The legal foundation of the Austrian National Library
The primary legal basis for the Austrian National Library is the » Austrian Federal Museums Act 2002, under which it – like the national museums – was granted the legal status of a federal scientific institution under public law. Since then, as an institution with full legal capacity, it has not been under direct federal administration, but acts as an autonomous legal entity and is responsible to a Board of Trustees on economic matters.
The Federal Museums Act 2002 (Federal Law Gazette I, No. 14/2002, as amended) defines the Austrian National Library as follows:
Section 13. (1) The Austrian National Library is a federal scientific institution under public law and an independent legal person. Being Austria’s National Library, it is entrusted with movable and immovable monuments belonging to the nation, in order to fulfil its cultural-political and academic mandate as a non-profit public organisation. It is a repository for the spiritual and cultural identity of Austria, a place for cultural encounters and academic discourse, and in its historic collections it preserves unique material that is part of the world's cultural heritage.
(2) It is responsible for the preservation, expansion, academic study and presentation of the cultural heritage entrusted to it. As an all-embracing educational institution, it develops contemporary and innovative ways of sharing knowledge and cultural heritage and it encourages specialist debate and cooperation with other institutions in the fields of libraries and research in Austria and other countries.
(3) The purpose of the Austrian National Library is to expand, prepare and index for academic research, make available and preserve for the long term, and administer, the collections which have been left to it, either in perpetuity or for a specific period in accordance with Section 5 paragraph 1, or which it has acquired, bearing in mind the principles of practicality, efficiency and economy.
In the » Library Regulations for the Austrian National Library (Federal Law Gazette I, No. 52/2009), its responsibilities are described in detail.
The » Media Act and the supplementary » Legal Deposit Regulations regulate the deposit of library material at the Austrian National Library.
To find out more about how to deposit media at the Austrian National Library, see the relevant » paragraph in the section on "Library at Heldenplatz/Terms and conditions”.