The Adalbert Stifter Institute in conjunction with the Literary Archive manages one of the most significant collections of unpublished and autographic works in Austria. It benefits from the wide synergy effects of working with the other facilities of the Institute, namely the Biographical Archive, the library, the Literary Museum and the Literary House on the one hand and on the other the literary archives in Vienna and the other Federal Provinces of Austria.
Accordingly, it has played an important role in offering its services both as a service information centre and as a regional literary meeting place. It is a point of departure for an expedition into both the Austrian and the European literary landscape.
About forty unpublished works of authors such as Richard Billinger, Hermann Friedl, Franz Kain and Franz Stelzhamer are stored here to which others depending on availability are added. In 2006 for instance, the works of Marlen Haushofer and Franz Rieger and in 2007 those of Kurt Klinger supplemented those already stored. Currently, the works of Enrica von Handel-Mazzetti and Hermann Heinz Ortner are being worked on with the help of IT documentation.
The results of research in the Archive are available to the public through exhibitions and symposia and also in the form of publication. In 2002, the commemorative year of Franz Stelzhamer, the mobile exhibition “Franz Stelzhamer – a Wanderer between Two Worlds” (with a catalogue), in 2005, the exhibition “Und küsse ihre Busipfötchen” by Enrica von Handel-Mazzetti (1871-1955) plus “Ein Leben in Briefen” (also with catalogue) were displayed. In 2006, a dramatized production of Franz Kain’s short story “The Road to Ödensee” was adapted as a radio play and recorded on CD. In 2008, Hermann Friedl’s stories were presented in the so called “Hörtheater” under the title “Love and other Opportunities”. The proceedings of the Christian Loidl Symposium in 2007 were published shortly after. “The Danube, branching off – Writing during and after National socialism. Franz Tumler and Arnolt Bronnen”, an exhibition presented in 2008 reflected the results of the research work in the Archive which were published in the form of a catalogue.
Two original pieces of Stifter’s work written in his own hand were acquired in 2000. One is the only hand-written example of his novel “Witiko” and the other a fragment of the novel “The Briefcase of my Great Grandfather.” A letter from 1854 about the wedding of Empress Elizabeth and a hand-written page from one of his albums, both acquired in 2007, are important additions to Stifter’s literary remains.