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 26,000 archive units in 25 archive groups with the following focal points: files of the department heads (as from 1919); files on the collections as from c. 1880); personal effects; bequests of former employees; documentation on exhibitions and visitors; manuscripts and typoscripts; files of the general administration ( as from 1889); 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 confiscation during the nazi era, salvaging during WWII and restitution after 1945; posters; newspaper archive (as from 1866), collection of audio-visual media on the history of the institution; objects and images on the history of the institution. A small selection of the archival holdings can be found in the Online Collection.