The institute’s spheres of work comprise scientific historical research and the education of young researchers. This educational programme was organised until 2004 as a separate “course”, most recently a University Level Course, the graduates of which were entitled to use the academic degree "Master of Advanced Studies (MAS)". From 2005 on, the institute ran a three year “Magister” (Austrian degree similar to a masters) degree programme jointly with the University of Vienna (building on a bachelors degree or previous “Magister” degree), which since winter semester 2008/09 has been offered in line with European degree programme structures (keyword “Bologna”) as a masters degree entitled “Historical Research, Auxiliary Sciences and Archival Studies” (see curriculum). The masters exam with which the degree programme ends – like the state exam in the past – qualifies graduates in particular for employment in archives and museums. There are research scholarships available for young researchers in training.
Finally, the Austrian Institute of Historical Research plays a coordinating role in respect to research work and further educational offerings. It works towards qualifying its graduates as well-educated specialists for a wide range of activities in research and academic teaching. Further, the institute publishes a scholarly periodical and several publication series and regularly organises lectures and conferences.
The institute was founded in 1854 with the aim of promoting patriotism in the Austrian Empire by researching and communicating its (pre)history and by means of historical argumentation. Very soon after this, it departed from this political aim and turned to historical auxiliary sciences, above all at first the research of imperial diplomas of the Middle Ages. In doing so, it played a decisive role in the development of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica. This close connection continues to this day. One fundamental characteristic – varying over time in the intensity with which it shows – was and is the orientation towards cultural aspects of history. Ultimately, the institute has taken on in the past, and continues to take on, the task of educating archivists under changing legal frameworks, given the lack of an Austrian school for archive studies.
Opening times during the semester:
|Monday to Wednesday:||9:00 - 17:00|
|Thursday:||9:00 - 18:00|
|Friday:||9:00 - 12:00|