The holdings of the Austrian National Library represent a broad historical, geographical, cultural, and political context. The research based on those holdings constitutes an important contribution to Austrian and European intellectual and cultural history.
By documenting its objects to the highest level of scientific standards, the Austrian National Library supports and initiates manifold research projects. Its rich holdings are regularly the subject of independent scientific research. The scientific work carried out at the Austrian National Library is linked to the national and international research landscape through cooperation with other academic institutions and close collaboration with scholars. An inter-university course of study in the area of library and information studies teaches library research at a university level.
As the largest library in Austria and one of the most important universal libraries in Europe, the Austrian National Library plays a major role as a memory institution of intellectual culture. That is achieved, on the one hand, by the systematic collection of printed and electronic media and, on the other, by the continuous expansion of the diverse and, in many cases, unique holdings in the specialised Departments. In addition to papyri, items of music and manuscripts, these also include photographs, graphics, posters, maps and globes, as well as drawings and paintings. Research activities at the Austrian National Library not only focus on the library-related processing and archiving of these sources, but also on their scholarly processing for both the scientific community and the general public.
These items, which are unique from the viewpoint of history and of physical qualities, offer research perspectives particularly in the areas of scholarly editing, the history of media and culture as well as in fundamental technological research in the field of the Digital Library.
Of particular importance is the presentation of research work done at the Austrian National Library to the public in the form of publications, databases, and exhibitions. All research results are available to the public, with special emphasis on digital forms of knowledge transfer.
The Austrian National Library places its holdings and its infrastructure at the disposal of researchers with no limitations, provided that there are no legal or conservational concerns. It strives to provide literature relevant to researchers in coordination with other libraries.