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The Austrian National Library’s 650th Anniversary


Prunksaal ohne Menschen, mit Statue von Karl VI. im Zentrum
© Österreichische Nationalbibliothek/Hloch


In 2018, the Austrian National Library, one of the country’s most venerable cultural and academic institutions, was celebrating its 650th anniversary.

Exhibitions marking the anniversary year 

The jubilee exhibition at the Baroque State Hall was a focal point of interest. Entitled » A Treasure Trove of Knowledge – 650 Years of Austrian National Library, the show presented the most fascinating objects from our collections in the context of the history of their acquisitions. The series » Exhibit of the Month was a special highlight: beginning in January, each month a particular evening was dedicated to a different exhibit that was presented and explained by our experts – a unique opportunity to familiarise oneself with the library’s most fascinating holdings.

The Literature Museum’s temporary exhibition at the Grillparzerhaus was devoted to » Central Figures of Viennese Modernism: the composer Alban Berg, the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the journalist, art patron, and legendary salonière Berta Zuckerkandl.

Further events during the anniversary year 

On 6 May 2018, the Austrian National Library invited all those interested to a big Open House event. This was a rare occasion to look behind the scenes of Austria’s largest library.

“Rethinking Libraries – From the Historical Library to the Library of the Future” was the title of an academic symposium to be held. Moreover, in a series entitled “The Library in Film”, Vienna’s Metro Kinokulturhaus presented cinematographic works starring libraries and books. The programme at the Literature Museum featured authors in several of talks and readings; for example, they looked into the dilemma of “Reading! But what?” In addition, a gala concert and the Musical Salons highlighted the importance and radiant energy of music.

You will find more details about our anniversary events in our » Annual Program 2018. .

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