History, Study of: In Austria the beginnings of modern historical research date back to approximately the mid-19th century. J. A. Freiherr. v. Helfert documented historical events since the 1848 Revolution ("Geschichte Oesterreichs vom Ausgang des Oktoberaufstandes 1848", 4 vols., 1869-1886; "Geschichte der Oesterreichischen Revolution 1848/1849", 2 vols., 1907-1909). A. v. Arneth focused on the life and achievements of Prince Eugène (3 vols., 1858/1859) and Maria Theresia and her time (10 vols., 1863-1869).
The Institut fuer oesterreichische Geschichtsforschung (Institute for Austrian Historical Research), founded in 1854, played an important role in researching documents and specific aspects of Austrian history. A. Dopsch mainly concentrated on the economic history of the Middle Ages, O. Redlich wrote the biography of Rudolf von Habsburg and continued the work of A. Huber up to 1740). ("Das Werden einer Grossmacht", 1939, 31962). His most notable achievement was saving the Austrian archives after 1918. H. v. Srbik interpreted historical events from a pan-German perspective. He was a leading expert on the modern period, and his work on Metternich was considered one of the most important studies during the inter-war period. In his book "Land und Herrschaft" O. Brunner documented the findings of a generation of historians specialising in Austrian history. Another historian of that time, O. Menghin gained international renown as one of the most eminent prehistorians. His work was later continued by R. Pittioni. L. Santifaller was primarily responsible for the coordination of academic research in Austria after 1945. His work included examining the "Babenberger Urkundenbuch" (a collection of documents of the Babenberg family), and started the "Oesterr. Biograph. Lexikon". A. Lhotsky was a specialist in medieval sources and history. Between 1938-1945, a period when Austria was no longer an independent state but part of the German Reich, he used the term "Austria" more frequently than any other historian of that period in his work on the history of the Vienna Museum of Fine Arts, "Geschichte des Kunsthistorischen Museums". A. Wandruszka, an expert on the modern period with close connections to Italian and German historians, re-emphasised the importance of the Habsburg dynasty. Whereas R. Plaschka, an expert in Eastern European history, collaborated especially with Czech historians, F. Fellner and G. Stourzh, both experts on the modern period, especially the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the history of the 20th century, have closely collaborated with colleagues in the USA, where a department of Austrian history has published the Austrian History Yearbook, Houston, Texas since 1965. H. L. Mikoletzky was primarily an archivist but also well-known for writing about the important periods of Austrian history. L. Jedlicka concentrated on the Austrian First Republic and was one of the first historians to specialise in contemporary history. A. Hoffmann and, after him, M. Mitterauer, were pioneers in economic and social history. Mitterauer mainly documented peoples´ everyday lives. E. Bruckmueller was an expert on social history.
Centres of historical research are the universities in Vienna and other Austrian towns which focus on their respective provincial history. This has led to numerous publications, for example a multi-volume history of Salzburg coordinated by H. Dopsch, and a provincial history series published by the Verlag fuer Geschichte und Politik. In Graz, H. Wiesflecker has focused on the time of Maximilian I, in Linz Karl Stadler has studied the history of social problems. Research on the history of the Austrian provinces is carried out at the provincial archives and similar specialist institutions. Since 1930, large history exhibitions have been extremely popular and raised public awareness of Austria´s historical past (Prince Eugène, 1933; Franz Joseph, 1935). Since 1960 these exhibitions have been mainly organised by the various provinces (The Babenbergs: Lilienfeld 1976; Friedrich III: Wiener Neustadt 1965; The Renaissance: Schallaburg castle 1974; The Turkish Siege of Vienna in 1683: Vienna 1983, Prince Eugène: Schlossdorf palace and Niederweiden palace 1986; Maria Theresia: Schoenbrunn Palace 1980; Joseph II: Melk Abbey 1980; Franz Joseph: Grafenegg castle 1984, 1987). Exhibitions providing overviews on the history of individual provinces have also stimulated the interest of a broad public. (Upper Austria, 1983; Styria, 1986). Popular, well-researched TV documentaries by H. Portisch and S. Riff on Austria´s First Republic (Oesterreich I) and Second Republic (Oesterreich II) have been sold as books and videos.