The following provides an overview of existing looted art/Judaica as well as provenance research databases worldwide. For a more in-depth description as well as information on the various organizations that administer the databases listed below, please see section on: Resources: National Organizations.
Please also note that databases of individual museums are not listed in this section. For country specific information, please also refer to section on Resources: National Organizations.
The International Research Portal for Records Related to Nazi-Era Cultural Property is the result of collaboration among archives and research institutions from a variety of countries to provide online access to widely-dispersed records of the Nazi Era. The online research tool is dedicated to extending public access to the widely-dispersed records of the Nazi era. The Claims Conference is a participant in its own right but also has enabled through its various projects the involvement of many of the other governmental and non-governmental participant organizations.
The database Cultural Plunder of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg: Art Objects at the Jeu de Paume was created by the Claims Conferene based on archives from several countries.
The database “Galerie Heinemann online” provides information regarding the art trade at Munich’s Galerie Heinemann between 1890 and 1939.
The German Historical Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum, DHM) provides three Databases:
a) Sonderauftrag Linz (Special Commission Linz) database:
The Getty Provenance Index Databases by the Getty Research Institute provides access to the following resources:
a) German Sales Catalogs (1930-1945) covering bibliographic information on more than 2,000 German Sales Catalogs published between 1930 and 1945.
c) The Sales Catalogs Files covering countries such as Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia from 1650 to 1945.
The Netherlands Institute for Art History provides information on Jacques Goudstikkers’s art trade.
Looted Valuables: The Holocaust Asset Collection is part of Fold3 archival material relating to looted cultural property.
Entartete Kunst database of degenerate art has been published by the Freie Universität Berlin.
The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) holds the only known copy of a complete inventory of “Entartete Kunst” confiscated by the Nazi regime from public institutions between 1937 and 1938. The list, with more than 16,000 entries, was produced by the Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda (Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda) in 1942. The lists are accessible online.
The records of the German auction house Adolf Weinmüller are now available online. Adolf Weinmüller’s two auction houses, based in Munich and Vienna, were responsible for the sale of 32,000 works of art between 1936 and 1944, with many objects probably stolen from Jews. The database offers information on 150,000 objects stemming from all 33 annotated catalogues from the Munich branch, and from 11 out of 18 annotated catalogues of Weinmüller’s Vienna based auction house. The records were found in 2013 in the basement of the Neumeister-Kunstauktionshaus.
The portal of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) offers access to information on Holocaust-related archival material held in institutions across Europe and beyond: this includes information on 57 countries (“National Reports”); information on 1,834 archival institutions in 50 countries; as well as information on 125,445 archival descriptions in 377 institutions.
The JDC Archive is online available and provides access to over 1,7 million pages and photographs from its founding in 1914 to the present.
The Leo Baeck Institute provides a significant subset of its collection online, which includes archival manuscripts, memoirs, books and periodicals as well as audio recordings.
Judaica Europeana works with libraries, archives and museums and EUROPEANA to provide integrated access to digital collections, which document the Jewish presence and heritage in Europe.
The Heidelberg University Library digitized thousands of pages of Weltkunst, a journal of the German and international art market, covering the years 1931 until 1944, featuring auctions in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
The Claims Conference/WJRO has published a Descriptive Catalogue of Looted Judaica (created 2009 and partially updated 2016)
In January 2015, the Art Recovery Group launched a new database “ArtClaim” for lost, stolen and disputed works of art and cultural heritage.
The Jewish Heritage Europe web portal offers a wide range of news, information and resources concerning Jewish monuments and heritage sites all over Europe. It is a project of the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe (RFHE).
ArThemis is a searchable database containing case notes about art and cultural property disputes settled through alternative resolution methods or traditional judicial proceedings.
The Art Database of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria
An English edition is also available.
The Findbuch provides access to file holdings relating to National Socialist property seizure and restitution and compensation proceedings which are held at Austria’s State Archives and other cooperating archives.
The Museum of Fine Arts (Kunsthistorisches Museum) in Vienna together with the Commission for Provenance Research launched a database on the index cards of the central depository regarding seized collections (“Die Karteien des Zentraldepots beschlagnahmter Sammlungen“).
A list of artworks identified as confiscated by the Nazis and held in public collections in the Czech Republic.
The French Ministry of Culture (Directorate of Museums) maintains a database of approximately 2,000 MNR (Site Rose-Valland, Musées nationaux Récupération) artworks, stolen from French Jews by the Nazis that remain to date in the custody of French museums.
a) The Lost Art database administered by the Koordinierungsstelle Magdeburg. The database lists cultural objects which were relocated, moved or seized, especially from Jewish owners, during the Holocaust.
Lost Art also maintains a database of 458 artworks that are part of the so-called Schwabing Art Trove.
b) A list of unresolved claims as of September 2006 for art and cultural property filed by the Claims Conference with the German restitution authorities regarding the former East Germany.
c) The “Fachinformationsdienst Kunst – arthistoricum.net” is a virtual library which provides access to literature and documents relating to art history.
d) Tracing the Past provides online access to about 275,000 entries (or around 67%) of the “Minority Census.” The 1939 German Minority Census, which includes Austria and the Sudetenland, holds approximately 410,000 original entries, searchable by family name, first name, maiden name if applicable, birth date, birth place, street address and city of any household with at least one Jewish grandparent.
e) The Federal Archives (Bundesarchiv) of Germany released an online Memorial Book entitled Victims of the Persecution of Jews under the National Socialist Tyranny in Germany 1933 – 1945,“ which holds more than 170.000 names. Information on the list of Jewish Residents in German Reich 1933-1945 is also available on Federal Archive’s website.
f) The organization “Tracing the Past” provides access to the 1939 German “Minority Census” Database.” The organization is aiming to eventually release a database entitled “Mapping the Lives – The interactive database with street maps of the persecuted in Europe 1933–1945.”
g) In March 2017, the Mosse community of heirs together with the Freie Universität Berlin founded the Mosse Art Research Initiative (MARI), for which German institutions are cooperating with descendants of Nazi persecution in a public-private partnership.
Hashava – The Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims’ Assets
Project Heritage Revealed produced a Catalog of Art Objects from Hungarian Private Collections.
The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland launched a website of Poland’s wartime losses, entitled “The Division for Looted Art”.
a) The Project “Heritage Revealed” offers catalogs.
b) The Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography maintains a website and database entitled “Cultural Valuables – Victims of War” that presents information concerning cultural valuables affected by World War II.
The web site of the National Museum Directors’ Conference provides information on provenance research and contact information for 22 national museums and galleries as well as for 24 non-national museums.
United States of America
The AAM (American Association of Museums) established the Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal, a central registry of objects in U.S. museums that could have changed hands in Europe during the Nazi era, 1933-1945.