Office of the Lower Austrian Federal Government, Department of Art and Culture
A-3109 St. Pölten, Landhausplatz 1
The “Historical Toys” collection of the State Collections of Lower Austria is an essentially self-contained collection acquired from the Viennese surgeon Erwin Mayr in 1994. Mayr’s collection activities focused on industrially produced toys from 1870 to 1970. After being discontinued as a permanent exhibition at Schallaburg, the majority of the collection was placed in the museum storage in 2005. Excerpts from the collection can be viewed at the Schiele Museum in Tulln and the Museum Niederösterreich in St. Pölten.
The Collection/Main Emphasis
The “Historical Toys” collection currently comprises about 11,000 objects. The collection has enormous range, and objects and special literature are available for almost all toy categories.
Gaps in the collection are to be filled in the future by way of specific research and in keeping with the essential character of the collection.
Along with many historical children’s books, the department also houses a specialized library featuring manufacturing information and object indexes.
The “Historical Toys” curatorial department has contributed to several exhibition catalogues.
1996 saw the publication of a 34-page booklet entitled “Spielzeug – die Welt im kleinen für Jung und Alt” (Toys—Miniature Worlds for Young and Old).