650 years of the Austrian National Library

The "Gründungscodex" (founding codex) of the Imperial Court Library dates to the year 1368. Now the Austrian National Library, it celebrates its 650th birthday in 2018.

The Habsburg Archduke Albrecht III (1349/50-1395) commissioned the "Evangeliar des Johannes von Troppau", which was completed in 1368. Written entirely in gold, decorated with lavish imagery and enclosed in a magnificent binding, it is one of the most valuable objects held by today's Austrian National Library. The Evangeliar, a manuscript that gathers together all four gospels of the New Testament, represents the beginning of the Habsburg book collections and thus the founding of the Court Library. It is just one of the highlights of the anniversary exhibition "Treasury of Knowledge". Also on display are further magnificent manuscripts and valuable early prints, which are representative of European book and intellectual history; moreover, there are precious musical scores, maps, manuscripts, photos and graphics from all of the library's collections, which begin over 3,000 years ago in the Egypt of the Pharaohs.
The anniversary exhibition is accompanied by the event series "Object of the Month": Twelve presentations by in-house experts focus on valuables that are only very rarely seen for conservation reasons. These include the original manuscript of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem from the year 1791 (on display from 30 March to 29 April 2018), the 1,286 pages of the Gutenberg Bible from 1454 (on display from 1 June - 1 July 2018), as well as the aforementioned "Evangeliar des Johannes von Troppau" (on display from 26-31 January 2018).

The show takes place in the Grand Hall of the Austrian National Library. Built in the 18th century, it extends over a length of 80 and a height of 20 meters. This Baroque jewel houses more than 200,000 volumes as well as an exhibit of four magnificent Venetian globes with a diameter of more than a meter.

650 years of the Austrian National Library: Treasury of Knowledge. 26 January 2018 - 13 January 2019


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