Museum With No Frontiers (MWNF) 

From autumn 2020, the Austrian National Library will be participating in the "Museum With No Frontiers" with descriptions of a selection of oriental manuscripts from its collection. Around 50 manuscripts that have already been digitized are being rewritten and presented on the museum platform.


Partner: Institut für Kunstgeschichte der Universität Wien (» Prof. Markus Ritter) 

Duration: 2020-2021 


The Bequest of Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951) at the Austrian National Library 

The collection of manuscripts and old prints has the most extensive collection of original letters from the Wittgenstein family, including around 760 originals by or to Ludwig Wittgenstein. The estate also contains 3 comprehensive photo albums and around 600 individual photographs. Letters, albums and individual photos have already been largely indexed in preliminary projects. In 2018, all available albums owned by the Wittgenstein family were reviewed and the new knowledge gained from this was incorporated into the catalogue of the Austrian National Library. In addition, the newly acquired correspondence between Ludwig Wittgenstein and Ludwig Hänsel ( and the correspondence with Ben Richards, which has been accessible since 2021, were indexed. In April 2021, parts of the collection will be presented in an online exhibition.

Staff: Dr. Elisabeth Kamenicek 

Financed by a private spansor and the ANL 

Duration: until 2022 


Augerius Busbeck (1522–1592) – Diplomat and collector of manuscripts 

With the return to the culture and literature of antiquity in humanism, scholars in the 15th and 16th centuries went all over Europe in search of ancient Latin and Greek works for their collections. The native Flemish Augerius Busbeck (Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq, 1522–1592) was of extraordinary importance for the development of the holdings of Greek manuscripts in Vienna. He visited the Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul on peace missions on behalf of the King (and later Emperor) Ferdinand I . There he tried to acquire the Greek manuscripts that were still available after the fall of Byzantium in 1453. He no longer limited himself to classical antiquity, but also collected works from the Byzantine period.

Cooperation: ÖAW (Byzanzforschung), Università degli studi di Roma Tre (Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici), Universität Wien, Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik. 

Duration: until 2022 


The letters of Pietro Metastasio (1698–1782) 

As part of the research project "M.E.T.A." (Metastasio's Epistolary Text Archive), which brings together numerous researchers from various European universities, a new annotated critical digital edition of Pietro Metastasio's correspondence is being prepared. During his decade-long stay at the Viennese court (1730-1782), the famous Italian librettist and court poet wrote numerous letters that are now kept in the Austrian National Library. They offer an extraordinary description of court life under the reigns of Charles VI, Maria Theresa and Joseph I as well as insights into the diversity of a court culture in which fashionable, theatrical and artistic interests alternated with political and military events. In autumn 2021 the exhibition “Di Vienna e di me” will take place at the Italian Cultural Institute. Dalle lettere di Pietro Metastasiostatt showing reproductions of some of these letters and accompanied by a catalog in three languages ​​(Italian, German, English). This will be followed by the international symposium La Vienna di Metastasio (1730–1782) at the Italian Cultural Institute, at which Italian and Austrian scholars will examine the diverse relationship between Metastasio and the political, diplomatic, cultural and theatrical context of Viennese court culture in the 18th century will deal with.


Cooperation: Università degli Studi di Napoli "Federico II", Dipartimento di Italianistica dell’Universitá di Genova, Italienisches Kulturinstitut (Wien). 

Duration: until 2022 


Ludwig Tieck's library. Anatomy of a romantic-comparative book collection. 

The research projec has been virtually reconstructing the library of the German romanticist Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853) since 2014. Tieck's collection of books - according to the central thesis - represents a scientific private and poets' library that ideally embodies the basis for reading and writing that must be described as genuinely comparative. The reconstruction and appreciation of this library, which contained rare, valuable prints from the Renaissance and the Siglo de oro to Tieck's present and was sold in a Berlin auction in 1849/50, represents a study of European Romanticism and its systematic recording and evaluation of proto-comparative book collections represents a pioneering work.


Manager: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Achim Hölter, M.A., Abteilung für Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft, Universität Wien 

Cooperation: Prof. Dr. Walter Schmitz (Dresden) und Prof. Dr. Thomas Köhler (Medienzentrum TU Dresden) 

Staff: Mag. Paul Ferstl und Constanze Prašek 

Financed by Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF) 

Duration: 01.10.2014-30.09.2017, 2019–2022 


Ambraser Heldenbuch: Transkription and scientific dataset 

The ÖAW-go!digital-2.0 project aims to transcribe the Ambraser Heldenbuch (Vienna, Austrian National Library, Cod. Ser. n. 2663) from the early 16th century in its entirety. The Ambraser Heldenbuch was commissioned by Emperor Maximilian I as a magnificent manuscript at the beginning of the 16th century and executed in one hand by the Bolzano customs officer Hans Ried on around 250 large-format parchment sheets. This magnificent codex contains 25 of the most important Middle High German literary texts (e.g. Nibelungenlied, Helmbrechte etc.), 15 of which are unique (e.g. Erec, Mauritius von Craûnetc.) and have survived exclusively in the Ambraser Heldenbuch. The project will be completed in 2021 with the completion of the print edition. 


Manager: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Mario Klarer (Universität Innsbruck)

Staff: Mag. Hubert Alisade, BA Veronika Führer, Mag. David Messner, Markus Saurwein, Mag. Dr. Claudia Sojer, Aaron Tratter 

Duration: until 2021 


Biblical Hermeneutics and Exegesis in the Late Middle Ages:  The Introductio in sacram scripturam of Henry of Langenstein (†1397) 

Twenty years after the founding of the University of Vienna, Duke Albrecht III. in 1384 called the famous teacher Heinrich von Langenstein from Paris to establish a theological faculty. Langenstein then taught theology in Vienna until his death in 1397. In the Middle Ages this was equivalent to the interpretation of the Bible, which was written down in extensive commentaries. Langenstein also began a commentary, which, despite several volumes, did not get beyond Chapter 3 of the Book of Genesis. As a preparatory work, he gave a year-long lecture (probably in the academic year 1385/86) that dealt with the basics of Bible interpretation and which he called Introductio in sacram scripturam preceded the Genesis commentary. The research project seeks to critically edit Langenstein's lengthy treatise on Scriptural interpretation and to examine and appreciate the issues of Scripture, Scriptural interpretation, Bible text, and Bible translation discussed therein. For this purpose, all known manuscripts - including the volumes that the author gave to the Vienna Collegium Ducale and are now kept in the Austrian National Library - are collected in order to gain information on the text design, the scope and the influence of the work.


Manager: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Prügl 

Staff: Dr. Khrystyna Fostyak, Dr. Jennifer Kostoff-Kaard 

Financed by FWF 

Duration: until 2022 


The hidden origins of Austrian humanism   

In an interdisciplinary project, the role of the Tyrolean Johannes Fuchsmagen (c. 1450-1510) for humanism in Austria is being examined. Fuchsmagen, who was an advisor to Friedrich III. and Maximilian I. and was in contact with humanistic circles in Vienna and southern Germany, left no texts written by him. His intellectual interests must therefore be brought to light through research in his library, the poems addressed to him in the so-called Codex Fuchsmagen, and the artworks he commissioned. These include the so-called Filocalus calendar (chronograph from 354), Vienna, ÖNB, Cod. 3416. 

Financed by Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF)  

Duration: March 2019–February 2022  

Manager: Prof. Dr. Martin Wagendorfer, Historisches Seminar der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München  

Partner: Dr. Erwin Pokorny, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Universität Innsbruck   





Reading rooms at Heldenplatz and the departments

Due to maintenance work, the reading rooms at Heldenplatz and all departments will be closed from Thursday, July 25 to Monday, August 5, 2024.

Due to the shutdown of the ordering system, no media orders can be accepted from Wednesday, July 24, 2024, 4 pm to Friday, August 2, 2024, 4 pm. The first book collection will take place again on Monday, August 5, 2024.

State Hall

Due to an event, the State Hall will be closed on August 28, 2024.