The Austrian State Archives are among the most important archives worldwide. They are a subordinate agency of the Federal Chancellery and serve two purposes: on the one hand, they are central archives for the federal services of the Republic of Austria (supreme bodies and ministries), which have a legal responsibility to transfer their acts and documents to the State Archives. On the other hand, their historical departments are the keepers of the archival heritage of the Hapsburg Empire (1526–1918) and its central authorities and of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (until 1806). The oldest item in the collection of acts and charters dates back to 816. Due to the supra-regional nature of its holdings, the Austrian State Archives are a contact point for researchers from all over the world.