Open collections

Image Credits


History Museum


Bettina Habsburg-Lothringen und Maria Froihofer

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Exhibition design

INNOCAD architecture

About Open collections

Schaudepots are showcases in the heart of a museum. Their sole task is to present collections. In our Schaudepot you have the opportunity to explore the abundance of the Cultural History Collection and the Multimedia Collections as a dense object collage. The design of the Graz architectural office INNOCAD shows the objects in a raw, industrial-like atmosphere.

An overview of the Schaudepot

Cultural Historical Collection
Multimedia Collections

The first part of the Schaudepot shows about 2,000 physical objects from the Cultural Historical Collection. The Collection was created in the late 19th century with the aim of documenting the ‘cultural epochs of the state from the earliest medieval period to the present day’. Today the collection encompasses some 35,000 musical instruments, furniture, scientific and technical devices, fashion for women, men and children, monstrances and rosaries, decorations and medals, sample books and rugs, tiles and busts, locks, candlesticks and burial crosses, drinking vessels and vases. The wealth of the collection is shown in the form of a storage display facility, as a dense collage of thousands of objects covering some 450 square metres.

The second part of the Schaudepot shows objects from the Multimedia Collections. Starting with the collection items, we relate the history of the Multimedia Collections (MMC), exploring their changing functions and goals, and giving an idea of the struggle with the material impermanence of the fragile collection objects. Which photographs, films and audio documents were collected and archived? How did the changing missions, interests and activities, collecting passion and research spirit of those responsible shape the history and special character of these collections? What significance do the collections have in the context of a Styrian/Austrian history, what value in the context of the history of media at both the regional and national levels? The exhibition presents the genesis of this regional ‘media-library’ that gathers together some 2.5 million objects.