About the Catalogue:

The WIA electronic catalogue contains at present over 50,000 items from the Correspondence Collection. A second section covers the subject headings of Aby Warburg’s index card boxes (Zettelkästen) comprising c. 3,200 items. Further sections are planned with the ultimate aim of providing a complete online catalogue of the WIA’s holdings.

Correspondence Collection
The WIA’s correspondence collection is divided into two sections: the General Correspondence (GC) consisting of letters, postcards and cables to or from Aby Warburg and his / the Institute’s staff (Fritz Saxl, Gertrud Bing and others); and the Family Correspondence (FC) consisting of correspondence between members of the wider family of Aby Warburg.

The online catalogue contains the complete Family Correspondence (FC) and items from the General Correspondence (GC), dating from 1873 to 1933; that is, from the earliest letter in the Archive to the end of the year in which the Library moved to London. (NB: The entries are arranged in numerical order by Reference Numbers [RefNo]; the RefNo reflects the date of the entry’s creation.)

In addition to basic information, such as dates, writer, recipient, type of correspondence (letter, postcard, cable) up to the year 1929 each entry in this section contains an English abstract of the contents of the catalogued item. Biographical information concerning the individuals featuring in the Correspondence Collection is linked to each record. 2000 entries have been created; the project is ongoing.

Work on this section of the catalogue has been made possible thanks to generous contributions from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation (for conservation work), from Martin Warnke (through Funds from his Leibniz Prize), from the AHRC, The Getty Grant Program, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research / Bilderfahrzeuge Project.

Collection of Index Card Boxes (Zettelkästen)
Aby Warburg’s collection of index cards (III.2.1.ZK), containing notes, bibliographical references, printed material and letters, was compiled throughout the scholar’s life. Ninety-six boxes survive, each containing between 200 and 800 individually numbered index cards. Cardboard dividers and envelopes group these index cards into thematic sections. The online catalogue reproduces the structure of the dividers and sub-dividers with their original titles in German and consists of about 3,200 items. Since the titles are transcribed (and not translated into English) you can only search for words in the original German.

The work on this section of the catalogue was generously funded by the Vice Chancellor’s Development Fund (University of London).
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