UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme
Documentary heritage that represents the collective memory of humanity has been honoured since 1992 by UNESCO in its Memory of the World Programme. There are 15 Austrian nominations among the currently 427 entries in the world register. Eight of these come from the holdings of the Austrian National Library. This means that we look after the country’s largest holding of Memory of the World documents. All of the documents included are unique specimens of incalculable value. Furthermore, the Austrian UNESCO Commission has also been keeping a national list entitled “Memory of Austria” since 2014.
Memory of the World: world register
The following documents or collections of the Austrian National Library have been included in the UNESCO world register “Memory of the World” since 1997:
Philosophical Nachlass of Ludwig Wittgenstein
included in 2017
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) was one of the leading philosophers of the 20th century. The Austrian National Library holds a considerable number of his bequeathed manuscripts, including the original of the Philosophical Investigations (MS 142) and two original typed manuscripts of his famous Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The majority of his legacy, in terms of quantity, is now in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge, and smaller numbers of items are at three other institutions.
included in 2013
One of the most important legal documents of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation in a glorious transcription from ca. 1400. Together with the magnificent copy of King Wenzel in the Austrian National Library, all seven originals, two of which in the Austrian State Archive, five in German archives, were featured.
included in 2005
One of the most important libraries of the Renaissance: the book collection of the Hungarian king, Matthias Corvinus (1443-1490), 39 volumes of which are in the possession of the Austrian National Library. (Joint submission with Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and Hungary.)
Memory of Austria
In 2014, the Austrian UNESCO Commission presented to the public a national list for Austria’s document heritage (» Memory of Austria) by way of addition to the world register. The Austrian register, which will be added to in the coming years, currently lists, by way of example, 59 documents and collections of particular importance to the history and culture of Austria. The following 16 submissions of the Austrian National Library are also included here: