Holdings of the Literary Archive

Are you looking for manuscripts, letters, photographs, audio clips or documents about the lives of Austrian authors of the 20th and 21st centuries? Then you've come to the right place!
The Literary Archive collects and makes accessible literary estates (lifetime and posthumous) of Austrian authors as well as publishers and philosophers with a literary focus from the 20th century, particularly publishing and editorial archives as well. The criteria for acquiring and accepting lifetime literary estates can be found in our published collection guidelines.

You can search our collections in the following ways: 

Search specifically in the Austrian National Library catalogue in the category Manuscripts and Legacies
You can also find an overview of each of our collections under People and Institutions. 

Our collections in detail:

Among our largest and most important collections are the lifetime and posthumous legacies of authors including Günther Anders, Ingeborg Bachmann, Günther Anders, Ingeborg Bachmann, Thomas Bernhard, Christine Busta, Elfriede Czurda, Heimito von Doderer, Ernst Fischer, Erich Fried, Elfriede Gerstl, Peter Handke, Josef Haslinger, Ödön von Horváth, Ernst Jandl, Friederike Mayröcker, Robert Menasse, Robert Musil, Gerhard Rühm, Margit Schreiner, Hilde Spiel, Marlene Streeruwitz, Dorothea Zeemann und Berta Zuckerkandl.

Amongst the most significant holdings of institutional provenance are the substantial archives of the Grazer Autorenversammlung [Graz Author’s Assembly], the Droschl literary publishing house, the Paul Zsolnay publishing house, the Milena and “edition neue texte” publishing houses.

Digitised audio documents

We hold over 550 hours of digitised audio documents. If you let us know in advance, you can listen to original clips from Albert Drach, Gustav Ernst, Erich Fried, Ernst Jandl, Elfriede Gerstl, Günter Grass, Josef Haslinger, Peter Henisch, Alfred Kolleritsch, Friederike Mayröcker, Herta Müller, Gerhard Rühm, Hilde Spiel and Oswald Wiener in the Reading Room. Search our Catalogue.

Specialist literature, bequeathed libraries and annotated copies

In our Reading Room, you can use the works themselves and important secondary literature about our collections, as well as bio-bibliographical reference works. Search our Catalogue to find the book you need. The collections of the Literary Archive also include bequeathed libraries large and small, to which we provide closed access, and annotated copies. If you have any questions, please contact the staff in charge of the collection in question.

Legacies in Austria

If you are interested in additional lifetime and posthumous bequests in other Austrian archives, please use the Directory of Artistic, Academic and Cultural Legacies in Austria
In the Austrian Network Catalogue, under "Bequests and manuscripts", you can also research about a million unique resources from nearly 20 Austrian archives and libraries: NAK – Bequests and autograph documents in the Austrian Network Catalogue.

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.