When the Bauhaus departed Dessau in 1932, there was no Bauhaus collection left in its wake. Apart from the files in the city archive and some works in the Anhaltische Gemäldegalerie, which survived the wave of Nazi iconoclasm, as well as artworks in private hands, there were no other extant documents and objects in Dessau. Today the collection of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation comprises more than 50,000 objects and documents on the history of the Bauhaus and its reception. They chronicle the school in Dessau as a creative actor in a situation of cultural, social, and economic upheaval. The collection had its beginnings in the 1970s. The publication examines the early years of the “Bauhaus collecting process” and describes and analyses the institutional procedures that preceded the establishment of the Dessau Bauhaus collection, while also tracing the history of the Bauhaus reception in the GDR. Supported by Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung.