About archive / library

Nicole Six & Paul Petritsch. Atlas. 2010

The archive and the library collect publications on contemporary art in book form, periodicals, grey literature and ephemera of the most varied kinds – that is, secondary materials which are generated in the course of cultural activities and provide various background information. These physical objects serve as source materials for most of the contents of the Art and Research Database – Angewandte/basis wien. It is on the basis of these materials that we constantly update information on persons, exhibitions and institutions.


The materials consist largely of invitation cards of different formats, art gallery information, programmes, posters, videos, press releases, and unpublished material such as portfolios, project descriptions and autographs. The documents are sent to us or brought to us personally. Also included in the analogue holdings are older newspaper articles on cultural-political subjects and exhibition reviews (since 2001 most of the articles have been clipped online, stored on the server and made available in the database).

All objects are collected in accordance with the principles of scholarly archiving and with the aid of international methods of standardisation, recorded, made available and preserved so as to be kept accessible for future research. A large part of the archive material is digitalised upon induction so as to make it available online as visual material.

The reference library of basis wien has constantly growing holdings of exhibition catalogues, monographs and theoretical works on contemporary art and a selection of Austrian and international art magazines. The publications are processed ongoing for the basis wien database so that online research is also possible.

The archive and library are supervised by longstanding staff members, who also make their expertise available for consultation and research.

In the event of a presentation or publication on the basis of research carried out at basis wien, users are requested to cite basis wien as the source.