|Karl von Vogelsang-Institut|
Karl von Vogelsang-Institut
Institute for Research of the History of Christian-Democracy in Austria
The Institute understands itself as a historical institution within the context of the Austrian People's Party. The Institute is located in Vienna and holds the historical documents of the Austrian People's Party from its founding in 1945 to the beginning of the year 2000. Among these are protocols of party committees, correspondence from party organizations and leading representatives, reports on election campaigns, party meetings, and so on.
This classic party documentation is only one aspect of our work. We see ourselves as a scientific institution focusing on the historical analysis of recent Austrian history with special emphasis on the 20th Century. The scientific meetings and symposia conducted by the Institute, its research projects and publication activities as well as its archive and library are devoted to this topic. Especially European developments since 1989 have shown dramatically how much the nations at the center of Europe are trapped in historical conditions that are part of their past. The Vogelsang Institute sees it as important to establish scientific contact with other social sciences and to promote dialogue between contemporary history and politics.
Our offerings are addressed to all historically interested people, especially to historians and scientists as well as to students, who deal with the development of Christian Democracy in Europe. The research produced and seminar projects offered by the Vogelsang Institute are carried out according to strict scientific criteria and are under the guidance of the Historians’ Working Group of the Institute in which historians, archivists, and university teachers from all over Austria are represented. The eyewitness interviews documentation - a series of events with celebrity panelists from the period of the Austrian Second Republic or other critical historical, phases – as well as other scientific research results are summarized in a yearbook published by the Karl von Vogelsang Institute and presented to a wider scientific community.
The "Karl von Vogelsang State Prize" is also understood as a contribution of the Institute to promoting scientific achievement. The Vogelsang State Prize is awarded every two years by the Federal Minister for Science and Industry. This award for especially outstanding achievements in the field of the history of social science is endowed with 7,500 Euro. In addition, the jury awards a prize promoting young scientists who have accomplished remarkable work. This prize is 2,000 Euro.
The Library and Archives are the core of the documentation facilities of the Institute. Overall, there are currently 140, 000 unique titles in our library. Through continuous purchasing and permanent updating with new publications from subject areas relevant to the library such as Austrian contemporary history, party history, economic and social history, political science and political education, the library is constantly being expanded.
Our archive is one of the youngest and most modern archives in Austria and has the task of collecting historical evidence using scientific methods to preserve and make this material accessible to the interested public.
It is in this role that the Vogelsang Institute Archive has been working since its inception in 1980. It is the central archive of Christian, bourgeois party politics in Austria.
The Vogelsang Institute collects and systematically archives the records of the Austrian People's Party, its leading representatives, committees and organizations as well as their precursors, and those organizations that have stood or that stand in a close political relationship. Another task of the archive is to document records from groupings of European Christian-Democratic parties.
Subjects Represented in Our Archival Materials:
The Vogelsang Institute places special emphasis on the Records Group "Personal Papers". These records are acquired partially on the initiative of the Institute and sometimes the private papers are offered to us. Naturally, the national 30-year archival protection period after the death of the donor applies here. At the request of the donor, this period may be either shortened or extended.
Special Areas (Excerpt)
Ideology and Programme Discussions
Materials related to the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) at the Federal Level, the Austrian People’s Party Parliamentary Group, and ÖVP-state parties
Presentation and Description of Austrian People’s Party Election Campaigns and Events
Meeting Documents from the Austrian People’s Party Federal and State Party Conventions
Party Archives of the Christian-Social Party of Austria, 1889-1934
Film Materials from the years 1949 to 2010, which are in the possession of the Vogelsang Institute, can also be seen as important contemporary primary historical sources. Our cooperation with the Austrian Film Archive has proven itself in the best way. The Film Archive Austria stores Austria’s audiovisual cultural heritage. We find data storage facilities at the Austrian Film Archives that make it possible to store and diagnose historical films and sound recordings like nitro materials and magnetophone tapes under the most modern archival conditions. The general protective period of thirty years also applies to films and recordings.
Posters and Photographs are of particular importance in the overall inventory of the archive of the Karl von Vogelsang Institute. The extensive poster collection of the Institute - more than 6,000 posters - is one of the largest collections of political posters in Austria. We hold posters from the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy, the interwar period, and mainly, posters from the period after 1945.
What applies to other primary sources also applies to posters: In addition to People’s Party election campaign and informational posters, we also collect posters from political competitors as well as posters without direct party-political connections such as cultural, theater or sports posters. Last but not least, by doing this, we make it clear that we do not define ourselves solely as a party archive but as an Austrian cultural memory archive. Consequently, it is very important for us to cooperate in the field of posters and photos with the Austrian National Library, on whose expertise and cooperation we havie relied for years.
All newly catalogued posters are recorded as slides and then scanned. Thus, a user-friendly system is ensured. The same is true for the photo documentation of the Institute, comprised of more than 150,000 photographs. This includes portraits but also photos of contemporary historical occurences as well as events.
Who is using our archive? In absolute numbers, it is interesting to note that just behind party members and functionaries it is primarily public users including students, professors, journalists, and private researchers as well as exhibition designers that use our documentation facilities. For our the current archival regulations, we have followed the guidelines of the Austrian State Archives. Our entire archival database currently includes 64,000 boxes with nearly 530,000 individual fascicles. For all ease of use, it is still important for us that detailed queries only be done on site.
Of course, Names, Topics, Accessibility, and the Extent of our inventory can be queried externally at any time, but detailed queries are only possible on site in line with our scientific philosophy. Consequently our archival database is not accessible via the internet. That this situation in no way affects scientific research can be illustrated by the following statistics: In 2013, twenty-three Bachelor's and twelve Master’s theses were either completed or in progress with materials from our archive.
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Helmut Wohnout, director
Dr. Johannes Schönner, deputy director, archive/library