Research and Scholarship at the MAK Library and Works on Paper Collection
In recent years, scholarly examination of the extensive collection of ornamental engravings, designs by the Wiener Werkstätte,
and posters, as well as the legacy of Joseph Binder and the design sketches of the Danhauser Furniture Factory, has been successfully
completed. These areas of the collection are already accessible online and serve to reinforce the interactive dialog between
the collection and users. Over 60,000 images and data entries by the Library and Works on Paper Collection can be accessed by researchers and the broader
public at www.sammlungen.MAK.at. The exceptionally high number of page views and a constantly increasing volume of requests for object loans and reproduction
rights bear witness to the positive reception of these efforts. 2016, the MAK will be putting further important parts of the collection online: drawings from the 15th to 18th centuries,
the legacy of Ernst Deutsch-Dryden, jewelry designs of the 19th and 20th centuries, photographs from the Vienna World’s Fair
of 1873, the legacy of the Herrgesell Furniture Factory, and the ca. 40,000 sheets of paper comprising the museum’s large
collection of commercial graphics and about 40.000 historical photographs of the Exemplary Collection. Numerous research projects,
some of them supported by outside funding, will place the holdings in ever-new contexts, with such projects’ findings then
serving to inform exhibitions and publications. In 2001, the museum’s tradition of issuing regular publications was successfully reinstated: MAK Studies, a series of publications initiated by the library, deals with the MAK Collection in an interdisciplinary fashion and brings
new aspects to light. There are currently 20 separate volumes in the MAK Studies series. 2012 thejournals published by the MAKMittheilungen des k.k. Österreichischen Museums für Kunst und Industrie (1863–1897), Kunst und Kunsthandwerk (1898–1926) and Alte und Moderne Kunst (1956–1985) were scanned and indexed, with their full text being made accessible online. The software to be employed was purpose-developed
in close collaboration with the MAK according to user-friendly criteria; this is its first such use in Austria. In this respect, as well, the Library and Works on Paper Collection underlines the outstanding position of the MAK among museums
working in a scholarly fashion.
The MAK Library and Works on Paper Collection is one of the largest and oldest museum libraries with a focus on applied art.
Alongside classic library functions, the collection is also devoted to artistic aspects of the pictorial in all possible variants
as well as to the initiation of a reappraisal of art production manifested in paper form.
The Works on Paper Room is dedicated entirely to works on paper. Due to the special conservational requirements of paper as
a material, the rich holdings of the MAK Library and Works on Paper Collection are displayed in rotating exhibitions. The
subjects treated here cover the broad discipline of commercial graphic design: posters, drawings, Japanese woodcuts, artists’
statements, artists’ books, and architectural projects testify to the diversity of the program that emerges from the complexity
of this collection.