The Collection Department consists of the archive, the library, and the Image Department of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.
The archive is divided into two collections: one on the historical legacy of the Bauhaus and the other on the recent history and work of the Foundation itself.
With over 50,000 objects, the historical collection is the second largest worldwide, after the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin. Its focus is on the Dessau period of the Bauhaus from 1925 to 1932, its roots, influences, and worldwide reception up to and including the present day. The collection was started in 1976, when the German Democratic Republic’s Wissenschaftlich-Kulturelles Zentrum (Scientific-Cultural Centre, WKZ) was established in the newly refurbished Bauhaus Building.
This is where the Foundation’s archive comes in. The WKZ was founded with the objective of pursuing new, forward-looking avenues in planning, architecture, and design. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the course was set for today’s Bauhaus Dessau Foundation with its commitment to update and provide education on the Bauhaus heritage.
Work on the Foundation archive is ongoing; collecting works, objects, documents, and contemporary witness reports on a continual basis. The archival records not only reflect the institution’s own history, they are also unique testimonies to the changes in society and design before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall and up to the present day. After the centenary of the Bauhaus in Dessau in 2025/26, an international research project on this highly topical subject is being initiated.
The archive of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation can be used for research purposes, provided that prior application is made and permission granted in writing. Please apply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The library is a publicly accessible research and information library on the history and reception of the Bauhaus and the scholarly, scientific, and artistic work of the Foundation. Additions are made to the collection continually and systematically. It is currently one of the largest collections in Europe on the historic Bauhaus. Another special feature of the library is its connection with the library of the Anhalt Unversity of Applied Sciences, which is in the same building. Both libraries are close to the Bauhaus Building, under one roof and freely available for use by researchers and the public.
The online library catalogues are available here.
Other services and opening times can be found here.
The Image Department is responsible for all of the Foundation’s image material – both historical and current – that is available online in digital form. Not all image rights are held by the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. These rights are usually held by the author’s legal successors, heirs, or rights administrators for a period of 70 years following the author’s death. If several objects by Bauhaus authors are visible in one photo, all licence holders – if known – must be asked for permission to use the image. Up until now, it has not been possible to identify all holders of rights of use to the individual documents and images. Research continues in this area.
To contact the Image Department, click here.