Austrian National Library in Wien

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The Austrian National Library (, abbreviated "ÖNB" and formerly Hofbibliothek ), is the largest library in Austria, with 7.4 million items in its collections. It is located in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna; since 2005 some of the collections are located in the baroque Palais Mollard-Clary. Founded by the Habsburgs, the library was originally located in the current Prunksaal building and called the Hofbibliothek, changing to its current name after 1920.

The collections consist of: papyri, manuscripts, ancient and rare books, maps, globes, music, portraits, graphics, photographs, autographs and posters as well as works in and on Esperanto and other artificial languages are stored in the various collections and are available for scientific research.


The Austrian National Library has a long history spanning centuries, from the Middle Ages, through the Austrian Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire, and into the 21st century, with online access via the Internet web.

Middle Ages and early modern times

The Austrian National Library has its origin in the imperial library of the Middle Ages. During the Medieval period, the Austrian DukeAlbrecht III (1349-1395) shifted the books of the Viennese vaults into a library. Albrecht also organized important works from Latin to be translated into German.


In the music collection, since 1826, are numerous scores and first-printings of works of well-known composers, such as Anton Bruckner or Richard Strauss. Also numerous recordings such as records or CDs are kept. Among the music collection are also many handwritten notes and thoughts of composers.

Incunabula, old and precious prints

The collection of incunabula, old and valuable printings (SIAWD) is one of the five largest collections of historical block printing of the world. As an independent collection, it has existed since 1995 and ranks thereby among the youngest of the National Library. The collection covers approximately 8,000 incunabula (fourth largest in existence worldwide), block printing from 1501 to including 1850 (e.g. the Fugger newspapers), and bibliophile as well as rare and valuable printings without temporal restriction. The SIAWD collection has been supplemented with Chinese and Japanese printing.

Austrian National Library collections

  • Department of Broadsheets, Posters and Ex Libris: 330,000 objects (broadsheets, posters and Ex Libris)
  • Department of Manuscripts, Autographs and Closed Collections: From the 4th century to the present day: late antique, medieval and modern manuscripts from almost every literate culture.
  • Department of Music: Austria's music archives, and great collection of autographs, it is also one of the largest libraries in the world.
  • Austrian Literary Archives
  • Picture Archive
  • Department of Incunabula, Old and Precious Books:
    • incunabula (books printed before 1500),
    • printed works from the period 1501-1850 and
    • printed bibliophile rarissima of no specific period.
  • Archives of the Austrian Folk Song Institute
  • Austrian National Library Museums
  • State Hall
  • Globe Museum: 380 globes and scientific instruments including terrestrial and celestial globes made before 1850
  • Papyrus Museum:
    • Papyri 137,864
    • Archaeological documents (without papyri) 50,769
    • Museum objects 5
    • Books and serials 14,049
    • Microforms 555
    • Audiovisual materials 2,292
    • Picture documents 16,944
  • Department of Planned Languages and Esperanto Museum<ref name = ÖNB/>

See also

  • Codex Vindobonensis B 11093
  • Codex Vindobonensis Philos. 75
  • Codex Vindobonensis Philos. 157
  • Codex Vindobonensis Mexicanus I
  • Codex Vindobonensis Lat. 502
  • Fayyum Fragment (P. Vienna G. 2325)


  • Ackerl, Isabella [Red.]: Die Österreichische Nationalbibliothek , Vienna, 1995.
  • Höfler, Ida Olga: Portrait-Sammlung und Bildarchiv der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek ehem. Familien-Fideikommiß-Bibliothek , Vienna, 1994.
  • Hunger, Herbert: Die Papyrussammlung der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek , Ausstellungskatalog, Vienna, 1962.
  • Jobst-Rieder, Marianne: Filmplakate der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek (1910 – 1955) , Vienna, 1998.

External links