Since its inception, the Kassel "documenta” has been the largest and also the most esteemed exhibition of contemporary art in the world.
The very extensive volume of material that is regularly generated on the occasion of this exhibition (which now is held every five years) prompted Arnold Bode, the documenta’s founder, to create an archive in 1961 expressly for the documenta exhibition. The heart of the Archive’s collection comes from the files and materials of the documenta organization.
Additionally, the Archive houses one of Germany ’s most significant specialty libraries for art of the 20 th and 21 st centuries. A continually expanding video and image archive is also part of the collection as are the independently organized bequests of Arnold Bode and Harry Kramer.
The documenta Archive thus provides visitors with a modern research facility containing a broad spectrum of material. With the expert assistance of the Archive’s highly experienced staff, scholars and lay visitors can research and educate themselves in a quiet and comfortable setting using original historical source material as well as the latest journals and publications.
Research library for art of the 20th and 21th centuries
With its collection of books, exhibition catalogues, art magazines and other writings, the documenta Archive possesses one of the most extensive speciality libraries for modern art in Germany . In addition to the large alphabetically ordered area with literature on specific artists, library visitors may also make use of special departments dealing with various artistic genres, motifs, styles, institutions, collections and aesthetic theories of modern art. In acquiring new material, particular emphasis is placed on exhibition catalogues and other "grey literature” which is subsequently difficult to obtain, being unavailable from ordinary book-selling outlets.
Contact: Petra Hinck
Location: Untere Karlsstr. 4
Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10.00am - 2.00pm, Thursday from 10.00am - 5.00pm