dOCUMENTA Archive and Research Library

The dOCUMENTA Archive and Research Library was founded in 1961.

It was an idea of Arnold Bode: founder of the dOCUMENTA exhibitions, artist, curator, art historian, furniture designer, architect, local paladin. A true "Tausendsassa": a german expression for a man of a thousand talents.
Bode, in fact, designed the Bauhausian building that houses the Art School Library [Kunsthochschule Kassel] I had visited earlier in the week.

Classic Bode

While Bode conceived the Archive, it was eventually opened by the City of Kassel, running parallel but separate to the dOCUMENTA organisation.
The collection was set up and run by Art Historian Lucy Von Wayer in rooms within the Murhard Library (a central city library now integrated into the Kassel University Library network )
Lucy may have had a hard time at the role. Without any formal library training, and very much NOT Arnold Bode's choice for the role (he had planned his dOCUMENTA co-curator Werner Haftmann take the job), she nonetheless pioneered the collection that survives today.

The collection moved into the current premises in the Kulturhaus (directly behind the Fridericianum) in 1989, which houses a collection of arts organisations including the dOCUMENTA organisation proper.