Archive / The Open Public Library

Nr. 167 / 1991 - 1993 / Austria, Germany

The Open Public Library


Michael Clegg and Martin Guttmann


Michael Clegg and Martin Guttmann installed The Open Public Library by placing weatherproofed, unlocked bookcases in three different neighbourhoods of Graz, Austria. The artists established direct contact with the community through collecting donated books door-to-door. Each bookcase held those books donated by the community. Neighbours could borrow the books for a few days and then return them to the cabinet. Neither registration nor a library card was needed.


Austria, Germany


To provide a representation of the neighbourhood, to stimulate social imagination and collective responsibility.

Beneficial outcomes

Access to public and shared resources without any restriction or administrative requirement.

Maintained by

Michael Clegg and Martin Guttmann


Michael Clegg, Martin Guttmann, citizens of Graz, Hamburg, Mainz, and Firmini