Logo Institut für Spielforschung

The name:

The German name is Institut für Spielforschung. The German word Spiel encompasses the concepts of the English words game, play, gambling and sports. To keep matters simple, the scientific community has established the new term ludology to sum up all ludic actions in one word.

The collection:

Since its inception in 1990, the institute has been collecting a wide range of printed testimonies in the field of play and games. The collection contains:
- about 450 old and rare books about games and its rules,
- about 120 games,
- about 2.400 prints, showing how people are playing, gambling, playing a game, doing sports or playing an instrument.

Time frame:

The objects date from between 1500 and 1920. The more recent books are part of the library of the institute.

Importance and history of the collection:

In 2016, the institute was included in the list of national large-scale research infrastructure. The reason: it houses the only public collection dedicated exclusively to the topic of play and games. Thus, the history of the European game culture can be comprehensively documented and illustrated from around 1500 until modern times. The founder of the institute, Prof. Günther Bauer, compiled the foundation stock. The purchases were mostly financed by sponsorship funds. Special thanks go to Casinos Austria and Senator Herbert Batliner.

The Institute and the specialized library:

The Institute for Ludology, headed by Rainer Buland, is one of several institutes of the Mozarteum University dedicated to specific topics. The institute supervises and maintains the collection in the specialized library, which is part of the Mozarteum University Library.

Note for research:

It is recommended to use English as search language.

→ total index
→ graphics

Highlights of the collection: