The Archive of the Kunsthistorisches Museum is an historical specialist archive. It consists of a central archive for the general needs of the Museum and of permanent loans in the collections and departments of the institution. The Archive offers restricted public access. Because of the limited number of work stations, advance oral or written permission is required.
The current holdings of the Archive are comprised of around 25,000 archive units in 23 archive groups with the following focal points: files on the collections and files of the respective department heads (c. 1880 to the present); personal effects; bequests; manuscripts; obituary notices; files of the general administration (1889 to the present); accountancy; official regulations (as from 1889), historical maps and plans (as from 1875); collection of historical photos on the history of the institution (as from c. 1880), files on the subjects of rescue, confiscation, return and restitution (1938 ff.); posters (as from c. 1955); newspaper archive (as from 1866), collection of audio-visual media on the history of the institution, documentation on exhibitions.
For the individual archive groups there are computer-assisted archival aids, which facilitate access to the originals. The infrastructure needed to use the Archive is provided to the greatest extent possible. The holdings of the Archive are regularly augmented through new purchases and gifts.