a r
c h
i v
D a t
a b a
s e s


Image and Press Database

Our database provides access to the photographic image materials of documenta exhibitions 1 to 12 (1955-2007) and to national and international press clippings of documenta exhibitions 1 to 5 (1955-1972).

The from 2006 to 2015 created database "Mediencluster" was online until December 2017. Due to technical requirements our data were migrated into a new system which is online since January 2018 and currently a beta test version. To gain access we would like to ask you to send us an e-mail to: mediensammlung[at]documenta.de.

In return we will provide you with a guest account to our new database and a short guide on how to use it as quickly as possible. Unfortunately we are unable to provide these details outside our office hours. We apologize for any inconvenience that may cause for the current limited access to our resources.

The Library Catalog

The Library Catalog (OPAC = Online Public Access Catalog) provides access to the art library’s holdings of books, exhibition catalogs, magazines, and ephemera of 20th and 21st century art; to the documenta exhibitions and its participating artists. Catalogued items include new additions of the past 20 years as well as approximately 25.000 previously uncatalogued items.  

The search mask is available in German and English. There is no distinction between upper and lower case letters. Further tips on search tools can be found directly on the user interface. Search results appear in chronological order (descending) which includes bibliographical information and shelf marks. Hits may be accessed individually and in full, and are linked to relevant or related materials as well as our artists’ database.

The full view provides information to artists who participated in a documenta exhibition and connects to our other databases.

Archival Information System Arcinsys

The information system Arcinsys of the Hesse Federal State Archive provides access to the records of the documenta exhibitions 1 to 3; as well as to the personal papers of Arnold Bode und Harry Kramer. The system allows a detailed research.




In addition the finding aids to documenta exhibitions 1 to 12 are available as PDF files.


Audio- and Video Database mediaartbase.de

The database mediaartbase.de contains a selection of audio and video materials of documenta exhibitions from 1959 to 2002. Starting point are the broadcasts of second documenta exhibition since 1959 by public radio and TV stations; as well as programs about documenta artists, private recordings of individual exhibits; and occasional artistic video productions.

Online access to most audio and video materials is restricted. Due to copyright restrictions, most materials are only available as descriptive files – with the exception of just a few recordings such as those from the lecture series 100 Tage 100 Gäste [100 days, 100 visitors] at documenta 10 (1992). The full contents can be viewed in the reading rooms of the documenta archiv. The database mediartbase.de was generously funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) and the Kulturstiftung der Länder (Cultural Foundation of the Federal States).