dOCUMENTA Archive and Research Library: classifications and organisations

 Hubertus Gassner was director here at the dOCUMENTA Archive and Research Library for several years from 1989. Gassner is now director at the prestigious Kunsthalle in Hamburg.
Gassner, another art historian, is responsible for shaping the library and archive into its current model.

What was really interesting was the history of the development of the Library's unique classification system, through the various hands and minds of the Library's managers.

Classification system of the dOCUMENTA Archive and Research Library

It seems Dewey and LC never got a foothold in the specialised collections of Germany: certainly not the ones I have visited. The Kassel School of Art and the Bauhaus Archiv also have developed their own systems.

The monographs on artists remain in alphabetical arrangement.
A systematic subject division was devised by a director of the collection in the early eighties.

This was born a shelving arrangement with no operational catalogue.
In 1987 a formal catalogue was developed, and a digital library management system implemented in 1990. All acquisitions post 1990 are included in this LMS which exists now as Alephino a Aleph/ExLibis product.

A major retro cataloguing project has just received funding and a big green light, so tens of thousands of older titles will soon be incorporated into the catalogue proper. Very exciting!

Titles like this one. Early and rare catalogues of German and international artists are plentiful here on these shelves in the Kulturhaus. There is a huge amount of material like this in the collection that can  now be properly accessioned. The grant was received from a German scientific fund and will wage a  cataloguing team for 2 years.