In December 2004 a group of scholars met in Vienna who were tied together by the attempts to save the Bertalanffy archive for the public: six banana boxes containing letters of Ludwig von Bertalanffy from after World War II when he left Austria to 1972, when he died, and a lot of books which belonged to his private library in Buffalo suddenly – in spring 2004 – appeared in the United States for auction (see Chroust G, Hofkirchner W. 2006. Ludwig von Bertalanffy returns home. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 23:701-703).
This gathering was the constitutional meeting of the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (BCSSS). The then founded association acquired the precious materials and started creating the scientific archive. It was further completed by donation from other archives, individual researchers, and members of the Bertalanffy family. To date the archive comprises over 5oo letters from and to Bertalanffy, over 200 books & journals, and various miscellanea from unpublished audio tapes and films to a repository of images. The Bertalanffy archive is maintained in cooperation with the Department of Theoretical Biology at the University of Vienna, Austria.
The Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (BCSSS) evolved over time, too. It became an Austrian independent research institute, accredited by the European Union, and received international acknowledgment as an ambassador for the systems science heritage. But the legacy wil not only be carried on through the public access to the archive. The BCSSS engages also in present international state-of-the-art applied systems research and thus revisits General System Theory (GST) as founded by Ludwig von Bertalanffy and others in order to reassess it in the light of today’s global challenges.
In 2013 the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science moved to its new location. We are looking forward to welcome you in Vienna.