Different Scripts, written on papyrus, parchment and paper

Numerous documents from the land of the Nile

Almost all the items in our collection come from Egypt, where papyrus has been preserved by the dry climate. The oldest items date from about the 15th century B.C., the most recent from about the 16th century A.D.

The documents record all the languages and scripts that were used over the turbulent history of the land of the Nile since the time of the New Kingdom of the pharaohs. The majority of them are in Arabic, Greek or Coptic, but hieroglyphic, hieratic and demotic texts are kept as well. The less numerous Hebrew, Aramaic, Syrian, Ethiopian and Latin texts and the documents in Pahlavi (Middle Persian) are of great importance historically, because they document the multilingual culture of the country or shed light on specific historic situations.

Alert
Reading rooms at Heldenplatz and Papyrus Museum

Due to filming, the reading rooms at Heldenplatz and the Papyrus Museum will be closed fon Saturday, March 2. 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.