Collections of the Municipal and Provincial Archives of Vienna


The historical designation of the Hauptarchiv applied at first to all holdings in the form of collections. They consisted mostly of single items originating from registries which had been lost. Today, this notion is still used only for the oldest collection group. The series of Hauptarchiv (charters and privileges) begins with a privilege issued in 1208 - the oldest item of the holdings in the Archives - and ranges to the 20th century. The major part (until 1526) has been published in Quellen zur Geschichte der Stadt Wien.
The section defined as Hauptarchiv - Akten und Verträge comprises a number of single files going as far back as the 14th century. From 1845 on, its series contains only contracts concluded by the City of Vienna (predominantly affairs concerning real estates). There is furthermore, a special series of single items which cannot be assigned explicitly to any group of the holdings. This is defined as Hauptarchiv - Akten und Verträge Serie B.

Cartographic collection

The Cartographic Collection comprises about 50,000 maps and plans, with the oldest ones dating from the 16th century.

Photographic collection

The most precious items of the Photo Collection are more than 24,000 glass-plate negatives. Especially remarkable among them are the Gerlach Collection, photographic documentations of the World War II and of the post-war period (among others by Reiffenstein and Schöner) as well as photo collections of various sizes (Horowitz, Hula and others).


The oldest items of the Collection of Manuscripts date from the 14th century.


The Archives at present also keeps about 100 bequests. These are mostly the legacies by politicians (among others by Cajetan Felder, Hugo Breitner, Karl Seitz, Theodor Körner), by historians and experts in local history and geography (among others by Karl Weiß, Karl Uhlirz and Gustav Gugitz, but also by architects (among others by Carl Hasenauer, Rudolf Perco, Victor Gruen) and by individual Viennese families.

Biographical-Genealogical Collection

A great number of collections of genealogical material (for example family trees and collections of documents concerning individual families) have been united in the Biographical-Genealogical Collection.


The most important component of the Collection of Autographs is the one compiled by Walther and Maria Jary. It comprises about 2,000 autographs given by VIPs from politics and culture.

Collection of Seals

The collection of Seals and Seal Stamps has above all typars and seals used in the field of municipal administration as well as those of the - now incorporated into Vienna - formerly independent suburbs and municipalities in the environs.

Audio-visual collection

In the Audio-visual Collection, sound carries and videotapes are kept, all of them of documentary character.

Biographical Collection and Documentation

The extensive Biographical Collection and Documentation consists mainly of literature and sources references regarding distinguished Viennese personalities of all the epochs. This collection is being complemented continuously.

Topographical Collection and Documentation

The group defined as the Topographical Collection and Documentation is arranged according to addresses and consists of references to literature and to sources. It, too, is being complemented constantly, above all by present-day documents. In individual folders there are concordances of early assignations of numbers with today's addresses and references to pertinent documents kept in the Archives.

Historical Commission

Founded in 1978 by the then Mayor Leopold Gratz, the Historical Commission has the task to collect documents of everyday life and memory accounts. It is the purpose of this project to enlarge the picture of what is happening in history beyond the official sources. Similar actions had been taken already in 1955 and in 1975.

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Municipal and provincial archives of Vienna (Municipal Department 8)
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