuj and the District Courts of Ptuj and Ormož since the 19th century; records of schools since the second half of the 19th century, of savings and loan banks since 1900, and of societies since 1918; records of the district people’s committees and various town, local, and municipal people’s committees, political organisations, and some businesses from the period since 1945.
Published guides include A Guide to Records and Collections, Historical Archives in Ptuj [Vodnik po fondih in zbirkah, Zgodovinski arhiv Ptuj] (1985). The most recent issue of the guide was published in 2009.
Published inventories of records include Town Committee of the Liberation Front of Ptuj 1945–1983 [Mestni odbor Osvobodilne fronte Ptuj 1945–1983] by Nada Jurkovič; The District Coal Mines of Ptuj 1947–1959 [Okrajni premogovniki Ptuj 1947–1959] (1983) by Branko Oblak; Varia 1634–1983 (1984) by Nada Jurkovič; and Loan Co-operatives of the Ormo Area 1906–1948 [Kreditne zadruge ormoškega področja 1906–1948] (1986) by Branko Oblak.
Next to guides and inventories of records, the Historical Archives Ptuj also publishes exhibition catalogues. Articles on archival work are published in the local newspaper in order to encourage potential visitors.
Among the exhibitions organised during the last two decades were Vine and Wine Through Time [Vino in trta skozi čas] (1991) and First among equals! The function of the judge and mayor of the city through the centuries [Prvi med enakimi! Funkcija mestnega sodnika in župana skozi stoletja] (2006).
The 2008 exhibition National Consciousness was Awakened in Ptuj in 1908 revealed the background of the September 1908 events in Ptuj and presented the determination and will of the Slovenian Society of St. Cyril and Method’s members to fight for the rights of Slovene people, detested and oppressed by Germanisers. Events in Ptuj activated the entire nation of Slovenia, which further accentuates their importance.
In 2011 the exhibition on the history of primary schools in Ptuj presented the numerous defunct schools from the 17th century till today.
The recent exhibition was prepared for the Historical Archives in Požarevac (Serbia) on the traditional masks from the Ptuj region (2011). An exhibition on Janez Puh was organised in cooperation with Austrian archives, while research is also conducted regularly in the archives of Graz and Vienna (Austria), and Varaždin (Croatia).
In the late 1990s the Historical Archives Ptuj organised an International Colloquia on the Working Community of Middle European Archival Societies and an International Symposium on Municipal Documents from the 14th and 16th centuries.
The Historical Archives Ptuj organise staff training of civil servants who work with documentary materials. In the process of professional training, participants obtain knowledge in the fields of legislation, the management of documentary materials in physical and digital form, informatics, and archival science.