Where can I find the oldest library


Vienna has the largest libraries in Austria; In addition to the Austrian National Library, in Vienna there are the Vienna Library in the City Hall (formerly the Vienna City and State Library), the university and college libraries (including the University Library of the Vienna and Technical University), the administrative library of the Federal Chancellery, the library of the National Council and libraries from federal ministries, the social sciences study library of the Vienna Chamber of Labor, the library of the Chamber of Commerce and the Central Pedagogical Library, numerous specialist libraries (Central Statistical Office, Patent Office, Federal Geological Office; within the Magistrate e.g. Vienna City and State Archives, Statistics, City Building Directorate) and the municipal authorities Libraries.

The oldest collections of books were built in medieval monasteries; Their example was later followed by sovereigns and universities, and finally also by local authorities. There have been libraries in Vienna since the High Middle Ages. One of the oldest libraries was that of the Schottenstift, which began in the 12th century; The current library can only be traced back to the beginning of the 15th century, but in terms of volume and quality of its holdings it is the first among the church libraries in Vienna. The actual construction of the libraries that still exist today begins in the late Middle Ages; Since the 14th century, books have been regularly collected in various places: from the court (national library), from the city of Vienna (Vienna city and state library) and from the university (university library). The state libraries grew particularly strongly from the 18th century. In the Vormärz, book collections (classics, specialist literature) were part of the upper middle-class household; the bequest treatises of this time contain (for reasons of censorship) detailed book lists, so that one can gain insight into the thematic composition and the scope of private libraries (e.g. pharmacists). Libraries owned by private collectors (e.g. Blümml, Gugitz, Haydinger, Hoheisel, Portheim) were partly auctioned, but partly also part of public collections (Vienna City and State Library). In the second half of the 19th century, public libraries were created in connection with the development of popular education. In the first half of the 20th century, the Dorotheum's auctions consistently include those from large private libraries.

There has been a "numerus currens" in Austria since 1826, direct lending between academic libraries since 1883, the first printed complete directory of journals in German-speaking countries was published by the University Library in Vienna in 1898, and since 1920 the Austrian National Library has had a central book reference office, and since 1930 the "Prussian description regulation" has been used for cataloging.

The "Association of Austrian Librarians" was founded in Vienna in 1946 as the successor to the "Austrian Library Association" founded in 1896. The "Wiener Bibliophilengesellschaft" founded in 1912, the "Society of Friends of the Austrian National Library" and the Association of Austrian Public Libraries have their headquarters in Vienna.

See also:


  • Handbook of Austrian Libraries. Edited by the Association of Austrian Librarians. 3 volumes. Vienna: Association of Austrian Librarians Handbook of Austrian Libraries 1961-1967

Further literature for the individual key words.