Bertalanffy Systems Research & Cybernetics Archive
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.
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the archive comprises over 5oo letters from and to Bertalanffy, over 200 books & journals, and various miscellanea from unpublished audio tapes and films to a repository of images.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 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.
In 2013 the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science moved to its new location in Vienna. Since then we connect the heritage and the deep knowledge at our hands with the present public and scientific discourse.
We receive continuously international requests from young researchers, and lately also from professionals in the field, who either want to revisit the valuable original sources for their own inspiration or have an historic interest in the development of the philosopy of science in different disciplines. Ludwig von Bertalanffy was a real influencer at his time in medicine, biology, economics, psychology, and even art.
The Bertalanffy Archive at the BCSSS contains letters, books & journals, and miscellanea. Files concerning the content of the archive can be downloaded in the subsections.
There are 579 letters from and to Bertalanffy to be found in the archive. They are listed in a file which can be downloaded here.
Books & Journals
In the Bertalanffy estate 211 books and journals were found, which are now hosted by the BCSSS archive. A list can be downloaded here.
Various miscellanea are also available in the BCSSS archive. A list with short descriptions of all miscellnea can be downloaded here.