Bookshelves, table with old note inventory

Using the Department of Papyri

Your library card is valid for the Department of Papyri (the Library Regulations apply). Special conditions apply to certain parts of the collection:

All the collections are available for study by national and international researchers. However, for conservation reasons, we ask you to send a written request in good time (at least two weeks) before your visit, stating the relevant reference number, to papyrus[at]

Our Catalogue QuickSearch provides information about the published, and some of the unpublished, items in the Department of Papyri. It encompasses all the materials preserved in the collection (papyri, ostraca, parchments, etc.) and all language groups (including Egyptian, Greek, Coptic, Arabic) and is regularly updated. In addition to the basic information (date, origin, publications etc.), many entries also include illustrations.

The extensive specialist literature about our collections can be accessed via our Catalogue QuickSearch. Reference numbers for items in the Department of Papyri include the affix “Pap”. Through the catalogue, you can order them for use in the main Reading Room (Ls 1). Books and other works published up to 1929 and journals belonging to the Department of Papyri can be viewed in the department's Reading Room during the collection's opening hours.

If you have any questions, please contact us under papyrus[at]

Reproductions and loans for exhibitions

Do you need reproductions or would you like to show an object from our inventory in an exhibition? You can find more information under the corresponding point.

You can use the copiers in the main reading room (Ls 1) to make copies, provided there are no conservation reasons or regulations preventing this. In such cases, we will prepare scans for you. Prices can be found in our Price List.
Photography is allowed only without flash and with permission from an authorised member of the archive staff.

Please send your requests for loans in writing, indicating the items you require (if possible with reference numbers), directly to  papyrus[at]
Required information includes

  • Name of borrowing organisation
  • Title of exhibition, location of exhibition, duration of exhibition
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.