The MAK’s digital collection database has been made available to the public for both private and scientific research purposes. It is possible to access core data and visual information about 230 000 objects from all areas of the MAK Collection: Asia, Design, Contemporary Art, Glass and Ceramics, Furniture and Woodwork, Metal and Wiener Werkstätte Archive, Textiles and Carpets, as well as the MAK Library and Works on Paper Collection. A further 70 000 entries provide additional information on the artists involved and the executing companies.
At the end of 2012, the MAK was commissioned by the Federal Chancellery with the construction of a central Bilddatenbank/Collection and Museum Management System (C/MMS) of the MAK Collection. The overriding aim was to digitally record and standardize the core data as well as to construct a central image database with the aid of the specially purchased Collection and Museum Management System by Adlib.
The redesign of the MAK Collection Online was completed in 2016 and offers optimized search functions in addition to an improved presentation of the artwork. Now it is not only possible to compile and save lists of objects, but also to contact the museum’s Reproductions Department directly to request permission to reproduce artwork. Another feature of the MAK Collection Online is its multilingualism. The majority of the information about the individual objects is available in English, while the extensively revised holdings of Japanese color woodcuts can also be accessed in Japanese.
The MAK Collection Online will continue to be expanded and updated. The long-term aim is to make the entire holdings of the MAK Collection—which can only be displayed in part in the museum itself—available on the World Wide Web.
Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure
Scientific research is a necessary prerequisite of curatorial practice and hence of the MAK’s diverse exhibition activities. Its findings and insights provide the basis for a profound and always up-to-date engagement of, and with, the MAK Collection.
The MAK is a center of competence in art, art theory, and architecture and a research station of social awareness. Scientific research is not only prerequisite for profound curatorial work, exhibitions, and publications, but is also fundamental to a museum’s institutional identity and the understanding of cultural and intercultural connections and currents.
Internationally, the MAK Collection stands for the unique crossing over of applied art, design, architecture, and contemporary art. Aside from preserving and researching its comprehensive collection, the museum’s scholarly focus currently is on successively publishing the collection on the Worldwide Web, bringing public attention to objects which would otherwise not be publicly accessible. This is done by a staff of proven experts who crucially contribute to the MAK’s international activities and reputation. The results of numerous, also externally funded research projects conducted at the museum lead to exhibitions and publications, putting the historical museum holdings in a contemporary perspective.