The "Archiv für Hausforschung" (Archive for Building Research) comprises plans photos and written documents relating to buildings for accommodation and agriculture from rural Bavaria, supplemented by examples from the Palatinate that belonged to Bavaria up to 1945. It also includes examples from Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. In total, there are c.12,000 plans and around 19,000 photos which provide a visual impression of the farmhouses and other outbuildings in rural Bavaria as they had been preserved into the twentieth century. They illustrate architecture and building construction, the usage of the rooms for accommodation and agriculture as well as a socio-cultural process of change.
The activities concerned with domestic research in Bavaria were gathered together in 1937 by the foundation of a "Landesstelle für Bauernhofforschung" (Regional Office for Farmhouse Research) under the auspices of the artist and architect Rudolf Hoferer (1892–1943). This institution was shortly afterwards merged with the "Bayerische Landesstelle für Volkskunde" (Bavarian State Institute for Cultural Anthropology, later Institut für Volkskunde or Ethnological Institute). Its aims were the gathering of written and visual documents in relation to farmsteads as well as to document and research the still preserved but already endangered stock of old farmsteads by means of measured plans and photos taken on-site.
Given the times, these activities were at least in part influenced by ideology. The work itself was undertaken by numerous specialists as well as students from schools engaged in the building trade as well as colleges of engineering. During WWII, the collection was taken to safety in South-East Bavaria and could therefore be preserved nearly in its entirety. Post-1945, the documentation of farmsteads remained an important task, since in particular the economic growth and structural change of rural Bavaria massively endangered the older buildings. For this reason, the cultural anthropologist Prof. Dr. Torsten Gebhard (1909–1994) directed a project which continued to document in detail historical buildings in the countryside. In addition, older collections of plans were integrated into the collections. Up to the 1990s the art historian and architect Prof. Dr. Enno Burmeister (1929-2017) worked with students of the FH München on the creation of c.5,000 plans.
The "Archiv für Hausforschung" of the Institut für Volkskunde moved in 1984 to the Landesstelle für Nichtstaatliche Museen in Bayern (State Institution for non-state run museums) for reasons of space. It is directed by Georg Waldemer (b. 1953). Based on the archival inventory during recent decades a substantial number of specialised studies to single buildings and building forms were published. Through bavarikon a selection of 3,000 plans and 3,500 photos can now be presented.
>> This collection is part of the Institut für Volkskunde (Ethnological Institute) of the Kommission für bayerische Landesgeschichte bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Commission for Bavarian Regional History at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences).