Holdings - Rare books

The total stock of 500,000 prints from the collection of manuscripts and old prints is divided into several large groups and is partly kept in the State Hall:

  • Incunabula (prints up to 1500)
  • Prints from the 16th, up to and including the 19th century
  • particularly rare, valuable or bibliophile prints without time limit and special stocks

The shelfmarks characterize the individual collection groups and provide information about the conditions of use (view list of site keys):

MAG – works bearing this suffix are housed in the collection's own magazine stacks, e.g.  89913-A ALT MAG

PRUNK – works kept in the State Hall of the Austrian National Library, e.g. 40.M.13 ALT PRUNK

AUG – recent secondary literature located in the Augustine Reading Room and in the collection's own repositories, e.g. 1875855-C ALT AUG

INK– Incunabula (cradle prints), i.e. printed works from the beginning of printing until 1500, e.g. Ink 23.G.49 ALT INK. Find more information about this special collection here.

CP Cimelia Palatinae, Cimelia ("treasures") of the court library, which were placed in the Camera Praefecti because of their peculiarities, e. g. CP.1.C.9 ALT CP

RARA works that are special in terms of their historical significance or elaborate book layout, e.g. 307691-B ALT RARA

LUX - "Luxury editions", artists' books and collectable editions from 1850, including many historical children's books, e.g. B. 2032994-D ALT LUX. Find more information about this special stock here.

EINB – Bookbinding collection, a small exemplary stock of objects with particularly beautifully or interestingly designed bindings, e.g.20.Z.34 ALT EINB

FLU – Ephemera like historic flyers, pamphlets, broadsheets and various official printed material, e.g., F 017191-E ALT FLUG.
The bibliographic indexing of the pamphlets has not been completed. The already indexed holdings can be searched in our Catalogue QuickSearch, using search terms such as Flugblatt, Flugschrift and Einblattdruck. Find more information about this special collection here.

EROT – Erotica, erotic writings in the broadest sense without a time limit, e.g. 310236-B ALT EROT

SIN – Sinica,the library's historical holdings of Chinese books, e.g. Sin 354-B ALT SIN. Find more information about this special collection here.

JAP – Japonica, the library's historical holdings of Japanese books, e.g. Jap. 232-C ALT JAP. Find more information about this special collection here.


Other significant collections without special call number suffixes are:

Children's and Youth Literature - find more information here.

Historical newspapers and magazines can be accessed via the online catalog. Many of them are also already available in digital form via ANNO (Austrian newspapers and journals).

Historical prints in Hebrew script / Historical prints in Arabic script - find more information here.



Reading rooms at Heldenplatz and Papyrus Museum

Due to filming, the reading rooms at Heldenplatz and the Papyrus Museum will be closed from Friday, March 1, from 3 p.m. until Saturday, March 2, at 3 p.m. Thank you for your understanding.

State Hall and Augustinian Reading Room

Due to filming, the State Hall will be closed from February 27 until March 12, 2024. 

The Augustinian Reading Room will be closed from February 27 until March 8, 2024. During this time, no books can be provided from the collection in the State Hall. As a substitute, the Reading Room of the Collection of Manuscripts and Old Prints (Josefsplatz 1 in the left wing of the building, Manuscripts Staircase 2nd floor) will be available during regular opening hours.
Thank you for your understanding.