The year 1482 marks the beginning of the Archives when - after the reunification of Württemberg in the Treaty of Münsingen - Eberhard the Bearded (Eberhard im Bart) introduced an administration reform. By separating the court registry (Registratur) from the chancellery (Kanzlei), a so-called selective Archives was founded. The most important records, files, and registers (e.g. of the territory of the earldom and the Duchy of Württemberg until 1803/06) were then held in the old castle in Stuttgart and were arranged according to different subject matters.
When the Duke of Württemberg became King of Württemberg in 1806 new territories were added to his kingdom. Selected records from these new territories - such as secularised monasteries and free towns of the Holy Roman Empire and other territories which lost their sovereignty - were then stored in the King's Archives, the new Royal House Archives and State Archives. In 1969, however, the competence was divided between the Central State Archives of Stuttgart and the State Archives of Ludwigsburg. From this time onwards the Central State Archives has been responsible for those archives of the new territories of Württemberg that belonged to the governmental district of Southwürttemberg/Hohenzollern.
Besides, the Central State Archives is also responsible for the records of the higher agencies of the Royal Court and the State of the 19th and 20th centuries. In the 19th century the records of the ministerial departments were predominantly kept in the registries. The Ministry of Finance and the Home Office are an exception from this 19th century regulation. Their records were held in the castle of Ludwigsburg. It was in 1921 - after the foundation of the Volksstaat Württemberg - that only the Central State Archives was responsible for the archives of the State.
In the same year the private archives of the Duke were separated from those of the State. In 1945 the former military archives whose military records span the 19th and 20th centuries of Württemberg became part of the Central State Archives. Since 1826 the Royal House and State Archives had been housed in the Neckarstrasse in Stuttgart. The building of the Central State Archives (its official name since 1938) was severely damaged during Word War II. Thanks to timely evacuation, however, the losses of the records could be limited. Yet a substantial part of the registries from the 19th and 20th centuries, which were kept in the ministries, were lost in the war. In 1969 the Central State Archives moved to a new building, which was erected on the site of the old one. In 1990 the audio-visual archives - a new branch of to the Central State Archives - was set up in the Olgastrasse 80.