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Rules and Regulations

Accessing the Archive’s Holdings

  1. Access to the Archive’s holdings is governed by these rules and regulations.
  2. Visits to the Archive are by prior written or oral appointment only.
  3. The Museum Archive is open by appointment all year round.

Available/Accessible Holdings

  1. Unless otherwise specified, all papers and documents in the Museum Archive are blocked for thirty years acc. to the Bundesarchivgesetz § 8 Abs. 1. They remain blocked for thirty years until the end of the calendar year in which someone worked on the file for the last time.
    • (1) Personnel files and files relating to individuals are blocked for ten years after the person’s/persons’ death.
    • (2) If their date of death is unknown, the file is blocked for 110 years after their date of birth.

  2. A reduction to twenty years is only possible in connection with scholarly research by someone of relevant and verifiable technical/specialized knowledge. They must submit a request in writing to the head of the Archive, who can permit this if

    • (1) access is required in connection with a specified research project, and if the legitimate interests of the person/s concerned are not affected, or
    • (2) public interest in this research outweighs the legitimate interests of the person/s concerned.

  3. Documents and papers held by the Archive that contain personal data can only be accessed before the end of the protection period specified in art. 5 of the Rules and Regulations if the person/persons concerned has/have provided an explicit written authorization, or, if that person is deceased, by their direct heirs.
  4. Archival holdings of a private provenance (bequests, gifts, bestowals, dedications) can be accessed according to the alienation agreement. If the latter does not contain any regulations regarding access/use, these holdings can be accessed prior to the end of the thirty-year protection period only with the agreement of the donor or their direct heir(s). Should the holdings contain personal data, art. 5 of the Rules and Regulations also applies.

Access to Archival Holdings

  1. Users are obliged at all times to follow the Rules and Regulations and the instructions issued by members of the Archive’s staff. Violations of these regulations will result in the cancellation of the user’s access permit.
    • (1) Users are required to submit separate and complete users’ forms (Benutzer*innennblatt) for every calendar year and every research subject, and to personally sign the attached legally-binding declaration.
    • (2) Users are required to present an official photo ID.
    • (3) Users will be issued a copy of the Rules and Regulations on demand.

  2. Access is limited or refused if

    • (1) it could endanger the holdings in any way;
    • (2) it will result in an unreasonable administrative burden;
    • (3) the stated objective can be achieved in some other way, esp. using publications or reproductions.

  3. Requests for access to the Archive’s holdings may be submitted in writing, e.g. by email.
  4. The requested holdings will be made available at the appointed date.
  5. Users must inform the Archive of the completion of their work and of any interruption longer than four weeks.
  6. Users are required, unprompted, to present the Archive with a free copy of all publications containing all or parts of the results of their research, such as books, journals, magazines, newspapers, etc. This also applies to unpublished PhD theses, diploma theses, and seminar/project papers.

Order and Security

  1. The Archive’s holdings can only be accessed and used in the Archive’s reading room (Benutzer*innenraum).
  2. Bags, laptop covers, umbrellas, coats, etc. must be deposited before entering the reading room.
  3. Pets are not permitted.
  4. All archival documents, papers and books must be handled with care and must not be damaged. Users are not permitted to comment on, mark, or underline them, and they may not be used as a desk blotter. Users must ensure that their order/arrangement is not altered in any way and that they are not mixed up with other holdings.
  5. Users may only use pencils and notebooks/laptops, no other work tools are permitted in the reading room. When handling especially fragile documents and papers, users must wear the cotton gloves provided by the Archive.
  6. We enforce a no-smoking policy. The consumption of food and drink is prohibited.


  1. Copying/scanning of archival holdings may only be done by members of staff and requires their explicit permission. Requests for copies/scans may be refused for conservation reasons. Copies/scans may not be passed on to third parties.
  2. Digital photos of archival holdings require the Archive’s explicit permission and are only permitted in selected cases.
  3. All reproduction rights of archival holdings are issued by the Reproduction Dept. of the KHM-Museumsverband.


  1. The Archive’s holdings may only be lent to the following institutions:

    • (1) the collections and departments of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna in connection with their official duties, and a loaner’s ticket must be issued;
    • (2) public institutions for an exhibition, according to the following conditions:

      • (a) the Archive’s holdings are only lent if this does not impinge on legal protection periods and if their conservation condition allows it;
      • (b) it is solely the Archive’s decision whether to lend originals or reproductions for an exhibition;
      • (c) lenders are required to sign a loan agreement with the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna.

[pdf] Rules and Regulations (50 KB)

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