Listen, Register und Inventare in der Heimgeschichte

Artefakte sozialer Macht und ihr ego-dokumentlicher Wert


  • Ulrich Leitner Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft, Universität Innsbruck



history of education, child and youth residential care, corrective training, reformatories, inventories, ego-documents, Tyrol and Vorarlberg


In 2010 a public debate emerged on the correctional education of children and adolescents during the second half of the twentieth century. People who had spent some years of their childhood and youth in reformatories described frequent experiences of massive violence. Subsequently, both western Austrian countries, Tyrol and Vorarlberg, provided research funds and made the relevant documents (particularly administrative records of the Welfare Service) available for scientific research. A number of these documents are the result of inventorying processes. Using a child welfare case file (Zöglingsakte) as an example, this paper analyses how the inventorying processes aimed to document the children’s bodies, their behaviour, and the objects with which they came into contact. These documentation processes were linked to the aims the welfare system tried to implement. In this sense, inventories appear as media of power discourses, which can be read as texts and narratives. Furthermore the lists, registers, and inventories included in the case files allow us to gain a deeper insight into the children’s lives.





Leitner, U. (2022). Listen, Register und Inventare in der Heimgeschichte: Artefakte sozialer Macht und ihr ego-dokumentlicher Wert. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften, 32(3), 274–303.