The Secret State Archives Prussian Cultural Heritage traces back to the chancellery of the margrave of Brandenburg according to a charter issued in Stendal 1282. In 1803, the institution obtained the honorary title Secret State Archives. Because of bomb attacks, documents were partially evacuated during the Second World War. After 1945, these documents were kept in Merseburg as a part of the GDR’s Central Archives. The documents that remained in Berlin continued to be available in Dahlem after 1945. In 1963, the Secret State Archives was incorporated into the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz).
After German Reunification, the divided archives were joined in their original seat in Berlin-Dahlem.