The Vienna Library in the town hall is one of the three largest academic libraries in Vienna that has at its command more than 550,000 publications, more than 1,200 estates, some 250,000 individual autographs (autograph collection), about 100,000 musical autographs and around 250,000 posters. This makes it the first address for researchers and students of subjects specific to Vienna.
The Vienna Library focuses on the research and documentation of Vienna’s history and culture. From the second half of the 19th century onwards the collections and book stock were extended by acquisition of numerous estates and legacies of people from public life, artists and scientists. In 1905 the autograph collection and the musical collection were created as special collections. In 1923 the poster collection and in 1930 the documentation system were added. The publications collection that was created right back in the 15th century is by far the oldest special collection.
The 6th collection of the Vienna Library continuously builds upon the digital world, a kind of virtual open access library on the basis of the book collection from the 19th and 20th century on Vienna’s city and cultural history. Next to directories like the ‘Lehmann’, various layouts of houses and street directories there are also travel guides and city depictions in the digital library. Another focus is represented by the collections on WWI, with the extensive collection of newspaper clippings leading the way. As of late city maps and maps of Vienna are on the internet, too.
Valuable autographs of the musical and autograph collection, like that of the Strauss Family, Hugo Wolf, Johann Nestroy and Ferdinand Raimund or also large bundles of the poster collection are being continuously digitalised.
The impressive library rooms with its galleries and circular staircases as well as the historical reading room of the Vienna Library go back to the time of the construction of the town hall (finished in 1883).
In addition to the regular reading services there are also events throughout the year held in the reading rooms, like book presentations, concerts, conferences and readings that focus on the five collections and present individual key subjects. The show cabinet and foyer of the Vienna Library present changing exhibitions on themes of cultural history using the material of the five collections. Once a year contemporary artists from the fine arts create various interventions in the rooms of the library. The extensive catalogues and accompanying books of exhibitions provide valuable scientific and artistic contributions to the cultural history of Vienna in terms of the ‘memory of the city’.
Workdays Mon to Thur from 9 am to 6.30 pm, Fri from 9 am to 4.30 pm