A precious collection of Polaroid images has been saved from an uncertain future by a museum in Austria and many are set to go on public view for the first time.

The Westlicht Museum of Photography, which is based in Vienna, has acquired 4,400 artworks that had been put up for sale by liquidators of Polaroid after it was declared insolvent.

Other images from the collection were auctioned off in New York last year by order of a United States bankruptcy court. 

Built up from 1972-1990 the Polaroid International Collection includes work by iconic photographers and artists such as Ansel Adams and Andy Warhol.

However, it disappeared from public view when it was locked away in the archives of the Swiss Musée de l?Elysée in Lausanne for more than 20 years.

It seems all that is about to change. An exhibition of ?never before shown? items from the collection is due to be exhibited in Vienna from 17 June-21 August.

The images will be displayed alongside contemporary work shot on instant film made by Impossible, the Dutch firm which played a key role in saving the archive.

Polaroid filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008 after Petters Group Worldwide – the company that had owned Polaroid since 2005 – and certain of its associates were investigated for fraud.