Center at Göttweig




Select classes for the MediaArtHistories MA program are held in the Fourteenth Century castle of Göttweig Abbey–an UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE that, since 2001, has been in cooperation with the Department of Image Science at Danube University. There, The Center for Image Science makes its home, with rooms that have undergone extensive restoration and elegant renovation. A large part of the monasteries’ voluminous cultural resources are at the students’ disposal, including the GÖTTWEIG ABBEY GRAPHIC PRINT COLLECTION, one of the largest private holdings of Renaissance and Baroque prints in Austria.

Offered this unique access, STUDENTS are invited to conduct research at Göttweig Abbey itself. This includes the Abbey’s painting and textile collections, as well as the renowned Print Collection, and with collection specialists. Enabling a target-oriented course of studies, students can incorporate these historical documents and primary sources–both image and text–into their coursework, research projects, and future directions in MediaArtHistories. Further, INTERNSHIPS working with the Göttweig Abbey Collection are available for credit towards the MediaArtHistories Advanced degree.  An internship may focus on the Department’s Digitization Center, Media Art Research Thesaurus, or be adapted to the students’ particular research interests.

With Göttweig’s high altar dedicated in 1072, and a substantial building program in the early Eighteenth Century, today the Abbey stands grandly in Baroque architecture and illusionistic ceiling fresco. During MediaArtHistories seminars, held amidst libraries both contemporary and historic, students enjoy panoramic views of the Danube River valley and surrounding Wachau region, lunch at the terrace restaurant, and after class can explore a network of hiking trails or the Abbey’s event and performance calendar.



Encompassing over 30,000 prints as well as a library of 150,000 volumes, the GÖTTWEIG ABBEY GRAPHIC PRINT COLLECTION (Graphische Sammlung Stift Göttweig, or GSSG) preserves one of the largest private holdings  in Austria. With acquisitions recorded as early as 1612, with the start of the Eighteenth Century conservationist and patron to the arts Abbott (1714-1719) Johann Franz (Gottfried) Bessel systematically expanded the collection. The Graphic Collection, which includes masters from Albrecht DÜRER to REMBRANDT van Rijn to Gustav KLIMT, focuses principally on  Renaissance and Baroque woodcuts, copper engravings, and lithographs, and Dutch, English, French, German, and Italian engravers and inventors.





An indexical and visualisation system for digital humanities, the MEDIA ART RESEARCH THESAURUS semantically links artworks on the ARCHIVE OF DIGITAL ART (ADA) and the online graphic print collection of GÖTTWEIG ABBEY (GSSG). With further art historical databases to be added in the future, because of the GSSG’s curation and content, a provenance of ideas for Media Art can be singularly traced through its graphic prints. These images are viewable not only as artworks, but information-carrying visual media. In their day central to the production of knowledge, the graphic prints of the Göttweig Abbey collection represent many of the inspirations, innovations, and inventions in disciplines such as architecture, astronomy, biology, botany, medicine, and psychology that preceded Media Art.